| Police personnel inspect the blast site at Pangei in Imphal East on Thursday. (PTI) |
Imphal, March 15: A minor girl was killed while five others, including three minor girls and two women, of two families, suffered splinter injuries when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded at a rented house at Pangei of Imphal East this morning.
The injured were admitted to the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal. Doctors said the condition of two of the minors was critical.
The additional superintendent of police, Imphal East, Ak. Jhaljit Singh, said the IED exploded inside the kitchen of the rented house around 9am and one minor, Pebam Bembem, 7, was killed instantly.
The injured persons are Memcha Kom, 35 and her three daughters — Anjali Kom, 14, Tracy Kom, 9, and Preeti Kom, 7, and Pebam Memi Devi, 45.
Memi is the mother of girl killed in the blast.
“The bomb was kept hidden inside the kitchen of the two families. It exploded when the children were playing with it, not knowing that it was a bomb,” Jhaljit Singh said.
Police suspected that one of the two women who were injured and hospitalised could have been hiding the bomb in the kitchen.
They also suspected that a youth from one of the families was a member of a militant outfit.
The police said the bomb was kept hidden under some vegetables inside the kitchen, thinking that the children would not find it.
No one has been arrested.
“We have suspects and we will soon arrest all those involved in hiding the bomb at the rented house. We are investigating the case and we are making headway,” the police officer said.
The police are waiting for the condition of the two women to improve before questioning them.
“I was sitting inside my house having tea when I suddenly heard a deafening sound nearby. Then some women inside the rented house were crying for help,” Kim, a woman in the neighbourhood, said.
All the male members of the family were away when the blast took place.
The police said the two families were staying together at the rented house.
“The bomb suddenly exploded behind me, as I was trying to collect clothes for taking a bath. I don’t know how the bomb found its way in our house and exploded,” an injured Memcha said.
The site of the blast is just 500 metres from the main gate of Manipur Police Training School at Pangei.