IMPHAL, Oct 29 : For the third time in a fortnight unidentified person(s) triggered an IED blast in the city limits with the latest explosion at Marwari Dharmashala today injuring five persons, including two students.
When contacted, SP of Imphal West police, K Jayenta said “We don’t think today’s explosion was a target on migrant workers. It could be connected with monetary demanded slapped by underground organizations on the business community in Dharamsala area,”
There have been reports of hefty demands served on the traders in the area and the blast could be a warning to them to cough up the money soon, the SP said and added that the police, nevertheless, have begun a probe to ascertain the motive behind the blast. “With the militants relying on explosive devices we have also changed our operational strategy to check their subversive activities in the city area in view of the rising number of shoppers for the upcoming festivals including Kut, Ningol Chak-kouba and Diwali etc,” the SP said.
He nevertheless said that security has already been put on high alert in Imphal and many cadres belonging to different proscribed organizations with weapons have also been pulled up. The senior police officer appealed to the public to bear with certain changes in traffic flow inside the city as part of the new security arrangements.
While all the blasts occurred in the morning hours, which seemingly prevented large scale human casualty or destruction of property, today's explosion at around 5.55 am was so powerful that hand-carts from the blast site were sent cart-wheeling to a fair distance with some of the parts even landing at the old Manipur State Assembly complex, about 60-70 metres from the site of the blast.
On October 18 morning at similar blast occurred at near Major Khul gate on the MG Avenue side while the previous blast on October 26 took place at North AOC, close to the northern gate of the high-security Kangla campus.
The impact of the blast today was so strong that boundary walls and CI sheets of the adjacent Bhairodan-Maxwell Hindi Primary School were blown away in addition to partial damage caused to a Tata Magic vehicle (MN06/L 5318) parked a little distance away. The Tata Magic driver namely Abujam Arun (21) s/o Achou of heirok Part-III Kabow Leikai was among the five injured in the blast.
Two others hurt in the explosion have been identified as Raghunath Manto (35) s/o Ruplal Manto and Shambhu Shaha (40), both from Sitabari district in Bihar, but presently residing at Nagamapal Kangjabi Leikai and Khoyathong area respectively. The injured students are Kishan Chakraborty and Rajdweep Sharma, from Serou but staying at an Imphal locality. Both are students of BIM Higher Secondary School, Sangaiprou and were reportedly heading for private tuition at Allu Galli, when the blast occurred. The explosion created a crater of 3-foot diameter and 1.5 feet deep.
Abujam Arun was reportedly having tea at the mobile tea shop of Raghunath Manto and Shambhu Shaha awaiting order near his hand-cart at the time of the explosion. The injured persons are said to be undergoing treatment at RIMS Hospital and Raj polyclinic, North AOC. Top ranking security officers inspected the blast site.