'Hunger' forces ex-rebels to fast-unto-death

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Aizawl, July 5 (UNI) About 36 former Mizo National Front rebels today launched a fast-unto-death at the Mizo Students' Union office here, under the banner of Peace Accord Implementation Action Committee.

They were demanding the Mizo National Front(MNF) government to take immediate action to provide permanent jobs to the Pamra members, who were jobless even 21 years after signing the Peace Accord.

Peace Accord MNF Returnees Association (Pamra) president B Zorampara told today UNI that ''hunger and poverty'', coupled with the Mizo National Front government's negligence towards them had forced them to take this extreme step.

The former rebel leader held that although they had fulfilled the MNF-India peace accord of 1986, the Centre and the Mizoram government were yet to fulfill their promise.

In October 1986, when the MNF went overground, the Central government gave Rs 20,000 each to the MNF returnees as immediate relief fund. ''As the name denoted, we used the money for purchasing basic necessities,'' Zorampara said.

In September,1988, another Rs 10,000 was given to each of the MNF returnees for building constructions, which was followed by another Rs 10,000 each in 1995, he added.

''We were given Rs 20,000 in two installments, after a lapse of seven years, for construction of houses. There was no way to construct in such situation,'' the former rebel said.

The Mizoram government had also allotted housing plots for the MNF returnees under Chaltlang VC jurisdiction, which were, however, not inhabitable due to absence of roads, water and electricity, according to Pamra.


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