Dima Karbi autonomous

Silchar: Three organisations will stage a protest at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on April 8 seeking fulfilment of their demand for the creation of an autonomous state comprising three hill districts Dima Hasao, Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong under the provision of Article 244 (A) of the Constitution.

The three organisations are Dimasa Students’ Union, Karbi Students’ Association and Karbi Anglong Dima Hasao Autonomous State Demand Committee.  

A team of the organisations, led by the Dimasa Students’ Union’s general secretary Pramith Sengyung started for New Delhi from Dima Hasao on Wednesday. Sengyung told reporters that an autonomous state with the Dima Hasao, Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong districts is a long-pending demand of the people of Dima Hasao, and many movements were launched in this regard over the years. However, the government has not paid much heed to the matter, he said.

He said they would continue their fight in the days ahead too, till the government gives a green signal and initiates appropriate steps for their demand.

In a conversation with EastMojoSengyung said the people of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao (erstwhile North Cachar Hills) districts were given an option to migrate to Meghalaya (if they wanted to) during the formation of the Meghalaya state. However, their forefathers chose to stay in Assam, hoping that the Assam government would take special care of the hill districts as promised by the then chief minister Assam, but nothing happened. The demand for an autonomous state started gaining force after a few years with people and several organisations, even militant outfits, raising their voices to protect their identity, culture and heritage and the overall growth and development of the tribal-majority region, he said.

He said they would stage the protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi from 10 am to 1 pm on Friday and later submit a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with their demand.

A member of the Karbi Students’ Association said a mass organisation, Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC), was set up in the erstwhile North Cachar Hills district in the 1990s era to work for the autonomous state’s demand. The ASDC had formed the government in the two autonomous councils in Dima Hasao: Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council (earlier known as North Cachar Hills Autonomous District Council) and Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council. However, the Centre never paid attention to the ASDC’s repeated pleas for the creation of the autonomous state, he said.

Coming down heavily on the BJP government, he said the BJP, before the last Lok Sabha elections, had served platters of promises before the masses of Dima Hasao about fulfilling the demand of an autonomous state if it came to power but forgot its commitment after the polls. The government has done absolutely nothing in this regard so far, he said.

Karbi Anglong Dima Hasao Autonomous State Demand Committee member Ajit Timung said there is resentment among the people of Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong for the apathetic attitude of the previous Assam governments (regarding their demand for an autonomous state) over the years. He added they hope that a dynamic leader like Himanta Biswa Sarma (chief minister) would understand the importance of the issue and take it up with the Centre so that their demand is fulfilled. 

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