The HPC-D has been demanding a separate autonomous district council under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution for Hmar-inhabited areas in Mizoram adjoining Manipur.
The talks held in Aizawl's Chaltlang locality ended inconclusively. The joint secretary of the state home department, Lalbiakzama, told reporters the talks were held in a suitable atmosphere. However, the HPC-D delegation reportedly wanted to be assured of the government's sincerity before extending the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement for another six months.
"Both the sides agreed that the issue of extension of the SoS would be taken up after holding consultations with the higher authorities," Lalbiakzama said.
The agreement, which was signed on January 31, will expire on July 31 and the HPC-D representatives insisted that they wanted the government to resume negotiations while there were 13 days still left, one of the HPC delegates said.
The six-member Mizoram government team was led by Lalbiakzama, while the eight-member HPC-D delegation was headed by L T Hmar, 'working president' of the outfit. Though the two sides signed the SoO on November 11 2010, the parleys fizzled out after differences between the two parties led to the arrest of three top leaders of the outfit in 2012.
Sources in the HPC-D said they suspected the government wanted the talks to drag on till the Assembly polls, likely to be held in November, to ensure that the Hmar community would support the ruling Congress.
"We want peace and solution to the Hmar problem, but we would not allow any political party to take any advantage," one of the delegates said.