Haflong, February 10, 2020:
The All Dimasa Students' Union (ADSA) President Uttam Langthasa fears that the tribal Dimasa community's unemployment woes will be compounded due to the Government's amendment of the Citizenship Act (or CAA).
Talking to Inside Northeast, the student leader opined that the woes of the Dimasa community will be compounded because of the after-effects of the CAA as there is a great possibility of foreigners trickling in from neighboring districts to settle in the region. "There are only 2.5 lakh people in Dima Hasao district...over 50% of them are Dimasas. I believe the demography could be altered if outsiders will come in. Laws have hardly dissuaded refugees and foreigners from settling here..", he said.
The student leader further lamented that many Dimasas are suffering from unemployment due to lack of proper employment facilities, despite the Dimasa tribe being accorded ST status. "We have several youths here (in Dima Hasao) who are educated yet unemployed. They are earning their livelihood by driving auto-rickshaws. Some are employed as farmers. We fear that because of the CAA, these youths will be further imperiled as we are likely to see an influx of foreigners."
Opining that the granting of 6th Schedule status has still not resolved the refugee problem in the district, Langthasa told us that the refugees are still enjoying all rights that the locals are being availed by virtue of Government schemes.
Reiterating the demand for ILP in Assam, Langthasa said that not only Dima Hasao district, but the whole of Assam must be put under the ILP regime. "Look, if only Dima Hasao is given ILP, people from adjacent areas are likely to enter Dima Hasao. However, if the regime is extended to all of Assam, we will have a better chance of survival. Thus, we want the ILP regime to be extended across Assam.."
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