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Church leader to head Sinlung Hills Council

Mizoram

Church leader to head Sinlung Hills Council

Aizawl, July 10: The swearing-in ceremony of interim council of Sinlung Hills Council will be held here on Friday, officials sources said on Tuesday.

Aizawl district deputy commissioner Dr. A. Muthamma will administer an oath of affirmation to all the newly appointed members in a function to be held at the deputy commissioner’s office chamber here at 10 am, the sources said.

Former HPC (D) spokesperson Lathalien, a church leader from Imphal in Manipur will be sworn in as Chief Executive Member (CEM), while former HPC(D) working chairman Lalthanglien aka LT Hmar of Zohmun village will take oath as chairman and former deputy army chief of the Hmar militants Lalbieknung of Saiphai village will be sworn in as the deputy chairman of the interim council.

The Sinlung Hills Council was set up as per the accord signed by the Mizoram government and the erstwhile underground Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) on April 2 this year.

The Mizoram government on Monday issued a notification constituting a 12 member interim council of Sinlung Hills Council.

Of the 12 members, three belonged to the surrendered HPC (D) cadres and their leaders, while 9 members were civilians.

A notification issued by additional secretary in the state home department, Lalbiakzama, said the term of the interim council would be for six months, which come into immediate effect from Monday.

Four people – Lalthlamuana Hmar, Darliensang Ralsun, J C Zairemkunga and Melody Lalchhuangzeli, the daughter of the outfit’s ageing chairman H. Zosangbera were appointed as Executive Members (EMs)

Apart from them, Rohringa Hmar, Rinsanga Ralte, Benjamin, B. Lalthachhunga and Lalremruata Varte were appointed as members of the interim council. The government is yet to appoint 2 more members from its side.

Dissatisfied with the peace accord signed between the Mizoram government and the erstwhile Hmar People’s Convention (HPC) in July 1994, the HPC (D) took up arms in 1995 under the leadership of Lalhmingthang Sanate with operative in three states- Assam, Manipur and Mizoram. The group has been demanding autonomous district councils for the Hmar people in Assam and Mizoram under the sixth schedule to the constitution of India. However, the demand for ADC in Mizoram was dropped by the militants during the second round of talks held in 2016 as the government was not ready to accede to the militants demand citing technical problems and other hurdles. After Sanate was impeached, the HPC (D) split into two factions in 2011 one led by Sanate and the other faction by H. Zosangbera

The peace talks between the Mizoram government and H. Zosangbera led HPC (D) faction began in 2010 and ended in a deadlock over extension of period of suspension of operation (SoO) in 2013.

On 10 August, 2016, the peace talks was revived, which ultimately culminated into signing of peace accord on April 2 this year. The peace accord envisages according of more autonomy to the existing Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC), which was re-christened as Sinlung Hills Council.

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Mr. Khojol is a journalist based in Aizawl, Mizoram. He writes for various national and regional media houses. In his free time, he can be caught reading books and watching movies.

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