IMPHAL, March 11: At least three people were killed and more than 20 including eight women injured in a bomb blast at Khwairamband Keithel Temporary Market today, amidst the tight security arrangement by the police.
The blast site is only about 80 metres from City Police Station.
The bomb which was said to be an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near a tea stall run by a non-local man. The blast occurred exactly at 5:54 pm.
Some three or four non-local vendors also sell betel leaves near the tea stall.
Eyewitnesses at the blast site told IFP that when the blast occurred there were many people gathered near the tea stall, and as the market was about to close for the day, it was a time of evening rush at the adjacent poultry market shed.
Right after the blast, police came rushed in and pick up the injured people one after another and admitted them at the Chamber of Commerce Hospital located close by.
However as the hospital does not have emergency or casualty ward facilities, they had to be taken to RIMS Hospital.
Md Salman, 20, son of Md Islamuddin of Kshetri Bengoon Awang Leikai, was one of the three who were killed on the spot. He was working as a salesman at M/S Farhaan Shoe House located opposite to the poultry market.
The second person who died on the spot has been identified as Mithun Kumar Yadav, 29, son of Gulap Yadav, of Khagaria village in Bihar. He was a labourer presently staying at Thangal Bazaar.
The identity of the third victim could not be ascertained till the filling of this report. His lifeless body has been deposited at RIMS morgue.
The injured who were admitted at RIMS are Mamta Begum, 40, wife of Md Yusuf Khan of Kairang; Mina Khatur Begum, 45, wife of (L) Md Tayeb Ali of Kairang; Sitaram Begum, 50, wife of (L) Md Karim of Oinam Sawombung Dam; Md Fakaruddin, 32, son of Md Nizamuddin of Sangai Yumpham; Basira Begum, 35, daughter of Md Fazaruddin of Sangai Yumpham; Moirangthem Thaba Devi, 32, daughter of (L) M Manihar Singh of Tentha.
Further, Ram Sagar, 30, son of Manga Sagar of Bihar; Sorokhaibam Biren Singh, 47, son of S Khamba Singh of Heingang Makha Leikai; Thangjam Ongbi Chandani Devi, 46, wife of Th Dwijamani of Lamdeng Makha Leikai; Md Imran Khan, 18, son of Md Allauddin of Lilong Turel Ahanbi; Thounaojam Ongbi Puspa Devi, 45, and her husband Th Ibomcha, 50, son of (L) Th Lukhoi Singh of Tera Sapam Leikai;
Furthermore, Pankaj Yadav, 25, son of Bana Yadav of Bihar, at present BT Road; Rajiv Yadav, 30, of Bihar; Pramod Yadav, 30, of Bihar; Md Akbar, 45, son of Md Gani of Khabeisoi; Ph Ongbi Nungshi Devi, 51, wife of Ph Dinesh Singh of Wabagai and Laishram Ito Singh, 55, son of (L) L Apabi Singh of Sagolmang.
Besides these 18 people, few others were also admitted at RIMS, but as they sustained only minor injuries they were discharged after first-aid.
Some poultry were also killed and injured while a scooter, tea stall materials, a bench were seen damaged in the blast.
The IGP (LO) L Kailun, SP/IW Dr Ak Jhaljit Singh along with a large number of police force inspected the blast site.
Forensic and bomb experts were also seen inspecting the site.
Later, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, MLA RK Anand and PHED/Labour Minister I Hemochandra Singh also came to the blast site to take stock of the situation.
After a team of police led by DGP Saheed Ahamad visited the injured persons at RIMS, Deputy CM Gaikhangam also came and visited the victims at RIMS.
Speaking to media persons at RIMS, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam who also holds the Home portfolio, while strongly condemning the blast has appealed to the people of the State to stand united to fight against such people who are triggering bombs in crowded places.
While terming today`™s incident as very unfortunate, he further said that it is a very shameful act to attack people who are struggling to earn their daily bread.
Gaikhangam appealed for peace and harmony in order to bring development in the State.
He said everything can be settled though talks and negotiations.
He also added that a meeting with the top brass police officials will be held tomorrow regarding the security issue.