Dimasa forum to tap Haldar – Apex body wants envoy to clear stand

( The Telegraph, Kolkata)

Haldar: Time to troubleshoot

Guwahati, Jan. 24: The Jadikhe Naisho Hoshom, the apex body of the Dimasas that had played a crucial role in impressing upon the Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel) to lay down arms en masse on October 2, has decided to seek answers from P.C. Haldar, the Centre-appointed interlocutor for talks, on steps being taken to carry forward the peace process.

The president of JNH, Dethang Naiding, told this correspondent today that along with the Dimasa Mothers’ Association (DMA), it intends to move Haldar in the next couple of days to know about the steps being taken to clear hindrances that stood in the way of the peace process between the government and the DHD (J) in the light of the memorandum the two organisations had submitted to him in December.

The JNH’s proposed joint effort vis-à-vis Haldar follows a growing fear about efforts to get the DHD (J) overground getting derailed if there was no significant progress at the earliest.

The two organisations have also decided to send copies of the letter to Haldar to the Centre and in Dispur.

The JNH and the DMA are of the opinion that the peace process will not progress and remain inconclusive without the participation of senior DHD (J) leaders, including its chairman Jewel Gorlosa, in custody.

“The honourable interlocutor knows our mind. During the arms surrender, prominent government officials said that efforts would be made to solve all the problems of the DHD (J) within 100 days,” Naiding said.

“Even the Union home minister had lauded the gesture of the DHD (J), but unfortunately, we do not see any significant progress. The government was in constant touch with us before the surrender of arms, but now we do not know much about what exactly is happening. We are totally confused. He will be in a position to allay our apprehensions.”

Calling for a time-bound solution to the problem in letter and spirit, Naiding said Dispur should at least take one constructive step in response to the mass surrender of the DHD (J) to instil confidence in the local population and insurgent groups.

“Changing of the nomenclature of the district can be done immediately as there is a majority support. Facilitating the participation of leaders in custody in talks, too, can be done if the government so wishes. For maintaining peace and harmony, it is necessary to instil confidence,” he added.

Naiding feared a delay could affect the prevailing peace in the district and that they would have no say if the situation deteriorated if the government did not keep its part of the bargain vis-à-vis the DHD (J).

“There is already resentment among the cadres which could lead to a backlash on society. Even we cannot do much then as it will be difficult convincing the boys if the peace process is not expedited. The government has to understand this,” he said.

The DHD (J) wants the name of North Cachar Hills be changed to Dima Hasao Raji and a state within a state, among others.

Earlier, the Tarun Gogoi cabinet had asked the cabi- net-sub-committee on changing the nomenclature headed by D.P. Goala, to give its decision.

Goala said the committee was examining the issue and would give its report within the deadline next month.


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