| Deputy chief minister Gaikhangam at RIMS in Imphal on Friday. Picture by UB Photos |
Imphal, May 30: Deputy chief minister Gaikhangam today instructed the director-general of police, Shahid Ahmed, to stop policemen from using cell phones on duty to keep them alert.
The directive came after yesterday’s blast in a crowded marketplace of Singjamei here, which killed two migrant labourers and wounded 18 others, including a woman.
Police said some of the injured persons, who are undergoing treatment at four different hospitals here, were still critical.
Gaikhangam, who is also the home minister, visited all the four hospitals today, to check the condition of the injured persons.
“We have beefed up security to protect migrant labourers. As part of the measures, I have instructed the director-general of police to prevent the use of cell phones by policemen, except for emergency purposes while on duty,” Gaikhangam told reporters during the hospital visit.
He also instructed the police chief to reduce the duty hours of the personnel as far as possible to ensure that they remained alert throughout their duty period.
Gaikhangam said the police department was facing a challenge after militants started using highly sophisticated IEDs and outsourced persons to carry out subversive activities.
“They give Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 to willing people to plant bombs and explode them. Though we have intensified the security measures, our personnel are facing a new challenge. Two to three people will bring parts of the IEDs separately and another will assemble these at the spot and trigger it, making it difficult for personnel on frisking duty to detect any bomb,” he said.
Gaikhangam, however, said despite the hurdles, the police would track those behind yesterday’s blast and bring them to book.
The police are working on yesterday’s case, he added.
Gaikhangam also assured the victims of government aid.
“Ex gratia will be paid to the kin of the two victims and financial assistance to those injured according to the government norms as they are all innocent people,” he said.
The two killed in the blast are identified as Arvind Rai, 20, and Shyam Shanker Rai, 32, both from Bihar.
Gaikhangam also spoke to leaders of Hindu Samaj of Imphal and assured them of all government help in the cremation of the bodies.
Residents of Singjamei today staged a sit-in near the blast site to condemn the incident.
“It was a senseless act. Will they achieve any goal by exploding bombs in crowded market places and killing and injuring innocent people?” Shyama Devi, one of the protesters, asked angrily.