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HPC-D signs pact with govt

Aizawl, Jan. 31: After more than three years of bad blood between the Mizoram government and the Hmar People’s Convention (Democrat), the outfit finally signed a suspension of operation (SoO) pact here today.

The talks are a follow-up of a meeting held in December at Silchar. The last agreement signed on November 11, 2010, soon came a cropper after bickering broke out between them.

This agreement will be effective for six months initially and will be extended after that by mutual agreement. Under this agreement, HPC(D) cadres can move anywhere in the state without army fatigues, arms and explosives.

Joint secretary, home, Lalbiakzama, represented the Mizoram government while the HPC (D) delegation was led by publicity secretaries of the outfit, Lalbeiseia and Hrangneihkung, besides the outfit’s two civilian adviser-consultations, Lalthanliana and Francis Songate.

The government of Mizoram will not launch any operation against the outfit and will not arrest its cadres or leaders so long as they follow the ground rules. The HPC(D) militants will desist from violent activities which include extortion and intimidation. They will have to avoid doing anything that could spoil the peaceful atmosphere before the byelection to the Chalfilh constituency.

The pact was signed after hours of negotiations held here in which both sides agreed that the negative vibes between the two sides need to be brought to an end before it draws the whole state into a nasty imbroglio.

A joint committee was set up to monitor the pact with a superintendent of police (CID) as the chairman and three members from the two sides.

The next meeting of the monitoring committee will be held after February 23 byelection.

The outcome of these talks came as a relief for people residing in areas claimed to be dominated by the HPC(D) as they have lived in the shadow of the gun for too long.

Inhabitants of these area could not exercise their right to franchise for their village councils in 15 villages as the outfit had warned against participating in the process last year.