DIPHU, Oct 20 - Glowing tributes were paid recently to the 41 people killed, including women and children, in a ghastly militant attack at Charchim village of West Karbi Anglong in 2005. The day is observed as National Mourning Day in Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong on October 17. The massacre was carried out on a passengers bus at Charchim village located between Kheroni and Jirikindeng in West Karbi Anglong district on October 16, 2005. Taking advantage of infamous Karbi-Dimasa clashes which had erupted in 2005, a group of militants belonging to DHD (J) faction armed with sophisticated weapons swooped down on the village from the adjacent forested area of Dima Hasao district after crossing Kopili River to carry out the massacre in Charchim and Prisek villages.
Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council�s Chief Executive Member Tuliram Ronghang in the presence of Member of Parliament Horensing Bey attended the solemn ceremony. One individual representing each of the five Karbi clans laid a wreath at the memorial column and lit lamps.
Chief Executive Member Ronghang announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for the surviving members of each victim family as one-time financial assistance. He also announced Rs 1 crore package for construction of a prayer hall and to allot 100 bighas of District Council Reserve Forest land for shaping a memorial park. He hinted that October 17 will be declared as public holiday from the next calendar year. Member of Parliament Horensing Bey in his speech called for peace and brotherhood between different communities of the three autonomous hill districts of Assam. �People of the three hill districts must unite to take the message of peace to others�.
It may be mentioned that the militants had seized two Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council buses that were coming down from the heights of Jirikindeng near Charchim village. The passengers, including the handyman were hit with sharp weapons. The militants later torched one of the buses after the butchery. The militant group later attacked Charchim, Prisek, Jirikindeng, Taseng, Mokindar, Rongchejeng, Sarucha, Jinjan and Phanglangso villages, houses were torched, indiscriminate killing and other atrocities went on for hours. Hundreds of villagers were rounded up and driven deep inside the forests.