Imphal, Oct. 15: An officer of the 33 Assam Rifles, N. Bora from Assam, who was on foot patrol, sustained splinter injuries in a bomb attack during a general strike called by an umbrella body of seven militant groups in Manipur today.
Police said an IED exploded near a canal at Arong Nongmaikhong on the fringe of Loktak lake in Bishnupur district, when the foot patrol of the 33 Assam Rifles was passing the spot.
The Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) has claimed responsibility for the IED attack as part of its black day observance in a statement today.
The IED was triggered at a spot nearly 50km from Imphal, using a remote-controlled device this afternoon. The army’s public relations office confirmed the blast.
However, it maintained that there were no reports of any injury or casualty. The police said the injured officer was airlifted to Leimakhong army hospital.
The co-ordination committee of the Kangleipak Communist Party, Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup, Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Progressive), Revolutionary Peoples Front, United National Liberation Front and United Peoples Party of Kangleipak called an 18-hour general strike since midnight last night.
The umbrella group called the general strike as part of its national black day, observed today to protest Manipur’s merger with India on this day in 1949.
The agreement was signed by the then Maharaja Bodhchandra Singh on September 21, 1949. The committee alleged said the merger was “forcible annexation” and that the people of Manipur had never accepted it.
Security agencies were on high alert in view of the strike.
All market places, banks and educational institutions were closed and vehicles stayed off the roads. Inter-state bus and commercial transport services were also suspended. Attendance in government offices was thin.