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Posted on Feb 13, 10:07AM | UNI
Aizawl, Feb 12: After nearly 17 years into national mainstream, the former Mizo National Front (MNF) rebels today embarked on national integration tour.
Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla flagged off a national integration tour comprising 21 members of the Peace Accord MNF Returnees Association (PAMRA), organised by the 26 Assam Rifles, here this morning.
"It is important to remember that we are all Indians first and then only belong to different ethnic groups," Lal Thanhawla said as he flagged off the first batch from HQ 23 Sector Assam Rifles compound.
He thanked the Assam Rifles for organising the tour which he said will help foster national integration and also help in bring people closer to understanding each other.
He also lauded the various activities undertaken by Assam Rifles under their military civic action (MCA) programme and added that such actions have resulted in a very cordial civil-military relationship in Mizoram.
The former rebels will visit important landmarks and military installations in and around Delhi during the ten-day tour. They are also scheduled to have interactions with the Union Home Minister and various military officials. They are accompanied by three officials of the Assam Rifles.
The ceremony was also graced by Lt Gen Arun Sahni, GOC, 3 Corps and Maj Gen Satish Dua, IGAR (East) who are currently on a three-day visit to Mizoram.
Mizoram Governor Vakkom Purushothaman is expected to flag in the members of the tour on February 22.
HQ 23 Sector commander Brig G K V Reddy thanked the Chief Minister for his support and said that the tour could materialise due the efforts of the chief minister.
These former rebels belonged to the more than 600 MNF cadres who came overground following the historic Mizo Peace Accord in 1986, after fighting for independence from India for 20 years.