According to a senior official at the home department, the peace talks between the Mizoram govt and the Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) led by H. Zosangbera is likely to resume this month. However, the date for the next round of talks will be fixed after the meeting of the officials, as according to the Home Minister, R. Lalzirliana
The Mizoram govt and the HPC (D) have been holding the talks since August 2016 to find an amicable solution to the Hmar political imbroglio.
The last official-level talks held last year in September revolved around according autonomy to the existing Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) which would be re-christened Sinlung Hills Council (SHC). Also, both the sides also agreed in principle over the draft of the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) as well as the Sinlung Hills Council Bill.
Sources also revealed that some of the Hmar leaders had also visited the CM and some other ministers regarding the issue. The CM expressed an apology to the leaders for the delay of the next round of talks, owing to some inconveniences as he had passed the draft bill to his cabinet and a few party leaders for feedbacks. The CM expressed optimism regarding the settling of the Memorandum of Settlement soon.
Dissatisfied with the peace accord that was signed between the Mizoram govt and the erstwhile underground HPC in 1994, which resulted in the creation of the SHDC, the HPC (D) went underground again and since then had been demanding a separate autonomous district council in Mizoram by carving out the areas in the Northeastern part of the state adjoining Manipur. However, the demand for a separate autonomous council was dropped by the HPC (D) and the peace talks between the Mizoram govt and the militants revived in 2016, three years after it ended in a deadlock over extension of period of suspension of operation in 2013.
Both the sides so far has had held talks on five occasions. The first round of talks was held in Aizawl on August 10, 2016, which was followed by two more on October 5 and December 16 respectively.
During the December 16 talks, the militants surrendered arms and ammunition which it had taken from the Mizoram police. Also, the fourth and fifth round of talks was held on April 28 and September 21-22 respectively.