Mizo youth group bats for talks with militants

Aizawl, April 20 (IANS) The Young Mizo Association (YMA), the most influential youth organisation in the northeastern state of Mizoram, on Wednesday urged Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla to initiate peace talks with the militants.

The YMA also urged him to enact a strict law to deal with the drug menace in the state bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh.

“Central leaders of YMA met the chief minister and urged him to initiate peace talks with the underground Hmar People’s Convention-Democratic (HPC-D) to bring long-lasting peace in the state,” a YMA statement said.

“The YMA leaders also asked the chief minister to enact a stringent law to deal with the hazardous activities of drugs in the state. Smuggling of drugs from across the border must be stoped at any cost.”

Sophisticated arms, ammunition and drugs are allegedly being smuggled from adjoining Myanmar and a racket comprising local and foreign citizens are involved.

Manipur-based HPC-D, which is demanding a separate autonomous district council in the state for Hmar tribals under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, has been involved in violent activities since 1997.

Mizoram was the first and the only state in India to get Rs.182.45 crore from the central government in 2000-01 as “peace bonus” for maintaining peace after decades of insurgency.

However, on March 28 last year, the HPC-D ambushed a police party in Mizoram, and killed three policemen and seriously wounded six others.

The attack forced Mizoram to approach the union home ministry to ban the HPC-D.

It also sought that the area where Hmar tribals are concentrated be declared a disturbed area under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

Mizoram became a peaceful state after the 1986 tripartite accord ended two decades of militancy by the Mizo National Front (MNF).

–IANS

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