A blast in Manipur capital Imphal killed two and injured 15 on Thursday evening. The blast took place at 5.15 pm at Chingmakhang in Singjamei, one of the most densely populated localities in Imphal.
Police sources said an IED was plated inside the ground at the base of a hillock, which houses an Assam Rifles post. The area is surrounded by shops on all sides. Sources said the bomb was not meant to target security forces, but migrant labourers who gather in the market every morning and evening to get daily wage jobs. Two Bihari labourers from Muzaffarpur were killed, while 15, including some locals, were injured.
This is the first major attack on the migrant population in Manipur since last year, when a blast killed nine migrant workers constructing a parking lot in the heart of the city.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, who visited the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, where the injured have been hospitalised, condemned the attack, calling it inhuman and an act of cowardice. He said preliminary investigations suggested the attack was against the migrants, but added that further probe was needed to confirm this. No group has taken responsibility for the blast so far.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called the CM, asking him to ensure the culprits are arrested and punished. Rajnath also asked him to ensure peace in the state and deploy adequate security forces to maintain law and order.