Sinlung /
17 June 2013

Unrest Among Ex-Mizo Militia Over Non-Fulfilment Of Promises

By Sandeep Joshi

Aizawl, Jun 17 : It has been over 25 years since the Mizoram Accord was signed between the Centre and the Mizo National Front (MNF) to bring peace to Mizoram.

But growing disenchantment among the people of the north-eastern State with New Delhi is threatening the fragile peace.

What is alarming is the growing bitterness among the ex-militia, who used to be associated with the MNF’s armed wing, over the non-fulfilment of promises made by the government that could force them to pick up arms again.

“Even today at least two of the promises made by the Centre in 1986 are yet to be fulfilled. We are still to see criminal cases against three of our former colleagues dropped, while the desire of the people of Mizoram to have their own High Court seems to be a distant dream.

Similarly, the demand for compensation to two women who were raped by Army personnel in 1966 is yet to be fulfilled,” K. Lalnuntluanga, ex-Mizo National Army Association General Secretary, told The Hindu.

The Centre’s apathy towards the Mizo people and their problems can be gauged from the very fact that three top functionaries of the Association, despite camping for almost two weeks in Delhi last month, they could not meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

“People of Mizoram, particularly the youth, are getting frustrated with false promises and assurances by the successive governments,” said Mr. Lalnuntluanga.

Former members of the Mizo National Army who took part in the underground movement are angry over the non-withdrawal of cases against their former colleagues.

“The Union government had promised that no member of the MNF coming over ground would be prosecuted for offences committed in connection with and during the period of underground activities. But today also they are harassed by police.

There are at least three former MNA members who face criminal cases … one of them, Lalzarliana, has become mentally sick due to the constant burden of court cases and fear of police arrest,” claimed C. Zama, treasurer of the Association, which has around 4,000 members.

Long wait for justice

Another issue for the Mizo people is the long wait for justice and compensation for two women who suffered torture and mass rape by Indian Army personnel on November 30, 1966.

“From that time onwards, these two rape victims are mentally unstable and are looked after by their family members. Neither has any humanitarian effort been made to rehabilitate them nor has any compensation been provided to help them live a dignified life,” said Mr. Zama.

But what is more worrying is the willingness among the ex-MNA cadres to launch a violent movement to press for their demands, and their talks of joining hands with militants fighting in Nagaland and Assam.

“Unrest is simmering not only among disgruntled youths, but also among former cadres who again want to go underground … anyone from across the border can cash in on this negative sentiment.

The fate of the over two-decade old Mizo Accord is in limbo … we will have to convey our sentiments and the treatment meted to us by the government to the armed groups in Nagaland and Assam. The future ahead seems to be dark for us,” Mr. Lalnuntluanga added.


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