IMPHAL, Apr 24: Making a mockery of the tight security measures put up at the VVIP colony of Babupara where the official quarters of Ministers including the Chief Minister are located, a powerful blast rocked the entire area at about 10.30 this morning.
Three individuals identified as Md Chengis Khan (34) and Faresha Begum (49) residents of Babupara and Yao Rahman (25) sustained injuries in the explosion. All of them are undergoing treatment at RIMS.
Chengis Khan was injured on right knee and arm, Faresha on the buttock and below the left knee. Yao Rahman was hit by a piece of brick that flew out due to the impact of the explosion.
Sometime back, the whole Babupara quarters colony area was fenced by constructing brick wall all around. Moreover, entry and exit from the area has been strictly restricted to one single point through the road leading to the State Guest House. At this lone entry point, a police picket maintains a register recording names and vehicle numbers and other details entering into Babupara colony area.
The powerful explosion that occurred on the road to DC office beside the quarters of Thanga A/C MLA T Mangibabu completely destroyed about 20 feet of stone wall erected around the quarters of the MLA and blew away tin roofs.
The explosion also damaged the kitchen (used by security personnel) of Tourism Minister TN Haokip considerably. The official quarters of TN Haokip is located just next to Mangibabu’s.
The SIB office building located just opposite to TN Haokip’s quarters also suffered some damages as its electric fittings and certain portions of wall were shattered.
Two individuals also sustained injuries while running away on hearing the loud report of the explosion this afternoon.
Moreover, one Bolero (NL01C-3332) parked near the explosion site got its front wheel punctured while a car (MN01K-9939) had its windshield shattered by the explosion. It also damaged many shops located nearby.
According to police sources, it is suspected that the bomb might have been brought there fitting to a scooter. Several parts of the scooter were blown away as far as the Secretariat office and the Chief Minister’s official residence.
The colour and registration number of the scooter could not be ascertained. Suspecting another bomb in another scooter found near the explosion site, police checked it by pulling using a rope. But there was no bomb in the scooter. On hearing about the blast, DGP Y Joykumar and other top ranking police officials arrived there at the spot and made a thorough examination of the site. Even as the DGP refused to make any comment on the blast, a senior police officer said that the bomb could be an IED.
“This could be a message from the rebels that they can strike at will any where, any time”, he said.
Disclosing that he has been receiving threat calls from UG groups, MLA Bijoy Koijam stated that he could be the target of the blast.
All the people found present in the quarters of Ministers and MLAs were taken to Imphal Police Station for verification. Among them was one Paka who was reportedly a cadre of an UG group earlier. Interestingly, the blast took place right at the nose of Manipur Police Hqs, amidst the enhanced security arrangement taken up ahead of the scheduled visit of the Union Cabinet Secretary and Home Secretary to the State capital.
Team to leave for Myanmar today
IMPHAL, Apr 24: A delegation consisting of officials of the Manipur government, Mizoram government, scholars and functionaries of the NIPCO will leave Imphal tomorrow for Myanmar for a series of discussions on the future prospects of India’s “Look East Policy” and its 1400 km tans Asian highway.
Speaking at a press conference, president of NIPCO, Y Nabachandra said the delegation to Myanmar aims at explore the future impact of the trans Asian highway on the people of the state as well as in other parts of Asia where the highway is to pass through.
It is a must for the people living in South East Asia to discuss and know the future impact on the living conditions of the people by the coming up of the highway which is to reach upto Thailand border, he said.
The programme was sponsored by the department of commerce and industries, Manipur. Professors from Munipur University, traders, senior citizens, entrepreneurs, functionaries of NIPCO and well known scholars in different trades along with representatives of the Manipur and Mizoram governments will be part of the delegation.
The delegation will visit various places like Tamu, Morywa, Mandalay, Kaliwa, Kalemyo etc. and at the said places workshops, discussions, interactions will be conducted on subjects like trade and commerce, trade zone, border trade, chamber of commerce, he said.
The main objective of the visit will be the development of trade, legalization of trade and building up a close relationship with the people of the areas.
The delegation made up of 80 members will be flagged off tomorrow at 9 am from the NIPCO office, he added