HAFLONG, Jan 13: The North Cachar Hills Indigenous Peoples Forum (NCHIPF) on Monday staged a sit in demonstration in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office at Dima Hasao demanding immediate bifurcation of Dima Hasao district into two autonomous districts. The agitation was backed up by the North Cachar Hills Indigenous Students Forum (NCHISF).
The protesters also submitted a memorandum to Assam’s chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal through DC Amitabh Rajkhowa in support of their demand. The memo stated that after forcibly renaming North Cachar Hills district as Dima Hasao by the government on March 31, 2010 amidst strong protests by the indigenous non Dimasa populace that constitute 67% of the total population. The protesters carried out protests under the banner of NCHIPF and started demanding for the creation of a separate autonomous district with a separate council under provision 1(3) (c) &2 (1) of article 244(2) &275 (1) of sixth schedule to the Constitution of India. The protester also displays placards that shows “Equal job opportunity to all community”, “Appointment of job as per population ratio”, “We demand bifurcation of the district” etc.
The protester also demanded for immediate implementation of report of the task force as part of recommendation of Group of ministers’ committee (GoMC) to examine for creation of separate district.
NCHIPF president L. Kuki said “We have been demanding for bifurcation since this decade. Even the state government had given a nod for the implementation and a task force was constituted under the chairmanship of P.P Varma, IAS Retd. Chief Secretary and the then Additional Chief secretary, Government of Assam in August 2010 to examine the recommendation of Group of Ministers Committee (GoMC).”
“If the state government fails to implement our demands within a week we will intensify our agitation as per the constitution” Kuki added.
It can be mentioned that the Assam government in July 2019 has moved forward for bifurcation of another district with finance minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma writing to CM Sarbananda Sonowal for approval of the new district. In his budget speech on February 6, Dr Sarma had announced the bifurcation of Dima Hasao considering its large geography and hilly terrain which makes the access to government service difficult for citizens.
However, the now disbanded DHD chief Dilip Nunisa reacted sharply to the move of the government stating that the act is the government’s plan to divert the people from the core issue of implementing the memorandum of settlement (MoS) signed between the central government and the DHD bifurcating the district. Dima Hasao district — earlier called North Cachar Hills district — is an administrative district of the state. ‘Dima Hasao’ means “Dimasa Hills” in the Dimasa language.
While speaking to reporters here, NCHISF president David Keivom alleged that the council is appointing candidates on political grounds.
“There are many candidates who have cracked Civil Service Examinations but they cannot crack job examinations for departments under administrative control of NCHAC why? It is so because the post are either sold or given to candidates who are relatives or close to politicians,” Said Keivom.
“We have visited various Departments to remind them for implementation of GoM recommendation in the recruitment process and to select the candidates in merit basis only and will be watched closely. If necessary we have also decided to move to court and take action against those department officers for not implementing the order intentionally.” Keivom concluded