AIZAWL, Sept 20 - The Mizo National Front (MNF) today observed the martyrs’ day in different parts of Mizoram to pay homage to those who laid down their lives during the 20-year-long Mizo uprising. The MNF was then an insurgent group and had waged a war against India.
Addressing the main function at the Vanapa Hall here, Chief Minister and MNF president Zoramthanga said, “The supreme sacrifice of the martyrs keeps the flame of Mizo nationalism burning even today.”
“Right from the beginning, the Mizo national movement was attacked from both within and outside. We were hit the hardest by the Indian Government that used fighter jets against us. Apart from that, we were also victimised by the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, grouping of villages, etc. Moreover, we had enemies within who accused us of wearing Mizo nationalism as masks,” Zoramthanga said.
According to him, about 2,000 to 3,000 people lost their lives during the uprising. They have been declared as ‘Mizo martyrs’ by the MNF. Zoramthanga added that the mortal remains of many martyrs had not be traced till date. “The MNF is trying its best to collect the remains of all martyrs who died in Burma, Bangladesh and different parts of Mizoram,” he added.
The martyrs’ day is observed in Mizoram on September 20 every year since 1979. The MNF today held functions in all district headquarters and major villages to observe the day.