Under siege

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To understand what the Tipaimukh project could bring to the state, one must put it in context. Imphal is in a valley surrounded by hills on four sides. In the valley the Meitei people are predominant. Legally, they do not have the right to purchase land in the hills.

The hills are inhabited by 29 major tribes. These tribes fall largely into two groups: the Nagas and the Kuki-Zomi-Chins. Besides these, there are some smaller communities. Though the Nagas share a sense of common history and kinship, as do the Kuki-Zomi-Chins, both the communities are internally differentiated.

Some districts like Ukhrul and Tamenglong are dominated by the Nagas, others, like Churachandpur, are predominantly Kuki-Zomi-Chins.

For more than five decades, the communities have experienced armed conflicts. The armed groups from both communities fight the state, some fight among themselves. Some groups engage non-violently with the state.

The insurgents have various demands