Economic blockade still haunts poll-bound Manipur
In the strife-ridden state, life and death are separated by a bullet, no matter from whose barrel it comes from — the soldier's or the militant's.
Even as Manipur prepares for the 28 January assembly polls, the impact of the months-long economic blockade by the Nagas is still visible in the capital city, Imphal, with essential commodities like petrol and cooking gas remaining overpriced and scarce.
Reeling under the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) since 1979, this tiny state comprising nine districts, is still engaged in a power struggle among its three main tribes — Meitei, Naga and Kuki.
With each tribe trying to assert its identity, each having its own militant group, it is the common Manipuri who bears the brunt of this violence. Life and death are separated by a bullet, no matter from whose barrel it comes from — the soldier's or the militant's.
In this strife-torn state, struggling to maintain its ethnic identity, peace is a distant dream; but the average Manipuri has not stopped dreaming about it.
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