South Asia

Tribal blockade of India's Manipur state lifted

Blockade in Manipur
Image caption Protests in Manipur have been going on since August

A 92-day blockade by a tribal group of roads into the Indian state of Manipur has been lifted after the government agreed to their demand for a new district, media reports say.

But another blockade held by a rival tribal community opposed to the creation of a new district continues on the same key roads.

The groups blocked two highways linking Manipur with the rest of the country.

The blockades have led to shortages of food, fuel and medical supplies.

Kuki tribal groups began the first blockade of two highways in August over their demand for a new district, called Sadar Hills, to be carved out of the Senapati district, which is dominated by the Naga tribal community.

Later, the rival Naga tribal groups began a "counter blockade" on the same roads to protest against the demand.

The blockade by Kuki groups was called off on Tuesday morning after the state government agreed to the demand.

The Naga groups say their blockade will continue.

In June 2010, Naga groups in Manipur blocked highways into the state in protest against the authorities' refusal to allow the Naga separatist leader Thuingaleng Muivah to visit his birthplace in the state.

The Kukis, one of the major tribes in Manipur, have previously clashed with other Indian separatist groups from the Naga tribe over demands for a homeland.

Hundreds of people died in fighting between the Naga and Kuki tribes in Manipur during the 1990s.

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