IMPHAL, Sept. 3: Mizoram, a border state in the northeast is fast losing it reputation of being an island of peace in the turbulent region afflicted by the foreign trained insurgents. All these years this mountain state has been getting Rs 50 crore annually as peace bonus since the state and the centre do not have spend anything in the counter insurgency operations. However worried officials say that it may not last long. Angami Zapu Phizo of Khonoma village in what is today Nagaland was the first to take up arms soon after independence. Laldenga was the second person to take up arms in what is today Mizoram. After decades of bloodshed the people of Mizoram became fed up. They yearned for peace. Gauging the mood of the people, Laldenga, president of the Mizo National Front, came to the negotiating table and eventually signed the peace accord with the union government in 1986. Under the provisions of the accord Laldenga became the Chief Minister of Mizoram. The rank and file of the MNF were however not amused. Many of them were not covered by the rehabilitation packages and they continued to grumble. Besides there were some other tribes and underground groups which were not covered by the accord. Hmar People’s Convention and some other denominations continued with their movement although at low gear. Taking advantage of the geographical proximity and tribe affiliations many of them were believed to have come to Churachandpur district of Manipur where they made their presence felt. One militant group hacked to death a prominent politician who had been Minister for a long time. A visit to Mizoram by a person from Manipur which is floundering in insurgency related violence is quite an experience. Heavily armed police, paramilitary and army personnel are conspicuous by their absence from many parts of Aizwl, the state capital. Insurgents from other NE states were quick to realise that absence of the fighting forces meant that it was a safe haven for them. Intelligence sources said that many overground leaders came and stayed in some towns of the state. Besides some armed cadres were ensconced in the mountains and rain forests. Their presence was no longer a secret. Some years back the Mizoram government announced that the insurgents from other states should leave the state soon failing which search and destroy operations would be launched. However indications are that this grim warning fell on deaf ears. Insurgents of other states were using the border with Tripura to go to their sanctuaries in Bangladesh. However at one instance a large number of insurgents were returning to Manipur via Mizoram. Many of them were killed when army intercepted them in the mountains of Mizoram. There have been disturbing reports of late. A huge cache of guns and ammunition was seized. Money for buying guns from the international gun runners was confiscated. Some modified guns of AK series were also recovered. These are indicative of the fact that some insurgent groups from other NE states are taking shelter there. Besides some underground groups of the state itself might have started flexing muscles. The policy of the established underground organisations in the NE region is to keep the entire region burning.
Peaceful atmosphere distracted in Mizoram