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Hmars, Nagas, Bietes oppose move

Guwahati, Feb. 2: The Assam cabinet sub-committee examining the demand for changing the nomenclature of North Cachar Hills is working on a formula that would ensure the interests of those in support of changing the district’s name to Dima Hasao Raji and of those opposed to it.

The sub-committee met here this afternoon for over an hour to discuss the pros and cons of its likely recommendations and is likely to submit its recommendations to chief minister Tarun Gogoi before the monthlong deadline set by him ends next week.

A member of the committee told this correspondent, “Nothing has been finalised as yet. A few more sittings will be required. We have asked principal secretary (home) to finalise the recommendations so that we can take a final call before the same is presented to the chief minister, who will then place it before the cabinet. The whole idea is to ensure the interests of both sides.”

The Jewel Gorlosa faction of the Dima Halam Daogah, which laid down arms on October 2, is demanding the change in nomenclature and has the support of the Dimasa community. But groups like the Zeme Nagas, the Hmars and the Baithes are opposed to it. The sub-committee, which was constituted last year, has made a couple of visits to the district but has not been able to arrive at a decision as the Dimasas constitute only 43 per cent of the population.

The Dimasas argue that the change in name can play a critical role in paving the way for lasting peace.

“However, things have changed since the DHD (J) surrender. Efforts are on to mobilise opinion for a negotiated settlement between both groups,” a source said.

The D.P. Goala-led committee has as its members ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma, Rockybul Hussain and Khorsingh Ingti, and principal secretary (home) S.C. Das as the convenor.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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