Mizoram-Hmar Rebels To Talk in December

Hmar rebels in MizoramJoint monitoring group to oversee ceasefire rules

Aizawl, Nov 16 : The first formal peace talks between the Mizoram government and the Hmar People’s Conference (Democratic) rebels are likely to be held next month before Christmas.

The Mizoram government yesterday announced the suspension of operations against the dreaded outfit to give shape to the terms of the ceasefire signed on November 11 at Baungkawng in Aizawl.

The ceasefire was signed between Lalmalsawma, the home commissioner of Mizoram’s Congress government, and Lalropui, the chief of the army of the outfit.

Both sides said they would adhere to the ceasefire rules to “ensure the peace dialogues in the common interests of finding a solution to the Hmar issue”. This is the second time that the Mizoram government has signed a ceasefire with the Hmar rebels in 16 years.

In 1994, the Congress government in Mizoram had signed a ceasefire agreement with the first rebel outfit, the Hmar People’s Conference (HPC), which was led by Hmmingchhungnung. Around 375 cadres of the outfit surrendered to the authorities the same year in Aizawl.

The HPC (D) is a breakaway faction of the Hmar People’s Conference. It came to the fore in 1998 under the leadership of Lalhmingthanga.

The HPC (D) had rubbished the agreement between the Mizoram government as “blank and fruitless”.

The government and the outfit agreed to constitute a joint monitoring group to oversee the rules of the ceasefire.The outfit is an intra-state gang of rebels, which operates in Mizoram, Assam’s Cachar and North Cachar districts, Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya.

The HPC (D) has staged ambushes on the police and security forces in Mizoram, Assam and Manipur during the past few years.

It has also been involved in kidnappings and extortions.

Intelligence sources in the Union home ministry said the outfit has nearly a 100 cadres, trained in the use of sophisticated firearms by the NSCN (I-M) in Dimapur.

The outfit’s main demand is the carving out of Hmar-inhabited lands under Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Assam and to bring these under the separate Hmar district council area according to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

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