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Solve Hmar problem: MHA to Mizoram

Saturday, January 7, 2012

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
AIZAWL: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has urged the Mizoram government to resume talks with the Manipur-based insurgent group, Hmar People's Convention-Democrats (HPC-D), to find peaceful solution to the vexed Hmar problems.

The MHA sent a letter to the Mizoram chief secretary Van Hela Pachuau on December 22, 2011 instructing the state government to make expeditious arrangements and work out modalities for resumption of talks. "I have received a letter from the MHA but the state government is yet to take a decision on the matter," Pachuau said.

The HPC-D and the ruling Congress government led by chief minister Lal Thanhawla began negotiations on November 11, 2010. The bilateral Suspension of Operations (SoO) was also signed between the two parties on the same day with an agreement to continue the parley for the next six months.

The peace talks were abandoned when the state government sent a letter to the HPC-D leadership on December 22, 2010, saying that it would not accept 'foreigners' as members of the HPC-D delegation for the peace parley and the next date scheduled for the talks, January 14, 2011 was deferred.

The HPC-D denied that their delegation team included a foreigner and the war of words continued between the two sides with both the parties drifting further away from the negotiating table.

The chief minister, during a discussion on the issue during question hour, said his government did not have any intention of renewing the SoO signed between the state government and HPC-D on November 11, 2010 as the outfit and other groups in Manipur had already signed the SoO with the Centre.

He brought an end to the peace talks when he accused some of the cadres of the HPC-D of not following the conditions laid down in the Suspension of Operations (SoO) signed between the Centre and the outfit earlier and of indulging in illegal activities. He notified the Ministry of Home Affairs about the matter so that it could take appropriate actions.

"While they (HPC-D) had agreed to deposit their arms in designated camps, some of them are still indulging in illegal activities outside their designated camps and we have no choice but to report the matter to the MHA," he said.

An intelligence source said while the Hmar delegation for the peace talks seemed to be dedicated to finding a lasting solution for the Hmar problem, the HPC-D leadership lacked the capability and ingenuity to continue the peace process with the Mizoram government.

The HPC-D founder-president Lalhmingthanga Sanate was recently ousted by the outfit for 'indulging in anti-party activities'. According to the intelligence source, Sanate was ousted for abandoning the cause of the Hmars by indulging in religious fanaticism and becoming a Christian preacher in Assam rather than a guerilla leader.

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