Aizawl: At least 144 Mizo heroes belonging to the erstwhile underground Mizo National Front (MNF), who walked to China from Myanmar’s Arakan state during the insurgency, were honoured at ‘Meet the Heroes: Peace Pays’ conference in Aizawl on Thursday.
The event organised jointly by ministry of tribal affairs, Mizoram tourism department and North Eastern Council (NEC) was an attempt to promote the historic Mizo peace accord signed between the MNF and India in June 1986.
Chief minister Zoramthanga who graced the event as chief guest, recollected the ‘freedom struggle’ by MNF from India. He expressed hope that the event will bring consciousness among the Mizos to love their land and educate them about important event in Mizo history.
The chief minister also released two books titled ‘The Valarous Walk to China’ and ‘Expedition to China’ on the occasion.
Tourism minister Robert Romawia Royte, who chaired the conference, said the event was an attempt to promote the Mizo peace accord for tourist attraction and to popularise the Mizo heroes among the young generations.
During the conference, 144 member of China delegation, including 77 survivors were honoured for their heroism.
The MNF, which fought independence from India, had sent two expeditions to China to collect arms and ammunition during the secessionist movement. The expedition team walked to China from Arakan and returned to their camps in Burma on foot with arms. The event was attended by ministers, legislators, officials and party workers.
The MNF launched a secessionist movement to protest against the negligence and indifference of the Centre to the people of Mizoram at the time of a severe “mautam [famine]” in the late 1950s, which pushed Mizoram into unrest for about 20 years. Mizoram was a part of Assam until 1972, when it was carved out as a Union Territory.
On June 30, 1986, the MNF and union of India singed an accord, ending two decades of insurgency. After the accord, Mizoram became the 23rd Indian state on February 20, 1987.