Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): The Guwahati High Court has asked Mizoram government led by Chief Minister lal Thanhawla to implement promises made in the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) with the erstwhile Hmar people’s Convention (HPC) rebels in 1994.
Delivering the much-awaited verdict, Guahati High Court, Aizawl bench judge Michael Zothankhuma on September 4 directed the state government to implement clause 5.1 and 5.3 of the MoS within one year.
Clause 5.1 of the MoS states that “With a view to satisfying the desires and aspiration of Hmar community in Mizoram, the state government will initiate measures for use of Hmar language as a medium of instruction up to Primary level and recognition of the Hmar language as one of the major languages of the state of Mizoram.”
While clause 5.3 states that a new civil sub-divison will be opened at Sakawrdai, headquarters of Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) in north Mizoram adjoining Manipur and sub-divisional offices of difference departments will also be established at convenient location in the area. The Primary Health Centre at Sakawrdai will also be upgrade to 30 bedded Community Health Centre.
“In view of the submission made by the government advocate Samuel Vanlalhriata Chhangte, the court directs the state respondents to comply with clause 5.1 and 5.3 of the MoS. The state respondents will act upon the above two clauses at the earliest and preferably within a period of one year from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order,” the court’s order stated.
Meanwhile, state respondent Chhangte informed the high court that the meeting of council of minister held on 18 August has approved the Mizoram (Election to SHDC) Rules, 2017. He also said that new civil sub division has already been opened in 1999 and that Primary Health Centre at Sakawrdai has also been upgraded to 30 bedded Community Health Centre.
The respondent informed the high court that a survey has to be conducted and things have to be done systemically for implementation of clause 5.1 of the MoS. He further said that opening of other sub-divisional offices of different departments can be done depending on the need-base of the area and depending upon finance of the state.
It may be mentioned here that the Sakawrdai based Sinlung Hills Accord Implementation Demand Committee (SHAIDC) filed a writ petition at Guwahati High Court, Aizawl bench on 25 May, 2016 asking the government to implement the HPC peace accord.
The demand committee alleged that the government refused into implement the HPC peace accord even 22 years after the signing of the peace accord on 27 July, 1994 and said that the government was playing red-tapism to resolve the Hmar political imbroglio.
The committee also claimed that implementation of the peace accord is eminently important for political safeguard and economic development of the Zo communities of SHDC .
After six years of insurgency demanding the creation of autonomous district in the Hmar dominated area of north Mizoram, the HPC signed peace accord with the Government of Mizoram on July 27, 1994 which resulted in the creation of SHDC on May 8, 1997.
Meanwhile, Mizoram government is holding parleys with H. Zosangbera faction of Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) to find amicable solution to the vexed Hmar political problems and the next round of peace talks is scheduled to be held in the third week of this September.