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Karbi tribals accuse Assam of truce violation

If the Govt insists on violating ceasefire norms, we will be forced to take up arms once again, United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) said.

india Updated: Dec 20, 2005 17:12 IST

A rebel group fighting for a separate state for Karbi tribals in Assam but operating a truce with the central government said on Tuesday that the state government was violating the ground rules of the ceasefire.

"The Assam government has been violating the truce rules and this was evident from the arrest of nine of our cadres by police on Monday while they were returning to the designated camp (where they stay) in Diphu," said Tung-eh Nongloda, publicity secretary of the United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS).

"As a protest to the frequent violations by the state government, we have decided to boycott the next meeting of the joint monitoring group (JMG) at Guwahati on December 21," Nongloda said.

The JMG was set up to look after complicated issues arising during the ceasefire period.

"If the Government insists on violating ceasefire norms, we will be forced to take up arms once again," Nongloda said.

Their cadres are supposed to remain confined to designated camps allotted to them by the Government. But Nongloda said no more cadres would be sent to the designated camp unless those arrested were freed.

He also ridiculed the offer of ceasefire by its rival Dimasa group until Christmas. Both the factions have been involved in bloody ethnic clashes that have claimed more than 100 lives in the district over the past three months.

The rival Dima Halam Daogah (DHD), fighting for a homeland for the Dimasas in the Karbi Anglong district, offered a truce to UPDS in view of the festive season.

"The DHD has been saying that they are not involved in the feud. But by offering a truce they have proved their involvement," the rebel leader said.

The two groups are operating separate ceasefires with the central government - the UPDS came into a truce in 2002 and the DHD entered into a ceasefire a year later in 2003.

Both the rebel groups are allowed to retain their weapons under the ceasefire agreements.

First Published: Dec 20, 2005 17:12 IST