Imphal, Nov. 15: In a major security breach, militants last night targeted the residence-cum-secretariat of Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh when they lobbed a grenade that landed on an empty plot behind the building. There was, however, no report of any damage or injury.
The People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak), one of the major rebel outfits waging an armed struggle for an independent Manipur, has claimed responsibility for the attack. Ibobi Singh is away in Delhi. No official was present at the secretariat during the time of the attack.
Prepak, which attacked the Assam Rifles post inside Kangla Fort in 2004, today said last night’s attack was carried out by the outfit’s Red Army mobile task force “to teachIbobi Singh a lesson for giving license to police and security forces to commit extra-judicial killings”. The outfit’s spokesman R. Meitei said the chief minister’s residential complex was attacked as he was “indulging in highly corrupt practices.”
Imphal West SP, Clay Khongsai, however, denied reports of any grenade explosion inside the residential complex. “No splinter was found. There was no report of any damage,” he said. .
According to reports, the grenade exploded not very far from a watchtower manned by the CRPF at the northwestern corner of the complex. Immediately after the blast, CRPF and police launched a search operation.
The attack comes barely two days after police allegedly killed a Prepak cadre near Sajiwa jail in Imphal East. His family claimed that police had dragged him out of a van he was travelling in with his relatives and shot him at Chairenthong. Police said Ningthoujam Khaiba, alias Binoy, was killed after he tried to snatch a weapon from one of the security personnel. The body is still lying at an Imphal morgue.
The incident sent top police personnel scurrying for damage control exercise this morning. Additional director-general of police S. Ahmed presided a meeting to review security for VIPs. A large number of CRPF personnel and commandos have been deployed around the CM’s office today.
The SP said security arrangements at all vital installations have been beefed up.