They slammed the state government for failing to hold elections for the Sinlung Hills Development Council for the past 18 years, though the guidelines for the council had been notified on September 10, 2008, in the Mizoram Gazette.
The development comes after the state government’s decision to start negotiations with the armed HPC-Democratic (HPC-D) on December 13. Its chairman, Zosangbera, is in an Aizawl jail since July.
The chairman of the HPC Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) Implementation Demand Committee, S. Khuma, told The Telegraph today that the panel was set up last July to push for implementation of the accord. However, 18 years have passed without the memorandum being implemented, except for the setting up of the Sinlung Hills Development Council office.
“People have nothing to do with the present council, as the chairman is appointed by the state government and no elections have ever been held.”
“We want the area to be declared under the Sixth Schedule according to paragraph 6.1 of the MoS, and the area demarcated,” said Khuma, adding that the committee was scheduled to visit New Delhi to take up the issue directly with the Centre.
He said they had written memorandums to the chief minister, home minister and the governor of the state but no reply had been received. The attempts to meet the political leaders of the state have failed so far, he said.
“The government simply appoints their own man as chairman, and this is why we demand elections for the council,” James Hrangchal, secretary of the committee, told The Telegraph.
He said the party in power had lured the HPC leaders, by offering them the chairmanship of the council.
The committee has also called a meeting of the factional leaders —Rosiama and Thanglianchhunga — to iron out disagreements.
The adviser to the committee, J. Laldinliana, a founder of the HPC, said they had taken this step as, “neither the HPC nor the SHDC seemed interested in getting things done”.
On the armed HPC (D), which is also fighting for the same cause, Hrangchal said, “It is true that we all want the same thing, but our difference is that when we signed the MoS we gave up violence and opted for the peaceful democratic way of getting our rights.”
They also plan to meet the “Scheduled Tribes of the southern autonomous councils to chalk out a joint future strategy,” they said.
The HPC is registered political party. The HPC (D) split from the HPC in 1986 over slow implementation of the accord.