Boy killed, indefinite curfew clamped in Maibong over Naga Pact protests

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HT Correspondent

HAFLONG, Jan 25: Indefinite curfew was imposed in Maibong after a minor boy was killed and seven others were injured, three of them critically, when the police opened fire at the members of social organisations who blocked railway track at Maibong railway station in Dima Hasao district on Thursday afternoon.

The injured have been shifted to Haflong Civil Hospital. Hours after the incident, the social organisations called for 48-hour Dima Hasao bandh from 5 am on Friday. They demanded a written statement from the government on Nagalim issue, immediate suspension of deputy commissioner and superintendent of police and compensation to the tune of Rs. 5 lakh each to the injured person.

The social organisations led by Dimasa apex body, Jadikhe Nisho Hosom (JNH), Dimasa Students’ Union (DSU), All Dimasa Students’ Union (ADSU), Dimasa Women’s Society (DWS) and Dimasa Mothers’ Association (DMA) had called for a 12-hour Dima Hasao bandh on Thursday to register their protest against the move of the Union government to include Dima Hasao in the map of Greater Nagalim of NSCN(I-M). They also sought public apology from RSS ideologue Jagadamba Mall over his statement on draft Framework Agreement.

Several hundred people gathered at the railway station on Thursday morning and blocked the railway track disrupting the movement of train coming from Guwahati to Silchar through the newly-constructed Lumding-Silchar BG Expansion Line. The protestors created a chaotic situation in the railway station forcing deputy commissioner Devajyoti Hazarika to rush to the spot along with superintendent of police Ankur Jain to bring the situation under control.

However, the protestors continued to go ahead with the blockade by burning tyres at the railway track. They also damaged the vehicles of DC and SP.

The deputy commissioner then ordered firing to disperse the protestors from the railway station. Three persons, including a student were killed while 32 others were injured. The injured have been shifted to the hospital. The social organisations condemned the firing on unarmed people and termed it as a gross violation of Human Rights.

They blocked the railway lines by placing boulders on the railway tracks. The situation turned tense when the railway tracks were displaced and the line was disconnected by the protestors so that the Silchar-bound train can’t move.

Despite that the situation went out of control and the protesters also damaged the engine of the train forcing the police forces to start crackdown on the protestors.

The protestors also started pelting stones at the policemen. Finally, the deputy commissioner ordered firing on the protestors to disperse them from the railway station.

The police also un-boarded about 3,000 passengers from the Silchar-bound and kept them in the Maibang Higher Secondary School for their safety. Food facility has also been extended to them.

DSU general secretary Praneet Senguin said that the people of Dima Hasao are worried over the proposed inclusion of Dima Hasao in Greater Nagalim as reported in the recent media reports.

He said that the Maibang incident is responsible for the reported proposal. However, the DSU leader urged all to maintain peace and harmony in the district.

Condemning the police firing, Dimasa Mothers’ Association (DMA) president Agnes Gorlosa said that the situation in Dima Hasao has been disturbed only due to the draft plan of the Framework Agreement reportedly prepared by RSS leader Jagdamba Mall. “However, there is neither any comment from Mall nor the Government has made any written clarification in this regard,” she added.

Meanwhile, Hills State Demand Council (HSDC) and Karbi Students Association (KSA) condemned the police firing on protesters at Maibang in Dima Hasao.

HSDC president Dr Mongve Rongpi said a peaceful rally was organised at Maibang railways station by people protesting against the inclusion of Dima Hasao in Greater Nagalim.

Demanding judicial inquiry into the incident Dr Rongpi said they are not against the Naga peace accord but all the matter should be solve within Nagaland. The Nagas have been fighting for their rights for many years, likewise the Dimasa and Karbis were also fighting for their rights since the last 3 decades.

Rongpi blamed BJP and RSS for fomenting trouble in Dima Hasao. KSA president Simion Rongphar urged the Dimasas to stand firm.

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