The war between Indian Army and Naga insurgents

In a place where militancy never seems to abate, there was little to cheer, with Naga insurgents massacring 20 soldiers in Chandel district in June, inviting a rare but deadly Indian Army retaliation in Myanmar.  

The violence has only been compounded by the never ending strikes that have made life very tough for the mass of people all across the landlocked state.

No relief from AFSPA

The violence and unrest resulted in the extension of the Disturbed State status till October 2016, preventing the Central government from repealing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). 

The AFSPA is probably the most hated legislation in Manipur, where many say it gives security forces sweeping powers - without any accountability. Amid the persisting unrest, the 595-km India-Mandalay bus service was kick started to boost the northeast's trade with neighbouring countries and Southeast Asia.

The strong but unheard voice of Irom Sharmila

At the start of 2015, Chief Minister Ibobi Singh drew flak after human rights activist Irom Sharmila, who has been fasting for 15 years demanding the repeal of AFSPA, was released from judicial custody but rearrested for continuing her hunger strike.  

Sharmila, better known as the Iron Lady, completed 15 years of hunger strike on November 1, with no hopes of her demand being met.

Indian Army's surgical strike in Myanmar

The Naga militant attack led to a sneaking surgicial strike by the Indian Army in Myanmar territory, an operation that threatened to sour ties between the two countries.

Then came massive protests by the Imphal Valley-based Meitei community demanding Inner Line Permit (ILP) for the state on the lines of ILPs in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.

The government was compelled to pass a Bill after the agitation and the death of a teenager, Saipam Robinhood. But this only caused outrage and revolt among the tribals, who said the Meiteis are trying to destabilize the already marginalized tribal population.

The turmoil in Churachandpur district left nine tribals dead. Amid the tumult, the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) trilateral highway became operational. And the Imphal-Mandalay bus service was flagged off on December 10. The bus journey between Imphal and Mandalay will be covered in 14 hours. It is the first bus link to provide direct connectivity between India and Myanmar.

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