IMPHAL, November 18: A minor girl lost one of her legs and seven labourers of the Border Road Task Force (BRTF) were injured in a powerful bomb attack near Ukhrul, with four of them said to be in serious conditions.
The incident occurred at 2:55 pm at Harkhui which is about seven kilometers east of Ukhrul police station, sources said.
Meanwhile, the RPF has claimed that its armed wing, PLA was behind the blast.
The powerful IED which was planted at the roadside exploded when a BRTF truck of the 84th road construction company was moving towards Jessami from Ukhrul.
The truck (08E/71267) was carrying about 50 labourers when the IED was triggered by unidentified persons.
During the blast, splinters inflicted multiple injuries to the labourers and the seven-year-old girl.
The splinter mutilated one of her legs and caused other injuries on her body. The girl has been identified as Sonia Aind, daughter of Pusa, 31, son of (L) Naku of Jharkhand.
Pusa also received serious injuries during the blast.
Other victims were identified as Nandan Ram, 46, son of Ganesh Ram of Uttranchal; Dayal Baraik, 25, son of Ritu Ram Baraik of Assam; Biru Baraik, 24, son of Rushu of Assam; Ramkumar, 42, son of Bhim Rajkumar of Kanglatongbi; Raju Pradhan, 38, son of Shankar Pradhan of Darjeeling; Kher Kata, 45, son of Albert Kher Kata of Jharkhand.
They are presently hospitalized at the Ukhrul District Hospital and four of them including the girl are said to be in critical condition.
It may be mentioned that Health Minister Phunzathang Tonsing had inspected the hospital in the morning at around 11 am.
In the last month, more than four blasts had occurred within Ukhrul district and this is the one which caused casualties to the public.
Meanwhile, the RPF has informed that its armed wing the PLA was responsible for the afternoon attack on the BRTF personnel at a spot five kilometers from Ukhrul district headquarters and near the BRTF office. In a press release issued by its Chief, Department of Publicity, Bangkim, the RPF said the attack was carried out by Special Warfare Group of the PLA.
It stated that the BRTF is functioning as a spy force that is playing a major role in counter insurgency movement of India in suppressing the freedom movement by working as an undercover agent in the name of carrying out the development of roads in WESEA. Based on their reports, the imperialist force has carried out arrest and attacks on revolutionaries and demolition of their camps as well as acts of terrorism against innocent civilians.
It added that today’s assault was part of the struggle to liberate Manipur and defeat the design of overt and covert forces of the imperialist force working under the Indian government machinery.
Lastly, the War Office of PLA has congratulated the freedom fighters who have taken part in the assault and individuals who have extended a helping hand, it added.