DHD gives formal offer for ceasefire

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Guwahati, Jun 11(UNI) After holding the North Cachar Hills district to ransom for a month, the Dima Halao Daogah(DHD)-Jewel group has formally approached the state government for ceasefire and talks.

According to police, a formal letter from the Dimasa militants was handed over yesterday to Mr Khagen Sarma, IGP(Special Branch) of Assam, who in turn handed it over to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Since May 10 a small group of 200 militants had been holding the whole district to ransom, killing 27 personnel, mostly of railways, besides stopping rail service as well as construction of both the East West corridor and gauge conversion of the NF Railway.

The chief minister is expected to make an announcement of the ceasefire in the forthcoming party rally on Friday which will also be attended by UPA Chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

The DHD(J) is demanding an autonomous region within the North Cachar Hills district with departments like Home and Police under them.

Last month the state government decided not to bite the ceasefire offer.

''The government will not toe the ceasefire line immediately. The group can use the time to re-group and re-arm,'' state government spokesperson and Cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sharma had said.

Earlier, the controversy surrounding allegations of politician-militant nexus in NC Hills district took a serious turn with the government today claiming 'strong evidence' to indict at least three top leaders of the ruling autonomous council.

''The government is keeping a close vigil over the NC Hills leaders and the police has been instructed to create a case against them based on the available evidence,'' Dr Biswa Sharma said.

The NC Hills leaders, who face charges of maintaining links with the ultra outfits like NSCN(IM) and DHD(J)(the latter being responsible for killing at least 25 people in the past month), are Deepolal Hojai, Prakanta Warisa and Mohet Hojai.

Of all the members of the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC), which runs a coalition NC Hills Autonomous District Council (NCHADC) with the BJP, Deepolal Hojai is the Chief Executive Member, while the other two are Executive Members.

UNI MT PL/src1253

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