Seeing the Darjeeling hills simmer with unrest and the army patrolling to keep peace, tourists are naturally heading to other places. The demand for Gorkhaland has again hogged the headlines and new faces and names have come up leading this unruly movement better known for the leadership of Subash Ghising. Now he is growing old and hence new faces have emerged. To register their presence, they find it fruitful to get more bitter, hateful and violent.
That’s the comrade-ruled land of West Bengal, adjoining Nepal, an area that recently fell to the bloodthirsty and now power-hungry red brigade of Maoism. Just two days ago, a camp of a Hindu organisation near Ganga Sagar, a pilgrim centre of great significance, was attacked by a communally charged crowd. The result was that the state govt. accused the victims themselves of fomenting trouble and none of the attackers was arrested.
So which part of India is safe and can be visited for a pilgrimage and a Bharat dekho tour? From Kashmir to Kamakhya (Assam) and Jaipur to Darjeeling, Jihadis and Maoists have left their ugly marks. Manipur, famous for heavenly lakes and Krishna’s legacy, is in the grip of anti-India, anti-anything Hindu terror outfits. So is the condition in Nagaland and Tripura. Are they going the way of Malaysia – another place which has seen anti-Hindu repression by the state?
Beyond Darjeeling the entire northeast is a region of enchanting natural panorama and religious pilgrimage. But you can’t even think of going there for a holiday. Recently a new wave of killings was reported from the Karbi Anglong area of Assam. An organization known as the Black Widows killed 11 labourers and workers on May 15 in the North Cachar hills. This was said to be in retaliation against the army’s action that saw 12 Black Widow terrorists eliminated. The same day, Black Widow gunmen killed 10 truck drivers who were bringing daily supplies to the interior areas.
Why should a terrorist organization be known as Black Widows? Is there any virtue in it, as the terrorists are known to find, the way they named their gang of murderers as Lashkar-e-Toiba or Jaish-e-Mohammad? The name, ‘Black Widows’, doesn’t convey anything like that. It instantly attracts media attention though none has been authoritatively able to tell the reason behind such a weird name. One half-baked explanation is that a terrorist organization, Hmar Peoples’ Convention, had killed 18 Dimasas in 1995 in Karbi Anglong, widowing 18 women. To avenge that, the Dimasas formed a group that later on became known as Black Widows.
This group, a breakaway faction from the original organization called Dima Halim Daogah (DHD) is headed by Jewel Garlossa. The outfit was formed by Pranab Nunisa. When Nunisa’s group surrendered to the government in 2003 and started peace talks, Jewel under the influence of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isaac-Muivah) (NSCN-IM) parted ways, took an anti-talks position and entered into an agreement with his Naga Christian patrons that meant his group would support Nagalim (a Greater Nagaland with areas from Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh merging into it. Nagalim is clearly viewed by the NSCN as a state for Christ). Jewel also happens to be a Christian. When the tragedy occurred, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi chose to go on a trip to China and after a fortnight, sent his junior-most minister to probe the massacre.
More than the lack of timely help and sympathies is the attitude that hurts the most and turns even the soft-spoken shy tribal into a dreaded terrorist. The foreign powers, always in a search of such alienated sections, immediately seize their chance and spread their terror network.
Having failed in his duty to protect the Dimasas, Gogoi alleged that the BJP-ASDC (Autonomous State Demand Committee) run North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council was helping the Black Widows and announced an inquiry. But soon an executive member of the Autonomous Council, Mohet Hojai, issued a statement that revealed that the Congress had created the Dima Halim Daogah. Same story, different area. Remember when Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale had come to Delhi brandishing his AK-47s Congress leaders had chosen to look the other way and Rajiv Gandhi had issued his famous one liner – ‘he is a saint’. From Bhindrawale to Raj Thackeray and Black Widows, vote bank politics has proved more murderous than any war waged on us from outside.