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Mizoram to hold talks with HPC-D

Saturday, January 14, 2012

/ Published by Simon L Infimate

Silchar : The Centre has asked Mizoram chief secretary Vanhela Pachuau to reopen peace negotiations with Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic).

Confirming the news, state home minister R. Lalzirliana told this correspondent today that he had earlier ruled out holding any peace dialogues with the HPC(D), which sprang up after the militant Hmar People’s Convention (HPC) reached a settlement with the state government in 1994, following which 375 of its cadres surrendered.

The Union home ministry’s instruction came recently, after the state government did not renew the six-month suspension of operations agreement with the HPC(D) clamped on November 11, 2010 on the plea that the rebels were insisting on the inclusion of an overseas Hmar tribal Christian missionary, Rochunga Pudaite, in their negotiating team.

Chief minister Lalthanhawla had resented the inclusion of Pudaite in the peace talks, saying that he was “foreigner” as he had already taken up US citizenship.

The state government has informed the Centre that it would adhere to its instructions and pursue peace talks with the Hmar rebels.

However, the chief minister has pointed out to the Union home ministry that the state would have to first ascertain with which HPC(D) faction it should have a dialogue.

The Centre had asked the outfit to surrender in the winter of 2010 before peace talks could be started with the Mizoram government.

The internecine feuds of HPC(D) has forced the state government to nurse doubts about a positive outcome even as it holds the fresh peace dialogues with the Hmar insurgents.

The HPC(D), according to the Central intelligence agencies in Aizawl and Haflong, are now a divided house with the present leadership split up in two camps.

While its founder president Lalhmingthanga Sanate is leading one faction, the other is led by John F. Hmar, an important member of the 12-member executive council of the undivided HPC.

The founder president of the outfit, Lalhmingthanga Sanate, was “impeached” by the executive council of HPC(D) on September 29 last year for signing a “deed of agreement” with the Kuki National Organisation, an outfit active in Manipur, Mizoram and Assam’s Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong districts, without its permission.

John F. Hmar, who was holding the powerful post of publicity secretary of the HPC(D), is now the chief of the rival faction of the outfit.

~The Telegraph

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