| Women stage a dharna to protest the blast in Imphal on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Imphal, Jan. 15: An improvised explosive device exploded near the house of former minister and Congress legislator L. Loken Singh and a militant was killed in factional fighting in two separate incidents in Manipur today.
Police said the blast took place around 4.30 this morning outside the gate of the MLA’s private residence — located at Sangaiprou on the outskirts of Imphal.
Loken represents Nambol Assembly constituency of Bishnupur district. He was present at his house in Sangaiporu when the incident occurred.
No one was injured in the early morning blast, the police said. Some portions of the house like the iron gate, windowpanes and walls were damaged by the impact of the blast.
“There was no power at the time of the blast. Therefore, sentries did not see any movement of individuals near the gate at the time of the incident,” a Manipur Rifles jawan guarding the house said.
The police said the blast was “aimed at threatening” the MLA. No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The incident came at a time when the police and central forces have intensified combing operations and frisking in view of Republic Day. Combing operations continued today in different parts of greater Imphal.
Every year, militants call general strikes to boycott Republic Day and trigger explosions to demonstrate their presence, the police said.
Later in the day, the women of the area staged a sit-in near the site of the blast to protest the incident.
In the other incident, a cadre of the S.K. Thadou faction of the United Tribal Liberation Army (UTLA) was killed and two others, including Thadou, were injured when their car was ambushed by cadres of a rival faction of the UTLA in Imphal East district this afternoon, the police said. The injured were taken to a Silchar hospital.
The police said the rival faction, led by Robart, ambushed the car in which Thadou was travelling at Leingangtabi of Jiribam in Imphal East district, about 225km from here around 12.54pm.