Today marks the 56th anniversary of the bombing of Aizawl by the Indian government in 1966, the only time in history that India conduct aerial attacks on its own people.
On 28th February when the Mizo National Front launched Operation Jericho where they attacked several Indian army posts in Mizoram. They also issued the declaration of independence on the following day. It was in response to this armed rebellion that the Indian government under the prime ministership of Mrs Indira Gandhi decided to turn their armed forces on Mizoram. On 2nd March 1966, Mizoram was officially declared as a “disturbed area” under the Assam disturbed Areas Act 1955. On 5th March 1966, the India Airforce sent four jetfighter planes to Mizoram. The planes first used machine guns to fire at the town. They returned the next day to drop incendiary bombs on Aizawl, setting the town on fire. Till today, it remains the only time that the Government of India resorted to air strikes in its own territory. The machine gun attacks and the bombing continued till 13 March different villages and thousands of residents left their home and fled for the safety of their lives.
The Mizo people were never given compensation, or even a verbal apology by the Indian government. Many have questioned why a country would use its own weapons within its territory and bomb its own people. This tragic day is to commemorate the loss suffered by the Mizo community on the fateful day of the bombing and during the 20 year long insurgency.