IMPHAL, Aug 29: Confusion and panic reigned among the people when a Chinese-made hand grenade was found inside a passenger bus plying between Imphal and Chura- chandpur while it was stationed at Churachandpur Bus Parking at Keishampat here today.
The bomb was later retrieved by the bomb experts of the police who arrived at the site.
The registration number of the bus ‘Yaipubi Express’ in which the bomb was found is MN01-1199. The owner has been identified as Thounaojam Inao of Kwakeithel Thounaojam Leikai.
Talking to mediaper-sons, the bomb experts informed that the bomb was a Chinese made hand grenade. But the detonator was missing so it could not have exploded on its own.
Owner of the bus Thounaojam Inao told mediapersons that the bus had gone out from home at around 10.30 am today for the 11.30 am trip to Churachandpur but the bomb was found lying inside the cabin of the driver at around 11.15 am.
Inao said he did not have any idea why the bomb had been placed in his bus and who are responsible for it. He also informed that he had not received any demand or threat from any UG group.
RK Setu (55), the bus driver, who first detected the bomb, recalled that as the passengers started boarding the bus for the 11.30 am trip, he climbed up and went inside the cabin where he found the bomb lying.
One of the passengers said that as it was too hot sitting inside the bus, he went out to take pan from a shop.
After a while, people started talking about the bomb lying inside the bus.
Condemning the incident, the passenger said such incidents of creating fear and panic among the people should not be repeated.
To the eye of a civilian, it does not make any difference whether it was a live bomb or not. It was only after the bomb experts arrived that the passengers were assured that it was a bomb which would not exploded, the worried passenger reasoned.