Hmar People's Convention- Democracy
Hmar People's Convention- Democracy (HPC-D) is an offshoot of the Hmar People's Convention (HPC), which came into existence in 1986, as a political party spearheading a movement for self-government in the north and northeast of Mizoram. The Hmars, who according to the 1991 census, were 12,535 in number in Mizoram, were disappointed with the contents of the Mizo Peace Accord of 1986, which failed to address their demand of a 'Greater Mizoram' integrating all areas inhabited by Hmars in Mizoram, Assam and Manipur under a single administrative unit. Since April 1987, the HPC waged an armed struggle for autonomy, which touched extreme levels of violence towards 1991. Hmar cadres abducted tea executives and triggered off a spate of extortions in the Hmar inhabited areas of the States of Mizoram, Assam and Manipur.
In 1992, HPC representatives and the Government of Mizoram mutually agreed to hold ministerial level talks. Consequent to nine rounds of such talks, a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) was signed at the Mizoram capital Aizawl on July 27, 1994, for establishing the 'Sinlung Development Council' and subsequently, 308 HPC militants surrendered along with their arms.
However, dissatisfied with the implementation process, a section of the cadres parted ways with the over ground HPC and formed the HPC-D in 1995.
The purported objective of the outfit over the years has changed from an autonomous district covering the north and northeast Mizoram to an independent Hmar State (Hmar ram) consisting of the Hmar inhabited areas of Mizoram, Manipur and Assam.
outfit's 'commander-in-chief' is Lalrupui. Its military wing is headed
by Laltuolien Hmar. While Lalbieknunga functions as its 'deputy commander-in-chief',
Lalrawngbawl Pulamte is the 'information and publicity secretary' of
the outfit. The cadre strength of the outfit is estimated to be between
100 and 150.
Areas of Operation
The outfit is active primarily in Mizoram; the Hmar inhabited areas of Churachandpur district in Manipur, and the Cachar (with base camps in the Bhuban hill range) and North Cachar Hills districts of Assam.
Often, the outfit has used the Bhuban hill range in Cachar district and the Jinam valley area of the North Cachar hills located at the intersection of Manipur, Nagaland and Assam to set up base camps and plan operations.
Source of Funding
The outfit collects 'protection fees' from the timber mafia in the Cachar district of Assam. Substantial funds are also reportedly generated in foreign countries, notably in the United States, by protagonists of the struggle in the name of protecting Hmar Christians.
There are also reports that the outfit collects protection money from the Hmar tribals.
Arms & Explosives
Over the years, the HPC-D militants have gained access to sophisticated arms like rifles of the AK series, assault rifles of the G3 series and explosives.
However, access to such sophisticated arms is still limited and majority of the outfit's cadres use SBBL single barrel guns, and ordinary country made rifles and pistols.
Linkages with Other Groups
HPC-D, since its formation, has aligned with several insurgent groups active in India’s northeast. In its formative years, it maintained a cordial relationship with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), which allegedly provided it with arms and training. It has also carried out attacks with the support of the Manipur-based outfit, the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
In May 2001, the HPC-D joined the Indigenous People's Revolutionary Alliance (IPRA) - a platform of the five Zo ethnic militant groups: the Zomi Reunification Organisation (ZRO), two factions of the Kuki National Front, the KNF-P and KNF-MC, the Kuki National Army (KNA) and the HPC-D. However, at least two incidents of internecine clashes were reported between the HPC-D and the ZRA, the armed wing of the ZRO, during 2004 in the Churachandpur district of Manipur. This finally led to the signing of a ‘truce agreement’ between both these outfits on April 7, 2004, at an unspecified location in Manipur.
Over the years, the HPC-D has also maintained links with other Hmar militant outfits. In July 1998, the HPC-D joined hands with the Hmar Revolutionary Force (HRF).
The outfit is also believed to have maintained strategic links with the Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF), a Mizoram-based group.
In Assam, the HPC-D is known to have some linkages with certain Islamist terrorist outfits.