GUWAHATI, India: A crippling 92-day blockade of key routes linking a remote northeastern state with the rest of India was lifted on Tuesday after a deal was struck between protestors and the government.
Tribal leaders agreed to lift roadblocks on two national highways leading into Manipur following an assurance by the government about creating a new hill district within the state.
“The Sadar Hills District Demand Committee has agreed to lift the blockade following the memorandum of understanding signed between their leaders and the government,” Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh said.
The long drawn-out economic blockade had choked supply of essential commodities in the state, forcing residents to buy goods at steep prices and often from the black market.
A cooking gas cylinder which normally costs around 400 rupees ($8) was being sold for more than 2,000 rupees ($40) while petrol prices touched almost 140 rupees per litre as against a normal price of 68 rupees.
The latest truce, however, may be short-lived as rival Naga tribal groups opposed to the creation of the new district say they will launch a counter blockade.
Manipur, which borders Myanmar and has long been affected by insurgent violence, is home to dozens of tribal groups and small guerrilla armies that resist rule from New Delhi and often compete against each other.