Mizoram to continue peace talks with terror outfit
Aizawl, Sep 29 (IANS) The Mizoram government would continue to hold peace talks with the Manipur-based terror outfit — Hmar People’s Convention-Democratic (HPC-D) and the second round of the bi-partite talks is scheduled on October 5, an official said here on Thursday.
The first round of talks between the government and the HPC-D was held on August 10.
“We would continue to hold talks with the HPC-D. The second round of talks between the state officials and the representatives of the outfit would be held on October 5 in Aizawl,” Mizoram Home Department Additional Secretary Lalbiakzama said.
He said: “We are hopeful that a positive outcome might emerge out of the talks.”
The official, however, refused to divulge the issues discussed at the first round.
An official of the Mizoram Home Department told IANS that the HPC-D delegation did not include cadres of the extremist outfit but six human rights activists and civilians from Mizoram and Manipur.
The negotiations between the state government and the HPC-D reached a standoff in 2013 on the issue of extension of the period of suspension of operations.
A six-month ceasefire between the Mizoram government and the militant outfit expired on July 31, 2013.
After the talks broke down previously over suspension of operations against the terror group, a host of leaders of the outfit were arrested.
The Manipur based militant outfit of the Hmar tribals has been triggering intermittent violent activities in Mizoram since 1994 demanding a separate autonomous district council under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution by carving out areas adjoining southern Manipur, northern Mizoram and southern Assam.
On March 28, 2015, the HPC-D guerillas attcked a legislator’s convoy near Zokhawthlang village in north Mizoram, leaving three policemen dead and six others seriously wounded.
Mizoram is the first and only state in India which received Rs 182.45 crore from the central government in 2000-01 as “Peace Bonus” for keeping peace after decades of insurgency.
After Mizo National Front’s founder leader Laldenga, a former Indian Army official, became Chief Minister in 1986 when his group took to mainstream politics, peace and law and order had returned to the Christian-majority Mizoram.