| Police inspect the blast site at Khurai in Imphal East on Friday. Picture by UB Photos |
Imphal, Sept. 13: An improvised explosive device was triggered near a bus stand at Khurai, on the outskirts here, this morning, damaging an autorickshaw and injuring the driver of another.
The Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), the armed wing of the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), claimed responsibility for the attack.
Police said the IED, planted near the bus stand along Imphal-Ukhrul road, was triggered with a remote control device.
Both the autorickshaws were parked near the bus stand when the bomb went off around 10.30am.
The driver of one of the autorickshaws, Ningthoukhongjam Romen, was inside his vehicle when the IED exploded. He sustained minor splinter injuries, the police said.
Chongtham Romeo, owner and driver of the other autorickshaw which was damaged in the blast, said he was at his home near the blast site when the bomb went off.
“I heard a loud sound and when I came out I learnt that there was a bomb blast. Then I saw my damaged auto. If I had been at the bus stand, I could have died. Such incidents should not occur at public places. I was lucky I was home at that time taking lunch,” Romeo said.
Five personnel of an Assam Rifles foot patrol team, sitting in the waiting shed of the stand, however, escaped without injuries. Assam Rifles personnel regularly patrol the area on foot and use the waiting shed to take rest.
A portion of a nearby shop was also damaged.
The incident disrupted classes at Khurai Popular High School, which was closed immediately after the blast.
The police and Assam Rifles personnel combed the area after the blast and rounded up three persons.
Claiming responsibility for the blast in a statement, RPF publicity chief Bangkim said the attack was carried out by a “special warfare group” of the PLA. He said the 252 mobile battalion of the PLA had also attacked a security post at Aishi village in Chandel district on September 9.
In another development, the police and the Assam Rifles yesterday arrested Laishram Gunamani, 32, “chief of army staff” of Kangleipak Communist Party-Military Council (Nongdrenkhomba group), from Kongba in Imphal East district on charges of extortion.
Gunamani is a signatory to the memorandum of understanding signed by Nongdrenkhomba group with the government on September 9 to pave the way for peace talks.