IMPHAL, September 5: A powerful IED blast at Keishampat Lairembi Leirak left two Assam Rifles personnel seriously injured this morning at 8:45am. Later in the day, locals of the area staged a sit in protest at the Lairembi Community hall condemning the explosion in a residential area.
Both the injured personnel belonging to the 28 Assam Rifles, C-Coy Singjamei post have been admitted at the RIMS hospital. Both are said to be in critical condition.
The explosion happened just a few feet away from the busy Keishampat junction and the residence of Manipur Legislative Assembly Speaker Thokchom Lokeshwar Singh. However there has been no claim about the explosion from any outfit.
The two injured Assam Rifles personnel have been identified as Havildar (No. 2851020) Rajendra Singh, 32 son of Gopal Ram of Almeri district, Uttrakhand and rifleman (No 2851774) Birendra, 40 of Himachal Pradesh. Both are personnel of the 28 Assam Rifles, C-Coy, Singjamei Post. A team of the Assam Rifles were on a routine patrol duty at the area when the the explosion took place.
Havildar Rajendra Singh received multiple splinter injuries on the front part of his body, while Rifleman Birendra received multiple splinter injuries on both sides of his legs.
The rear portion of the scooter upon which the Improvise Explosive Device is suspected to be fitted has been completely blown off. The Bajaj scooter bearing regd no MN 04 1242 is smoky grey in colour. The identity of the vehicle is yet to be ascertained till the filling of this report.
Police suspect that a remote control could have been used to trigger the explosion.
Splinters from the powerful explosion hit several other vehicles, window panes of nearby houses and the nearby community tin roof.
Splinters hit the back windshield and the back tyres of an I-10 car bearing regd no MN 06L 4213 parked in the nearby area was broken by the impact of the IED explosion. The car belongs to one Huidrom Dhamaljit of Thoubal Wangbal. He had park the car and went to visit a friend, when he heard a loud noise.
Another Tata Magic van bearing regd no MN 01X 3932 was also damaged by the splinters from the explosion. The Tata magic which was parked in front of the Lairembi community hall belongs to one Irom Ranjit of Keishampat Keisham Leikai.
A sit in protest was also staged at the Lairembi community hall this afternoon organized by the Mahila Kalyan Samiti.
Speaking to media persons, a demonstrator said the area is normally a crowed area, housing several offices, private tutorial centres, etc.
“Planting of explosives in the area is uncalled for and condemnable.”
She continued, “being morning there was not much crowd at the time, however there could have been much more casualties had there been a crowd as usual”.
Meanwhile, a PRO IGAR (S) press release said that in view of the forthcoming Panchayat election in the state, underground groups have planned to disturb the fragile peace in the state.
It has further added that, “… large numbers of attempts are being made by various underground outfits to infiltrate from International Border in order to create disturbance in the State”.
“Troops of Assam Rifles, being on high alert and maintaining strict vigilance by dominating International Border have foiled many infiltration attempts made by various groups in recent past.”
The release has further claimed, “In desperation and in an attempt to make their presence felt, the CorCom has started resorting to acts which might endanger the local population, if their nefarious designs succeed. In one such attempt today at 8:45am, an IED exploded near Keishampat Junction which led to two Jawans of Assam Rifles suffering minor injuries”.
“The cowardly action carried out by CorCom shows the frustration among the insurgent groups who wants peace, tranquility and prosperity in Manipur to be disturbed at any cost”, the statement added.