At least eight people sustained bullet injuries and several others, including an Additional SP and an Additional District Magistrate, were injured in stone-throwing after protesters turned violent at Maibang in Assam’s Dima Hasao district on Thursday afternoon. The people were protesting against a reported move to include Dima Hasao in the proposed ‘Greater Nagalim’ of the NSCN(IM). Officials imposed indefinite curfew in Maibang on Friday evening.
“We had to open fire at Maibang after the crowd turned violent, set railway station properties on fire, removed a railway track and also damaged government vehicles. At least eight people received bullet injuries. Dozens of government officers and police personnel were injured in stone-throwing by the mob,” Dima Hasao Superintendent of Police (SP) Ankur Jain told The Indian Express over the phone.
Jain said protesters had blocked the Lumding-Silchar railway track at Maibang station and when the SP and Deputy Commissioner reached the spot and asked the people to clear the blockade they turned violent and threw stones at the officers. “We first tried to use canes and then tear-gas. But when the crowd turned violent, the deputy commissioner issued orders to open fire,” Jain said.
Several organisations of Dima Hasao had called a 12-hour bandh on Thursday to protest a reported move to include the hill districts in “Greater Nagalim” as part of the proposed solution to the NSCN(IM)’s demands. The issue was triggerred off by a news story in a New Delhi-based news portal in which Jagdamba Mal, a senior RSS leader, was quoted as having “revealed” an RSS draft plan that suggests including Dima Hasao in Nagalim.
While Mal has denied making any such statement and complained that he was misquoted, the BJP and RSS have clarified that Mal was not a leader authorised to speak on their behalf. Various groups in Dima Hasao have demanded an apology from Mal. On Monday, some miscreants had tried to set the RSS office in Haflong on fire.
While normal life was disrupted in Dima Hasao, the Guwahati-Silchar Passenger train was stranded at Maibang due to the bandh since Thursday morning. The Sealdah-Guwahati-Silchar train was terminated at Lumding, while the Silchar-Guwahati train was stranded at New Haflong. Maibang is a hill station about 285 km from Guwahati.