A 12-hour general strike on Tuesday called by traders in Dimapur town in protest against the death of one person in a bomb blast badly hit vehicular communication with the rest of Nagaland as also Imphal, capital of neighbouring Manipur. “There have been no untoward incidents so far,” police said.
The traders resorted to the strike after miscreants threw a bomb at a chemists’ shop in Dimapur, the largest city and commercial hub of Nagaland, leaving one person dead and four others injured on Monday evening. Normal life in Dimapur, 74 km from here, was thrown out of gear due to the strike that began from 6 a.m.
Vehicular movement to other parts of the state and Manipur suffered as National Highway 2, that connects Kohima, Imphal and the Myanmar border at Moreh, passes through this commercial town. Hundreds of vehicles coming from and going to Imphal were stranded in view of the strike. Several dozens of inter-state buses along with passengers were stranded beyond the strike-bound areas.
Meanwhile, Nagaland Home Minister Y. Patton has promised to smoke out the “miscreants” and bring them to justice. “The bomb blast is condemnable since all sections of the people in Nagaland are yearning for peace,” he said.
Police and eye-witnesses said two miscreants travelling in a car fled after hurling the bomb inside the chemist’s shop on Nyamo Lotha Road around 7.15 p.m. on Monday. “Five persons, including two customers, were wounded in the blast. One of the injured customers, Abdul Basit, died around 10 p.m. in hospital. One injured person is also battling for his life, while three others sustained minor injuries,” a high-ranking police officer said.
Nidhu Biswas, the pharmacy owner, denied having received any extortion threat from any underground organisation. However, the police officer said: “We are not ruling out anything for the time being.” An FIR has been registered and investigation is on. So far no outfit has made any claim about the blast.
There have been complaints for long about militants and common criminals extorting illegal taxes from the traders in Dimapur. The traders had formed an organisation to resist the extortion. However, it was not much successful.