Imphal, Dec. 14: A powerful bomb ripped through the office building of Manipur public works department headoffice in the city, injuring three employees, including a woman.
The injured persons were admitted to Regional Institute of Medical Sciences and a private hospital nearby.
Police said it was a timer device. The bomb planted along the corridor of the third floor exploded around 1.30pm.
The corridor is just above the room of works minister K. Ranjit Singh on the second floor. The minister was not present in his room at the time of the blast.
No one made any claim. The police received prior information regarding planting of the bomb. The blast occurred even as police teams were searching for the bomb.
“It was a powerful timer device. It was planted either last night or this morning. Three persons were injured. We are investigating the incident,” said V. Zathang, additional director-general of police, who rushed to the spot.
Employees said the bomb exploded among a heap of waste materials in a corner of the corridor.
There was no casualty because most of the employees and police search parties were inside the rooms when the bomb went off.
Some walls and windowpanes of the rooms on the third floor were damaged by the impact.
“I was out of the office building shortly after 1pm. A police team came and told us to go inside our rooms, informing us that a bomb was planted somewhere inside the building and they were going to search for it,” Maipakpi Devi, an employee, said.
Employees wondered how a bomb could be planted in such a heavily guarded office building. The complex has headoffices of works department, irrigation and flood control and public health engineering departments.
A section of the CRPF, eight homeguards and three state intelligence personnel man the main entrance.
Visitors, including lower-ranked employees are regularly frisked by CRPF personnel and handbags checked. Mobile phones are not allowed inside the complex.
In addition to security personnel at the main entrance, armed Manipur Rifles and India Reserve Battalion personnel were deployed at all the entry points of the office buildings.
After the blast, the works minister arrived and inspected the site.
The police called out all the employees and frisked them before allowing them to leave. No outsiders, including reporters, were allowed inside.
The police picked up about 50 people from the office complex and took them to Imphal police station for verification. There was no report of any arrest.
This is the second blast in the state capital in the past fortnight.
A powerful bomb exploded near the gate of Sagani festival on November 30, killing a rickshawpuller, three days ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s visit to Imphal.