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Asia

Naga rebels lift blockade of Manipur

In India, Naga rebels have lifted their two-month blockade of the north-eastern state of Manipur.

Naga separatist leader T. Muivah with the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, in New Delhi in March 2010

Naga separatist leader T. Muivah with Home Minister P Chidambaram in March

The Naga Students Federation said after a meeting with Premier Manmohan Singh it was suspending the blockade of main roads into the state. The central government had announced on Monday it would send troops to the area to break the blockade and make sure vital supplies reached Manipur, where commodity prices have soared since the blockade began on April 11. The landlocked state is dependent on supply routes through the neighboring state of Nagaland.

Naga leaders had called the blockade to protest a government ban on Naga separatist leader Thuingaleng Muivah visiting his birthplace in Manipur.

The blockade in Manipur lasted almost two months

The blockade in Manipur lasted almost two months

A long history of rebellion

Naga rebels including Muivah have been campaigning for a 'Greater Nagaland' including areas populated by Nagas in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The Naga rebellion dates back to India's independence in 1947 when Naga warriors refused to join the Indian Union. Most Nagas are Christians. And as in other parts in India's restive northeast, the population is ethnically and culturally different from the majority of Indians.

The Indian government has held more than 60 rounds of talks with the main separatist group, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland led by Muivah, but without any concrete results.

tb/AFP/Reuters/dpa
Editor: Disha Uppal

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