Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): Barely three months after launching an agitation against the opening of Vishal Mega Mart at Bawngkawn locality in Aizawl, Mizoram Merchant Association (MIMA) on Thursday said that it strongly opposed to the plan for opening another “non-Mizo run” mega shopping mall in Aizawl.
A statement issued by the merchant body said that some non-tribal traders backed by Mizos have been taking massive efforts to open Bazar India at K Biakchungnunga Building at Chaltlang locality in Aizawl.
MIMA said that the opening of Bazar India can be a big threat as it may lead to an economic assimilation of the Mizos.
In this connection, leaders of MIMA on Thrusday met Home Minister R Lalzirliana and asked the latter to intervene in the case.
They told the Home Minister that opening of Bazar India can pose a big threat to the Mizos as they are vulnerable to economic assimilation in the hands of non-tribal traders.
They also told the Home Minister that, they had already met K Biakchungnunga on two occasions and urged him not to go ahead with their plan.
MIMA leaders further asked the Home Minister not to issue a 2-year validity of Inner Line Permit (ILP) to non-tribals to run businesses in Mizoram unless such businesses are beyond the “capability of the natives”.
They also asked the Home Minister to send a team to Arunachal Pradesh to asses Trading Regulation Act enforced by Arunachal government.
Home Minister Lalzirliana on his part assured the MIMA leaders that he will take up the matter with the Home department officials.
Earlier in March this year, the executive members of Mizoram Merchant Association (MIMA) General Headquarters and MIMA affiliated member associations had staged sit-in-demonstration in front of LRM building at Bawngkawn in Aizawl, protesting against the opening of Vishal Mega Mart in Mizoram. They also closed all business establishments in Aizawl in protest against the opening of the retail shop.
MIMA had alleged that opening of vishal would open door for non-tribal to engage in trade and hence lead to social and economic assimilation of the Mizos.
They also alleged that although the opening of vishal might have little impact initially, in the long run it would open door for many companies run by non-Mizo to engage in trade in Mizoram and therefore the future of Mizo would be similar to those of Cachari, Tripuri, Khasi, Assamese, Manipuri and Nagas who have been economically assimilated by non-tribal in their own lands.
The apex student body in Mizoram, Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) also opposed to the opening of Vishal Mega Mart in Aizawl alleging that it was an attempt by non-tribal to run illegal trade in Mizoram.
However, despite stiff opposition from MIMA and the student body, people supported the opening of of Vishal Mega Mart which emboldened the owner to go ahead with their plan. Vishal opened its retailed shop in the later part of March and is now thronged by hundreds of customer every day.