DIPHU, Jan 2 � Uneasy calm is prevailing in the strife-torn Chokihola area within the Nilip Development Block since yesterday after the week-long dreadful pogrom carried out by the Karbi People�s Liberation Tigers (KPLT) militants since December 27 last year.
So far, nearly a hundred dwelling houses of the Rengma Naga people were razed to the ground within a close cluster of Rengma settlement located within Chokihola and Santipur police station areas. Militants backed by a horde of civilians, wrecked havoc in those centuries-old villages.
Night curfew remains clamped and security forces have taken position in a number of vulnerable areas, even as a number of antisocial elements arrested.
The Rengma Naga people of the locality largely depend on orange farming and paddy grown in the terrace of the hills, known locally as Rengma Hills. Most of the Rengmas, who embraced Christianity during the arrival of British and Jesuit missionaries in Northeast India, have maintained a peaceful and self-reliant lifestyle so long, even though deprived of basic facilities like road, communication, power, education, health, animal husbandry. The small community hardly bickers for anything. Moreover, they also do not have any political representation in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council since the last five years or so.
To reach the Rengma Naga settlement, one has to either track a long distance in hilly terrains or paddle upstream through the Koliani River in primitive bamboo rafts.
To vend their oranges produced in their orchards, these people travel a long distance in bamboo rafts to reach the nearest market where bulk procurers collect the garden fresh oranges at throwaway prices.
Till now, the so-called marketing wing of the Agriculture Department has not taken any step to regulate the selling of this produce and minimize exploitation of the growers.
The root cause of the sudden hostility between the Rengma Nagas and their century-old neighbours has not yet surfaced, even though government officials maintain that the reason could be the excessive illegitimate levy charged against the Rengma villagers by the KPLT outfit and the alleged harboring of an armed insurgent group by the Rengmas to counter the domination of the KPLT.