Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): The Hmar Students’ Association, General Headquarters has condemned the action of Mizoram Police officials posted at Vairengte check gate who demanded an Inner Line Permit from one of its top leaders – Lalringum Sanate.
“We are shocked and unable to comprehend why the police at the Vairengte Police Check Gate demanded an Inner Line Permit(ILP) from one ‘Zofate’ leader (Pu Lalringum) from Assam’s Hmarkhawlien village,” the student organisation said in a press statement yesterday.
The organisation said that on July 7, Lalringum and his friends were on their way to Kolasib’s Rengtekawn locality to attend a wedding. “As per procedure, they stopped at the Vairengte Police Check Gate for vehicle registration and their journey details. The police officials on duty not only abused and harassed them, but also told them that ‘Since you are not from Mizoram and without ILP, you cannot continue your journey into the state’,” the students body said in their statement.
Inner Line Permit was introduced by the British and it continues to be implemented in several North-East states even after independence. However, the ILP is meant for protection of indigenous tribals and their areas against encroachment by the plain people. Incidentally, Hmar is one of the main indigenous tribes in Mizoram.
The HSA also said that while Mizoram is considered by all ‘Zofate’ as “our Jerusalem”, the police action goes against the very idea of being a Mizo and “it is totally unacceptable”.
“The police on duty not only demanded ILP, but they also unleashed derogatory words against one (Mizo) tribe. We are hurt by the words used by the police officials. We felt that such words have no place and should never be used between Zo tribes.”
The student body reiterated that it condemned such kind of treatment from government officials.
“Could derail efforts to unify Zo tribes”
“While different organisations in and outside Zoram are trying to unite ‘Zofate’, we strongly condemned the action of the police officials on duty as their action can undo all such efforts. We feel that ILP is for safeguarding ‘Zofate’ and on this line, the HSA Sinlung Hills Joint Hqrs and HSA Kolasib Joint Hqrs have been using this provision to identify non-Mizos (read as vai) residing in Mizoram. We fail to understand why HSA leader should be asked to produce an ILP,” the statement added.
The HSA said that officials who demanded an IPL from any fellow ‘Zofa’ despite knowing the fact is “unfit” to be posted in border entry gate.
Call for action
“We demand strong action against those officials who were on duty the 7.7.2017 incident,” HSA said, adding that such kind of incidents should not be happen again between Zo tribes.
“If such incidents happen again and again, instead of Zofate being closer it could keep us farther from one another,” they said.
“We may be separated by mountains, valleys and state boundaries, but we should not forget that we are all from one family. Just because we speak one regional Zo language, we should not be looked or treated differently. When all Zo tribes are free to showcase their culture and use their regional languages, then only will Mizo as a nation grow in the right direction. This is our (HSA) view both from inside and outside Zoram (Mizoram),” said the statement issued by HSA General Headquarters Secretary (Info&Publicity) Oliver Sungrohlun.