Mizoram remembers day of IAF bombing
AIZAWL, March 7
The anniversary of the bombardment of Aizawl and other places by the Indian Air Force (IAF) during the height of Mizo insurgency on March 5, 1966, was observed in the state capital and other places on Thursday.
The day, known as ‘Zoram Ni’, is being observed since 2008 every year.
Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) organized a seminar on the role and responsibilities of youth in Mizo society for development to mark the day. “We do not observe the day to foment hatred against the Indian government. But we should remember the darkest day in our history,” said an MZP leader.Mizo National Front (MNF) volunteers revolted against the Centre by declaring independence and attacked the Aizawl treasury and Assam Rifles headquarters on March 2, 1966, after capturing several towns. The IAF tried to bring supplies to the beleaguered Assam Rifles personnel and also drop reinforcements, but were driven away by Mizo National Army (MNA) snipers. Historians, including John V Hluna of Pachhunga University College in Aizawl, said IAF warplanes began aerial attacks on March 5, 1966 with heavy machine guns. On March 6, the attack intensified and incendiary bombs were dropped. Locals left their homes and fled to the hills in panic.
After the aerial attacks on Aizawl and other places which killed at least 20 civilians, the Indian Army launched a massive offensive against the MNA, resulting in unimaginable sufferings of common people.
Villagers were herded from their villages and grouped in larger villages in which more than half of the population was forcibly shifted from their respective villages. The Centre did not allow journalists and human rights activists to enter the then Mizo district of Assam.
Though the MNF had signed a historic peace accord with the centre in 1986 and Mizoram became an island of peace since then, many people could not forget what happened during those days.