A decade ago the enchanting hills of Dima Hasao in Assam, home to several tribal and ethnic groups, was a hotbed of insurgency unleashed by now disbanded militant outfit Dima Halam Doagah (DHD) and its ferocious ‘Black Widow’ group led by Jewel Garlosa and Niranjan Hojai. Their tyranny was such dodgy that Indian Railways had to use bullet-proof locomotives with the security forces guarding an entire train with heavy weapons like light machine guns (LMGs).Over the years, both Garlosa and Hojai have become militant-turned-politicians, and in the run up to the 2016 crucial Assam Assembly polls they are ‘kingmakers’ for both the ruling Congress and BJP.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In October last year, Hojai who had joined the BJP, masterminded a coup in Congress-led North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council and BJP came to power in the council which is infamous for a Rs 1,000 crore money laundering scam, in which the National Investigation Agency has charge sheeted Hojai along with 15 others for diverting government funds meant for the Council to the militant group. Hojai was then underground and the commander-in-chief of DHD’s Black widow faction led by Garlosa.Hojai is now chief administrator of the 30-member council.But on Tuesday, the ruling Congress ‘paid back’ the saffron party in its own coin when a 17-member delegation of elected members of the council led by former council chief Debojit Thousen, met Assam governor PB Acharya and requested for a special session of the council to move a ‘no confidence’ motion against Hojai. According to Congress sources, the latest coup was masterminded by Garlosa who has moved with majority of council members to the Congress on Tuesday from the saffron party waging a ”political war’ against Hojai, his long term comrade during their underground days.In fact both Hojai and Garlosa joined the BJP in October last year. Garlosa was, however, arrested within two days of joining BJP in connection with a 2008 murder case. He later got bail. He was involved in ‘parleys’ with the Congress for past one month, sources further added.While both the Congress and the BJP talks about ‘zero tolerance’ towards people with ‘terror’ background, the fact remains that in the 2016 Assam polls leaders of various militants groups who have now joined the ‘mainstream’ are key political henchmen.The BJP is all set to form an alliance with the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) that was once an ally of the ruling Congress in Assam and now rules the Bodoland Territorial Council. The Bodo Council chief Hagrama Mohilary is also a former top gun of the now disbanded Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) which has been responsible for widespread bloodshed in the restive Bodoland region of Assam, party sources informed dna.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Assam on January 19, and address a rally in Kokrajhar, the headquarters of Bodoland, and in all likelihood announce a special package for the region, a poll bonanza for which BJP believes other ethnic groups and their leader will follow suit.

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Militants-turned-politicians are kingmakers for BJP and Congress in Assam