Silchar, July 2: Non-Mizo tipper drivers in Mizoram have been threatened by the local organization ‘Mizo Tipper Drivers’ and Owners’ Association’ based at Aizawl not to run their tippers from July 1. Finding themselves in a precarious situation, they have to raise the ‘Forum for protection of non Mizo and commercial vehicle owners’ association’. This has been done to ensure protection of rights and dignity of non Mizo people residing in the state. The Forum in fact has been campaigning to voice public opinion in favour of their democratic and peaceful method of protest against the injustice being meted out to them.
Under the umbrella of the Forum, many social organizations, civil bodies, media-persons, intellectuals and prominent citizens drawn from different walks of life have combined together to stand by the side of non Mizo drivers in their distress, pointed out Shankar Dey, coordinator, Forum for the protection of non Mizos. Protests and resentment were also raised in the past against the harassment and oppression faced by the non Mizo residents in the state due mainly to chauvinistic and ethnic assertion of a section of local Mizo population. Dey added to say this has led to widespread dissatisfaction and disappointment among Mizo population.
Non-Mizos residing in Mizoram and also engaged in various business activities have always sought unity, cooperation and amity among all sections of people irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Shankar Dey further said no group or community can live in peace and harmony with different linguistic and ethnic groups if there is a discordant note. Mizo tipper drivers association, on the other hand, has resorted to a sort of blatant tactic to threaten individually and collectively the non Mizo tipper owners and pressuring them not to operate and press into service their tippers any more. They have even gone to the press with a public notice in the regard.
Mohibur Rahman Laskar, president, All Commercial Motor Drivers’ Association, has said non- Mizo vehicle owners have registered their tippers under the district transport office lawfully and plying them with permits granted to them on merit basis by the authority concerned for operating their vehicles. The owners, Laskar pointed out, has been put in a dilemma as they have purchased these tippers with bank loan which has to be repaid with interest. If they are not allowed to operate their vehicles, loans taken by them cannot be repaid.
This kind of attitude amounting to deprivation of the legitimate rights of non-Mizos to live and do business in Mizoram is nothing but a direct blow to the federal structure of the country and a challenge to the very concept of moving in any part of the country by any bona fide Indian citizen and his right to do business and other activities. The way a section of Mizos have taken law in their own hand to harass others cannot but be viewed seriously by any democratically elected government and its various agencies. The Forum submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar on Monday detailing the unpleasant happenings in Mizoram against non-Mizos and sought his intervention for taking up the matter with the authorities concerned at Aizawl. The Forum has at the same time cautioned this memorandum should be taken as an ultimatum and the harassment of non Mizos if not stopped immediately; it will have no other option than to take to harsher method of democratic movement.