IMPHAL, January 22:: Manipur witnessed the first election related casualty Sunday when a blast claimed the life of one person and injured four others at the residence of Manipur legislative assembly speaker I Hemochandra at Singjamei Maisnam Leikai in Imphal this evening.
CorCom has expressed condolence at the loss of life while claiming responsibility for the blast. However, CorCom reminded in a press correspondence, that it had issued warning three times to the general public not to associate themselves or canvass support for Congress candidates at the forthcoming assembly elections in order to prevent such unwanted incidents. It further reiterated its appeal to the public to disassociate themselves from the party.
According to on-the-spot-information, at around 6.30 pm, some persons hurled an explosive device believed to be a powerful grenade which exploded instantly and claimed the life of one person while injuring four others. The dead person has been identified as Meisnam Ratan, 45, believed to be an active worker of Hemochandra, INC candidate from Singjamei assembly constituency at the January 28 elections, who hails from the same locality as the candidate. Reports said the security guards manning the candidate`s house chased the assailants in order to catch them but to no avail.
A team of Imphal West police led by SP Nishit Kumar accompanied by a bomb squad rushed to the spot and have launched a massive search operation in the area.
The injured identified as Sunil and Pari of Naorem Leikai, Johnson of Singjamei Bamon Leikai and Philips of Singjamei Chingamathak have been discharged after administering first aid at RIMS.
It is worth noting that the Co-ordination Committee (CorCom) made up of seven militant outfits had banned the Congress party from Manipur for its alleged anti-people activities. Series of blasts and hurling of grenades in the offices of Congress party and its candidates by the CorCom have been increasing since the first week of January.