Saikawt (zoramobserver.com): Hmar People’s Convention (D) ‘army chief’ Lalropui Famhoite died last night at 11 pm due to BP stroke at a hospital in Imphal.
He was 53. He is survived by a wife and two children.
Lalropui was also ‘chairman’ of United Peoples’ Front (UPF) – the joint forum of Zo ethnic militant organisations in Manipur.
Lalropui’s faction of the HPC(D) had signed a peace accord with Mizoram last month on Easter Monday in Aizawl. The peace deal was followed by the arms laying down ceremony during which over 100 militants took part in the event.
Lalropui’s mortal remains were laid to rest today at Saikawt village in Manipur’s Churachandpur District.
The former Bible student joined Hmar People’s Convention (HPC) – the first Hmar rebel outfit from Mizoram – in the early 1990s as a result of the persecution of Hmar civilians in Churachandpur area by members of the ‘rogue’ Mizoram Armed Police led by Lalchung.
Mizoram Home Minister’s Message
Mizoram Home Minister R Lalzirliana issued a statement condoling the “untimely death” of “a Hmar leader”.
“I am glad that he was able to witness the peace process between Mizoram government and HPC(D). However, I am saddened to say that he could not be a witness to the final terms (of the peace deal to be passed in the State Assembly in June). I also personally mourned his death,” Lalzirliana said.
Condolence messages also poured in from many tribal groups. The Kuki National Front as a sign of respect gave a gun salute at their designated camp. The Kuki National Organisation said it “extends the deepest sympathy to the bereaved family members and members of the organisation with whom Pu Puia was associated.” The Zomi Re-unification Organisation remembers the Hmar leader as a “man of integrity who remains true to his commitment to the cause of Zo people, even under the most trying circumstances in the past.”
“During his active service for the nation, he strives for our collective political survival, keeping aside the minor differences we have amongst the different Zo communities,” ZRO president Thanglianpau said in a statement.
Condolence services were held across Hmar inhabited areas in Mizoram and Manipur today. In Mizoram, the main event was held at Aizawl and at Sakawrdai. A public holiday was declared in Hmar Hills (Hmarbiel and Vangai Range) of Pherzawl District and schools also shut their gates as a “mark of respect for the departed leader.”
BRIEF PROFILE OF LALROPUI FAMHOITE
Date of Birth: September 23, 1965
Birth Place: Rangiya, Assam.
Father’s Name: (L) Ex-Hav L Rimawi (Assam Regiment)
1988: Studies Bible at CBS, Calcutta
1989: Continues Bible studies at Trivandrum Bible College
1990: Joins HPC led by Hmingchunghnung
1996: Forms HPC-D with Lalhmingthang Sanate as President while becoming the outfit’s ‘Army Chief’.
1997: HPC-D leadership sends him to Bangladesh for training.
2011-2013: Elected Vice-Chairman of United Peoples’ Front.
2012: Arrested at Silchar Airport by Mizoram Police.
2013: Released from Mizoram jail.
2014-2016: Elected as UPF Finance Secretary.
2015: Arrested again by Mizoram Police.
2016: Released again from Mizoram jail.
2017: Elected UPF chairman.
April 13, 2018: Signs peace accord with Mizoram Government.
May 21, 2018: Passes away at Imphal.
May 22, 2018: Laid to rest at Saikawt village, Manipur.