A Special Correspondent
Silchar, April 3: The Mizoram Government and the Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) signed a peace pact on Monday evening in Aizawl. This was informed in an e-mail to The Sentinel by AL T Hmar, a leader of Hmar Students’ Union from Aizawl. In fact, the peace agreement has been hanging fire for the last 24 years. Moreover, the factiol feud has led to the dismemberment of HPC (D) into HPC (Chairman) and HPC (President) which has been at the root of sporadic violence. The recent incident of shooting down of a cadre identified as Norbert Sate of one faction has created lot of furore in the village of Hmarkhawlien.
Along with Hmar Students’ Union, different social organizations have been creating pressure on HPC (D) to end violence and agree to the peace agreement which became effective. It is expected that the pact will draw curtain not only on factiol conflicts but violence for all time to come. Lalbiakzama, Mizoram Additiol Home Secretary, said, “What we sign today is a declaration from the HPC (D) leaders before the people of Mizoram that they are ready to sacrifice their ideals for the sake of peace and that they don’t accept violence as the means of defending their ideas”.
The seven point memorandum of settlement agreed upon include giving administrative autonomy to the enhanced hills council within the frame work of the memorandum and the surrendered cadres would be granted amnesty. H Zosangbera, chairman of HPC (D), on behalf of his outfit and Arabinda Ray, Chief Secretary of Mizoram, on behalf of his government signed the agreement. H Zosangbera made a significant statement on the occasion when he said, “Nowhere have we seen a political dialogue between a government and an armed group without defining a proper ground rules and suspension of operation. This peace accord is an evidence and testimony of our shared interest and oneness.”
With this peace pact, Hmars expect the heralding of a new chapter where they can aspire to envision a new future together. It was a very emotiol moment because HPC (D) chairman is afflicted with cancer and despite his illness and weakness he could have the courage to be present at the venue of the great event. Lalrinmawia Ralte, political advisor of Chief Minister, said, “This is an epitome of a man who would do anything for peace.” He added to say both the parties should be vigilant to ensure the continuation of peace in the interest of all.
HPC (D) cadres will lay down their arms on April 4 and 5 at Mizoram Police’s Central Training Institute, Sesawng, 40 km from the capital. According to reliable information, as many as 48 arms including AK-47, M-16 rifles, 9mm pistols and several rounds of ammunitions would be surrendered by the HPC (D) cadres. The number of cadres is around 100. An important part of the agreement is that Sinlung Hills Development Council will be rechristened as the Sinlung Hills Council.