Assam police torch 30 houses in Dikoi village
DIMAPUR, APRIL 22
WEEKS of escalating unease in the inter-state border belt around Dikoi village, which separates Nagaland with Assam, snowballed into a fiery hour-long episode on Tuesday afternoon when Assam police – yet again – sprayed bullets upon Dikoi villagers and torched around 30 huts/houses inside the village. Even as the possibility of the involvement of CRPF personnel in the firing remains unclear, eyewitness accounts confirmed that they had also participated in torching the settlements. A combined force of around 50-60 Assam police and CPRF personnel had swarmed the Dikoi villagers on Tuesday.
The firing was brought to a halt only after the intervention of Dimapur police, according to police sources. The villagers claimed that some of the huts were set on fire even in the presence of Dimapur police and administration.
Assam police sources claimed that they were provoked into retaliation after being fired upon by the villagers. This claim made by the Assam police was however scoffed by the Dikoi villagers who insisted that they were not so naïve as to engage in a gunfight with a full State security force.
Apart from the destruction of houses and loss of properties, there was no injury or any loss of human lives from the incident. The Assam police also whisked away a Gypsy King (NL-07-7276) claiming that the villagers had used it to fire upon them.
Furious villagers of Dikoi were aghast at the “audacity” of the Assam police, for daring to “intrude” inside a Nagaland government recognized village and unleash such damage. Conversely, the villagers also questioned the “timidity” of the Dimapur administration and police.
They wondered, perhaps not without legitimacy, as to why the Dimapur administration was allowing Assam government to “evict” villagers from a village that had been accorded recognition by the Nagaland government in 1989.
Tuesday’s incident is the sixth instance, and the worst so far in terms of property loss and damage, since March 21 last in which Assam police have fired upon Naga villagers settled in the area.
Basing on newspaper reports, at least three persons have injured in the series of firing that the villagers have faced from Assam police.