was Chief Minister
state in North-eastern India
from 1986 till 1988. Prior to that he had led the secessionist Mizo National Front
from 1960 until its disbanding following Mizo accord
with Rajiv Gandhi
Laldenga, a bank clerk in Aizawl advocated the view that the Mizos were not Indians since they had been virtually left alone by the British.
His demands for separation from India became popular after the great famine of the late 1950s when starvation stalked the hills following the mautam
, Assam failed to rush the needed supplies in time to its eastern most district, creating both bitterness and the foundation for Laldenga's Mizo National Front
On the night of February 28, 1966, the MNF launched an audacious attack on the district's major towns, resulting in the March 1966 Mizo National Front uprising
. It declared independence and called on the Mizos
to rise against Delhi
. The Indian Government responded by sending troops and aircraft on bombing missions. Villagers were uprooted from the hills and sent to Regrouped Villages built along the highways. For the next 20 years, violence continued in the Mizo hills with the fighters camping in East Pakistan
. With the fall of East Pakistan in 1971, Laldenga's men scattered to Myanmar while he moved to Pakistan. After secret meetings in Europe with Indian officials, he returned seeking a peaceful resolution of the problem.
The talks stuttered... Read More