HC rap on Seba over exam centre in KA

February 3, 2011

Guwahati, Feb. 2: The Board of Secondary Education, Assam, has some tough questions to answer with Gauhati High Court today asking it why students of two development blocks in Karbi Anglong have been forced to take their matric examination from adjoining Morigaon district for the past 15 years.

Hundreds of pupils from various schools in Amri and Chinthong development blocks in Karbi Anglong district have to travel for at least four hours to write their test since the nearest examination centre is at Nellie in Morigaon.

A division bench of the high court, comprising Chief Justice Madan Bhimarao Lokur and Justice Mutum Binoy Kumar Singh, today asked the education board to explain by tomorrow why a common examination centre cannot be set up for the two development blocks.

Advocate A.D. Choudhury, who is an amicus curiae in the case, said the court has expressed serious concern over the issue and asked Seba to do something immediately for students’ welfare.

The matric or high school leaving certificate examination, 2011 will begin from February 21 across the state.

Choudhury said the court observed that in case Seba cannot open the centre, it should ensure transportation and accommodation facilities near the existing Nellie centre.

According to Seba guidelines, there must be at least 200 candidates for setting up a matric examination centre.

The Telegraph in its October 7, 2010 edition, highlighted how nearly 1,500 students of at least seven schools from Amri and Chinthong development blocks have been forced to travel for some 40 to 100km to write their matric examination at the Nellie centre.

Even though aggrieved students had approached Seba and the education department, the pleas apparently went unheeded.

Students even sent a petition to Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal seeking his intervention in the matter. Sibal, however, did not respond to the petition.

The Chief Justice came to the students’ rescue when he gave directions to register a suo moto PIL on the issue in December last year.

Several students under the banner of United Tribal Youth Forum had sent him a letter on December 17 seeking his intervention to set up an examination centre in the development blocks.

Seba, which filed a petition as a respondent to the PIL, stated that roads and bridges on the way to Amri block are in a deplorable condition and thus not safe for despatching confidential examination materials.

The board submitted before the court that to conduct such an important public examination like HSLC or matric, it requires huge preparation and it will not be practicable for Seba to grant a new centre for the development blocks at Karbi Anglong at this stage.

The question papers for the ensuing examination are already on their way to the Nellie centre.

Seba secretary L.N. Sarma in the petition said the board would consider setting up an examination centre at the block if the basic infrastructure for conducting the examination was made available.


Memorandum Submitted by various organisation for Peace in Karbi Anglong

January 15, 2010

Memorandum Papers.. Click here to see more

Memorandum to President APJ Abdul Kalam

August 14, 2009


Your Excellency,
On behalf of the people of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills, we extend to you our warm greetings and sincerely thank you for Your Excellency’s gracious generosity to meet us and listen to our supplication.
Karbi Anglong and NC Hills are the two hill areas of Assam inhabited by the Karbis and the Dimasa tribes respectively besides other smaller ethnic tribes and non-tribal communities. The Karbis are a major tribe of the North East and their population is as large as the Garos, or the Khasis or the Mizos. The Karbis and the Dimasas are natural political allies and have co-existed in peaceful harmony for generations.
The two hill areas have remained the most alienated, the most neglected and the most backward. But they are the richest of all the hills of the North-East in terms of agricultural, mineral and water resources.
Due to utter neglect, unrestrained infiltration and rampant exploitation, the Karbis and the Dimasas are facing threat to their very existence and have been forced to seek self-determination of their own destiny within the framework of the Constitution of India.
The growing political consciousness of the tribal people and the awareness about their pathetic socio-economic conditions, as compared to the level of development surrounding them, have given way to diverse and tribe-specific political movements, including armed insurgency. Amidst such diversity of insurgent groups with their obvious contrariety of demands, both intra-tribe and inter-tribe contradictions are bound to develop, and the entire two hills became a powder-keg that could explode under the slightest provocation.
Since early 2003, every year, the two hills have been subjected to repeated ethnic clashes which have left a trail of physical and emotional devastation and loss of hundreds of human lives. The first was the clash between the Dimasas and the Hmars (April 2003) and then the clash between the Karbis and the Kukis (October 2003) and the Khasis (November 2003) followed. Therefore the present clash between the Karbis and the Dimasas is not an isolated case, being part of a strange pattern.
The sudden occurrence of the present clash since the 26th of September has left the two hills numbed and bleeding. During the past 26 days, 87 innocent men, women and children have lost their lives (as per official statistics) with many more unaccounted for in far-flung areas, and over fifty thousands have been rendered homeless as their homes have been burnt to ashes. Apart from the loss of lives and property, there is the massive task of emotional, infrastructural and economic rehabilitation of the shaken and traumatized victims. This is our appeal to the Nation through Your Excellency’s good offices to help rebuild the lives of the Karbis and the Dimasas who now live under tragic circumstances.
Your Excellency,
The crux of the matter is the callous manner in which the government is dealing with the political problems of the two hill areas. Without understanding local sentiments the government has taken certain actions which have been proved counterproductive. For instance, the setting up of an ‘unguarded designated camp’ of the Dima Halam Daoga or DHD in short (a Dimasa armed extremist outfit under ceasefire with the government since 2003) at Dhansiri (a small Dimasa-dominated settlement in Karbi Anglong bordering Dimapur, Nagaland ) has turned out to be a serious bone of contention which created social tension in that area during the past three years and have provided fodder for the present ethnic catastrophe in the two hills. There is an urgent need to remove the camp to prevent future occurrence of the present crisis.
There is also an urgent need to understand the social, economic and political problems of the two hills in order to provide lasting solution. For that the appointment of a ‘House Committee of the Parliament’ is urgently called for to probe and resolve the various socio-economic complexities and political demandsof the hill people. As the demand of the hill people for Statehood for the past 19 years continues to be ignored and the overall welfare of the hill people remaining in the distant periphery of Assam’s consciousness, the two hills are being pushed deeper into social crisis that is dangerously mutating into ethnic bigotry. We humbly seek Your Excellency’s urgent intervention so as to ease the tension prevailing in the hills and to establish lasting peace in the two hills of Assam.
Your most humble citizens —

(Dharamsing Teron, MLA) (Elwin Teron, MAC)
On behalf of the Autonomous State Demand Committee

Pre-Independent Memorandum

July 30, 2009

H.E. Robert Neil Reid, K.C.S.I., K.C.I.F., I.C.S,
Governor of Assam,
Camp: Mohongdijua, Mikir Hills, Assam,
Dated Mikir Hills, the 28th October, 1940
May it please Your Excellency,
We the Mikir people numbering nearly a lac and a half beg most humbly and respectfully to accord Your Excellency a most hearty and cordial welcome on the occasion of Your Excellency’s gracious visit to our hills that have not hitherto been graced by any august homage like Your Excellency and we take this opportunity of Your Excellency’s visit to convey through Your Excellency the sincere homage and loyal devotion of our Mikir people to their gracious majesties, the king emperor and the queen empress and earnestly pray for their sound health, long life, peace and happiness and the welfare of their empire at this troubled time.
Yours Excellency, words fail to express how happy and fortunate we the Mikirs feel today for the opportunity so kindly allowed to us to offer our ruler in our own humble way this address of welcome in the midst of the hills, the sweet abode of the Mikirs. Cut off from the civilized world, isolated as we are, Your Excellency, we the Mikirs may fail to accord you a proper and suitable welcome but we earnestly hoped that sincerity of our purpose.
Your Excellency, on this auspicious occasion, first of all, we the Mikirs who have been kept in perpetual subordination by their progressive neighbours beg to express our deep gratitude to Your Excellency for taking in for the first time a Mikir representative in the provincial legislature an act which has not only received appreciation from the Mikir youths for improving the status of their tribe; and we sincerely hope that however busily engaged Your Excellency might be with multifarious activities, Your Excellency would be graciously pleased to bear in mind the deplorable condition of the Mikirs due to complete isolation in the jungle area of the hills and further be pleased to redress their legitimate grievances as embodied in the memorial annexed herewith.
Your Excellency, our heart if too full of gratitude for the patient hearing Your Excellency has so kindly given us, it is earnest and sincere prayer to the Almighty Father that He may grant Your Excellency sound health and long life and may Your Excellency continue to the immense benefit of us all.
We have the honour to be Sir,
Your Excellency’s most humble and loyal Mikir subjects.
(So far, the first recorded and preserved memorandum of the Karbis submitted by their leader, the late Semsonsing Ingti, to the colonial governor towards the fag end of the British rule.)