Dissident political leaders from the Indian state of Manipur on Tuesday said they were unilaterally declaring independence from India and forming a government-in-exile in Britain.
The former princely state became part of India in 1949, two years after the country won independence from Britain, but has since seen decades-long violent separatist campaigns.
Narengbam Samarjit, external affairs minister in the self-declared Manipur State Council, said the exiled government would push for recognition at the United Nations.
However, the question arises why the leaders made the announcement. The state lies east of Myanmar, while on the north it is bordered by Indian state of Nagaland, Assam on the west and Mizoram on the south.
The formerly princely state had become part of India in 1949 after New Delhi gained independence, but the people of the state dispute the succession and have been waging a decades-long violent separatist campaign.
Manipur, one of India’s smallest states with a population of about just 2.8 million people, is one of the so-called “Seven Sisters” – a group of restive northeastern states.
The region, encircled by five other countries and connected to the rest of India by a sliver of land arching over Bangladesh, has been wracked by armed conflict and instability.