Haflong: Haflong, the district headquarter of Dima Hasao, turned volatile during the indefinite bandh called by Indigenous People’s Forum (IPF) from 5 am on Tuesday following stone pelting and burning of the vehicle of the Divisional Forest Officer, Southern Aforestation Division near Synod Rotary.
The indefinite Dima Hasao bandh was called by the IPF to demand of immediate implementation of the report of the Task Force. The impact of the bandh was noticed at Haflong as most of the offices were closed, private and public vehicles were off the road and markets remained closed. Police had to resort to tear gas and lathicharge in few locations as the picketers attacked police vehicles.
Few IPF and ISF leaders, including David Keivom and S. Jeme, were detained by the police while some picketers sustained injuries.
Meanwhile, several organizations like Jadikhe Naisho Hoshom (JNH), Dimasa Students’ Union (DSU), All Dimasa Students’ Union (ADSU), Dimasa Youth Forum, Dimasa Mothers’ Association (DMA), Dimasa Women’s Society (DWS) and Dimasa Students’ Community, Guwahati (DSCG) have opposed the indefinite bandh called by the Indigenous People’s Forum (IPF) from February 11, terming the bandh as totally ‘illogical and unconstitutional’.
These organizations expressed concern that the bandh would affect the ongoing HSLC and HS examination and the common people of Dima Hasao as a whole. They warned the leaders of IPF to apologize for the extremely ‘provocative and communal statements’ in media and for defaming the Dimasa community.
A press release issued by the organizations stated that IPF’s demand for separate district on the basis of non-Dimasas being treated as second class citizens in the district was a false and fake propaganda. “We oppose such kind of provoking and baseless statements. Each and every tribe enjoys the same rights in the district offered by the 6th Schedule to the Constitution of India, be it land rights, educational rights, voting rights, economic rights, or preservation of identity, culture and tradition,” stated the release. All the organizations appealed to the people of Dima Hasao not to fall into the trap of IPF and to instead defy the bandh. They urged people to maintain peace and brotherhood and to work together for the development and prosperity of the district.