Source: The Statesman
The Mizoram government has initiated peace talks with Manipur-based terror outfit Hmar People’s Convention – Democratic to find a solution of the outfit’s demand for an autonomous council.
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.
Officials of the Mizoram government and the representatives of HPC-D held talks here on Wednesday.
“We have held the first round of talks on Wednesday and the second round of talks would be held in September. We are hopeful that a positive outcome would be emerged out of the talks,” Mizoram Home Department Additional Secretary Lalbiakzama, who led the government official delegation, said on Thursday.
The official refused to divulge the issues discussed in the meeting.
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 right activists and civilians from Mizoram and Manipur.
The negotiations between the state government and the HPC-D reached an impasse 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.
The state government held inconclusive talks with the outfit on August 14, 2013, to extend the period of ceasefire.
After the talks broke down over suspension of operations against the terror group, a host of leaders of the outfit were arrested.
On March 28, 2015, the HPC-D guerillas ambushed 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.
As Mizo National Front’s founder leader Laldenga, a former Indian Army official, became Chief Minister in 1986 after his group took to mainstream politics, peace and law and order returned to the Christian-majority Mizoram.