September 23, 2015 7:41:12 pm
A 19-year-old HPCD militant arrested along with two others in a post-midnight raid by Mizoram Police in Assam on Tuesday has confirmed before a court that Biakliana, a self-styled “Commander” in the outfit, masterminded the March 28 ambush of an MLA convoy that killed three policemen and injured six government officials and staff.
While being produced in court (which remanded him and the others to 14 days police custody) on Wednesday, self-styled “Private” Reuben Lalrammawi said he was recruited into the outfit two years ago (when he was still a minor) after being told the group was about to reach a breakthrough in talks with the state and there might be benefits for cadres.
The talks to extend a ceasefire however broke down on August 14, 2013.
He told the court he was part of a dozen HPCD cadres who ambushed the convoy of MLAs, but claimed he fired about 15 rounds but missed all his shots.
The Mizoram Police intensified operations against the militant group after the ambush, arresting the outfit’s self-styled “Army Chief” Lalropuia Famhoite and self-styled “Finance Secretary” Norbar Sanate lesas than a month later on April 16 in a raid in southern Assam.
Mizoram Police commandos also gunned down one of those involved in the March 28 ambush (Self-Styled Sergeant H C Malsawmkima alias Danny, a 31-year-old who defected from the Mizoram Police a year earlier with two guns) in a raid within Manipur on May 8.
The HPCD demands an autonomous tribal district for the Hmar tribe spread over Mizoram, Manipur and Assam and is largely based in Manipur.
The group is accused of extortion and occasionally carrying out bombings and shooting at police camps within Mizoram, mostly in the northern regions bordering Manipur.
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