*YMA, MZP, political parties mum
*CM earlier this year called for unification of Mizos/Zo tribes; police action doesn’t reflect his government stand
Aizawl/Vairengte (zoramobserver.com): Stating that “ILP is to be implemented in order to protect of our (Zo) community” from bigger and developed communities (read as vai and other plain communities), the Zo Reunification Organisation(ZoRO) General Headquarters said yesterday that “the July 7, 2017 ILP incident at Vairengte Police Check Gate has hurt the sentiments of Zofate and we hope such thing should not happen in the future”.
On July 7, 2017, a Hmar Students’ Association leader from Assam, Pu Lalringum Sanate, was allegedly told by the constables on duty that “since you don’t have an ILP and you are an outsider, you can’t enter Mizoram”. He was also allegedly harassed with “insensitive” words like “You are not real Mizo”, prompting an official condemnation from the students’ organisation. He was, however, allowed to proceed for his friend’s wedding in Kolasib after displaying his service ID. Incidentally, Hmar is considered as one of the major Zo/Mizo tribes – both in Mizoram and several Northeast states.
“ILP should not hurt Zofate”
“ILP is not a tool for hurting and discriminating Zofate (Zo descendants) sentiments who live outside Mizoram. It is for protection of Zo nation. We strongly feel that ILP is for protection of Zo nation from ‘bigger and highly developed communities’ so that Zofate may not be subjugated,” ZoRO said in a statement released from Aizawl.
ZoRO, which has been working relentlessly for years to unify and foster brotherhood among the different Zo tribes, said that ILP was implemented for many years without hurting the sentiments of Zofate. “This shows there appears to be an accepted norm of ILP implementation for all those years. This incident appears to be a direct result of the present day (political) atmosphere and as such, while we feel ILP should be implemented in a way that will not alienate and hurt Zofate sentiments. We want status quo as far as ILP implementation is concerned,” ZoRO said.
The organisation also said that it was “unbecoming” of a Mizoram policemen to act in a way that hurt Zofate sentiments. “As per the press release (of HSA) and the claims made in it, we share the views of Hmar Students Association (HSA) in condemning the insensitive words used by some policemen. We hope that the higher authorities will pursue the matter (in order to end the controversy),” ZoRO said.
Meanwhile, there is no official statement regarding the Vairengte ILP issue from the Young Mizo Association and the Mizo Zirlai Pawl – both considered parental civil societies in Mizoram.
And the politicians and political parties also remained silent.
Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on Unification of Zo/Mizo tribes
However, earlier this year, on February 1, during an event to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Chin-Lushai Conference in Kolasib, Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla had expressed his hope that ethnic Mizos/Zo tribes living in different states in the country and in contiguous parts of Myanmar and Bangladesh would one day “reunite under a single administrative unit”. The Vairengte ILP incident, however, appears to be just the opposite of the government stand since, not one, but many organisations like the Lai Students Association, Pang Zirlai Pawl, Mizoram Bawm Students Association, Siamsinpawlpi and Mara Students Organisation have condemned the police action.
Lal Thanhawla had said that cultural and emotional integration of all ‘Zo’ ethnic groups would help in the “reunification process”. During the same event former chief minister and Mizo National Front chief Zoramthanga call upon the Zo people to “accept each other”. The function was organised by Zo Reunification Organisation (ZoRO).