At least two persons were killed and four others seriously injured after a powerful bomb went off near a shop at MG Avenue at around 11 am this morning. MG Avenue is the main arterial road in the heart of Imphal’s business district Thangal Bazaar which houses the state’s non-Manipuri population.
The blast took place as a result of an Improvised Explosive Device going off barely a few meters away from the Imphal city police station.
Police sources said that the bomb was planted inside a betel leaf basket at RS godown near Delhi Motor Shop at MG Avenue. Thirty-year-old Naresh Sahani and a Bihari labourer Joy Pal Shah were killed due to the explosion. While Sahani died on the spot, Pal later succumbed to his injuries in hospital.
The others injured in the blast include 15-year-old Bikash Sahani from Bihar, 48-year-old Sunder Sahani from Bihar, 16-year-old Sanjoy Sahani and 48-year-old Leishangthem Jilla Singh from Imphal city. Except for Jilla Singh, all the other injured used to work in the godown which ran a betel leaf business.
The injured were immediately evacuated at RIMS hospital and are presently undergoing treatment. One of the four injured is said to be in critical condition.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Deputy CM Gaikhangam visit the injured at RIMS hospital. Speaking to media persons CM said that such act is most cowardly act and will bring no good to the people. Interestingly the blast occurred when a home coming ceremony was held at 1st MR Banquette hall.
No underground group has claimed responsibility for the blast so far. Thangal Bazaar is a high security area in Imphal city as its houses most of the city’s banks and offices as well businesses. It is also one of the city’s most congested bustling areas. It has been the site of numerous bomb blasts in the past but the target in previous incidents have been the teeming migrant workforce which comes to Manipur from across the country.