Manipur announces independence from India, forms govt in exile

London, October 30, 2019 (PPI-OT):Dissident political leaders from the Indian state of Manipur have declared independence from India and formed a government-in-exile in Britain. The former princely state has been demanding freedom from India for the last several decades. Narengbam Samarjit, external affairs minister in the self-declared Manipur State Council, said the exiled government would push for recognition at the United Nations.

“We will run the de jure exiled government here… from today onwards,” he told reporters in London, after a declaration of independence first announced in Manipur in 2012 was read aloud. “We will seek recognition from different nations… to become a (UN) member. We hope many of the countries will recognise our independence.”

Manipur, one of India’s smallest states with a population of around just 2.8 million people, is one of the so-called “Seven Sisters” – a group of restive north eastern states. The region, encircled by five other countries and connected to India by a sliver of land arching over Bangladesh, has been wracked by armed conflict and instability.

Samarjit said he hoped the world would support their independence cause. “We are not free there and our history is going to be destroyed, our culture is going to be extinct,” he warned. “So the UN should listen… we raise our voice to the whole world that the people living in Manipur are human beings,” he added.

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