Kuki tribal women block road to demand separate state in Manipur
Dozens of women of the Kuki community continue to block the Imphal-Ukhrul Road over a demand for the creation of a separate state in Manipur.
The women protesters felled a pine tree on National Highway 150 at Gwaltabi and threatened to turn their protest into an indefinite one if the federal government did not attend to their demand.
The protestors sat on the road, refusing to go despite requests and appeal by local police, thereby causing disruption of traffic and problems for passers-by and travellers.
"There is Nagaland for Nagas, Manipur for Manipuris and Mizoram for the Mizos, but there is no state for the Kuki. So we have asked the federal government to create a separate state for Kuki community or else where will we go?" said Chongboi, President, Bungpi area Women Union.
Security officials removed a tree blocking movement on the highway but the agitating protesters sat and blocked the route in retaliation.
Separatist movements have riddled India's remote northeast for decades.
Manipur is one of India's most troubled regions, 1,500 miles (2,400 km) from New Delhi.
Various militant outfits reported to be active in the state include the People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), Military Council faction of the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP-MC), People's United Liberation Front (PULF), People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA).