Following signing of the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) with the Mizoram Government on 2 April, the cadres of the Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) have arrived at Sesawng village, about 39 km from Aizawl on Saturday for the “home coming ceremony” where over 100 armed cadres will lay down their arms. The ceremony will be held on 12 April at Central Training Institute (CTI), Mizoram Home Guard headquarters at Sesawng village, about 39 km from Aizawl.
Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla and Home minister R. Lalzirliana are expected to grace the historic occasion along with prominent Hmar community leaders from Mizoram and outside.
Upon their arrival at Sakawrdai village, the proposed headquarters for Sinlung Hills Council (SHC), HPC(D) cadres were accorded warm public reception on 7 April. Thereafter the cadres were shifted to Sesawng village.
The Mizoram government and HPC (D) faction led by H. Zosangbera signed peace accord on 2 April to end three-decade old Hmar insurgency for constitutional autonomy.
The MoS stipulates that the existing Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) will be renamed as Sinlung Hills Council (SHC) by an act of state legislature and given more autonomy. The SHC shall consist of 14 members to be headed by the Chief Executive Member (CEM). The Mizoram government would grant amnesty to all the HPC(D) cadres having criminal cases in the state and will take step for relief and rehabilitation for all the cadres.
This is the second time the Hmar underground rebels have laid down their arms to join the mainstream. The first was in 1994 when cadres of the Hmar People’s Convention (HPC) surrendered following MoS signed in Aizawl on 27 July 1994 which provided for creation of the Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC). But a section of the HPC leadership had rejected the MoS and formed the HPC (Democratic) to wage arm struggle for a Hmar Autonomous District Council under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. The peace negotiations started with the Mizoram government in 2010 culminating in the peace agreement signed on 2 April.