Business, Finance & Economics

Indian state of Manipur on brink of a breakdown

The northeastern Indian state of Manipur is on the brink of collapse on day 99 of an economic blockade enforced by rival tribal groups, the Hindustan Times reported.

As one travels along the national highway in Manipur inhabited by two rival tribal groups - the Kukis and the Nagas, one can see the chassis of burnt trucks on the roadside with protestors enforcing an economic blockade that entered its 99th day Monday.

A meek state government and an equally insensitive central government -- ably aided by some sectarian leaders of the two warring tribal groups -- have turned the northeastern state into a lawless region, literally on the brink of complete breakdown, say Manipuris.

According to the newspaper, hospitals are running out of essentials like oxygen tanks and vital medicines, while stores are running short of baby food and gas stations are nearly out of petrol.

During the blockade - which some say is the longest in Indian history, four people have been killed and 10 government buildings burnt down, the paper said.

A fight between the Kuki tribe's Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) and the Naga tribe's United Naga Council (UNC) has held the landlocked state's 2.7 million people to ransom over the fate of the Sadar Hills area, the paper said. The Kuki have blocked the two national highways supplying the state since Aug. 1, demanding district status for the Sadar Hills, while the Nagas have blocked the highways whenever it looks like the government is ready to give in.