Won't remain mute if insurgents disrupt rural council polls

Aizawl, 22 April (PTI): Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla today said the state government will not remain a mute spectator if insurgents try to disrupt the upcoming elections to the councils in 31 villages within the Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) area on May 19.

Addressing party workers at the political session in the Congress Bhavan here, Lal Thanhawla said if the Hmar insurgents wanted to hold talks, they should first show that they were "sincere".

The insurgents should shun extortion and other violent activities in order to create conducive atmosphere for talks," he said adding they should come out and contest the elections.

The Chief Minister's statement came after the central committee of the Young Mizo Association (YMA) on Wednesday met him and appealed to initiate peaceful negotiations with the Hmar People's Convention (Democratic) militants.

Earlier, state Home Minister R Lalzirliana set the pre-condition for talks that the HPC(D) cadres should first lay down arms and return all the arms snatched from the state police before beginning of the talks.

The HPC(D) has been demanding a separate autonomous district council comprising the SHDC area adjoining Manipur under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
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