Aizawl, Nov 2 (UNI) Mizoram today showed a smiling face to Vice-President Mohammad Abdul Aziz Ansari, who arrived here on an official visit.
However, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), the state's largest students' body, took the opportunity of the Vice-President's visit to show its protest to the Centre against the infamous ''Aizawl air strike'' which occurred on the onset of the Mizo National Front-led insurgency in March 1966.
''This is a follow-up to the MZP's last assembly that resolved to organise a statewide protest against the air strike in March 1966 and demand an apology from the Centre,'' MZP president C Lalhmachhuana told UNI today.
The student activists held placards and banners in front of the Raj Bhavan's southern gate where the Vice-President was taken after his arrival at the Aizawl Helipad.
''We feel it is the duty of every Mizo to protest the March 1966 strike, which was the first and only air strike the country carried out against its own people, and demand a formal apology from the Centre,'' the student leader added.
Mr Ansari arrived at the Lengpui Airport by the Indian Air Force's (IAF) special aircraft B737 at 1230 hours, despite misty weather.
At the airport, he was received by ministers and high officials who presented him with bouquets and from there, he later proceeded to the city by the IAF's helicopter.
He was accorded the guard of honour and presented with bouquets by Mizoram Governor M M Lakhera, Chief Minister Zoramthanga and Chief Secretary Haukhum Hauzel.
The Vice-President will hold a meeting with the Governor, Chief Minister and his council of ministers, which will be followed by a public interview at the Raj Bhavan.
Later in the evening, Mr Ansari will witness a grand cultural programme organised in his honour from 1900 hours at the Raj Bhavan's Durbar Hall.
Before flying back to New Delhi, the Vice-President is scheduled to inaugurate a new administrative building of the Mizoram University, an interactive session with the varsity's faculty members, besides visiting the horticulture farm near Chite river among others tomorrow.