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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 April 2024

Manipur: One person killed, another injured as IED explosion rocks Imphal West district

No official statements on the incidents have been released yet, but reports from Imphal said a bomb went off near the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) office located on the DM University campus

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 25.02.24, 06:23 AM
Manipur CM N. Biren SIngh

Manipur CM N. Biren SIngh File picture

A series of untoward incidents, including a blast in front of the office of a leading student organisation that left one dead, jolted Manipur capital Imphal on Friday night.

The office of a leading civil society organisation (CSO) was also burnt down and a school was looted.

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The incidents took place within a span of four hours amid the ongoing ethnic conflict between the Meiteis and the Kuki-Zo communities and days before the upcoming Assembly session where key issues related to the conflict “will” come up for discussion.

No official statements on the incidents have been released yet, but reports from Imphal said a bomb went off near the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) office located on the DM University campus in Imphal West around 9.30pm. A fifth-semester student, identified as O.K. Singh, died in the blast. Singh, who hailed from Upokpi village in Bishnupur district, was pursuing his graduation with DM College of Science.

Upokpi residents formed a joint action committee, seeking the arrest of those involved in the bomb blast within 48 hours. They also demanded a government job and ex gratia to the bereaved family, failing which they would protest.

According to sources, around 11.50pm, unidentified persons set on fire the office of a leading CSO conglomerate United Committee Manipur (UCM) in Lamphel. The UCM office is around 2.5km from the DM University.

Around the same time, a group of miscreants also set on fire the administrative building of the Macha Leima School in Imphal East and “looted” cylinders and computers, among others.

Books, uniforms and official documents were damaged in the fire, a local resident said, adding two more CSOs — MAPI Council and Coalition Against Drugs and Alchohol (CADA) — in Imphal East were also set on fire before midnight.

The Manipur cabinet met on Saturday morning.

Chief minister N. Biren Singh posted on X: “Chaired a meeting at the cabinet hall of my secretariat today. Deliberated on agendas tabled by the departments and matters concerning the people of the state.”

Police are also yet to issue a statement on the series of incidents.

A UCM member told the media in Imphal that they wanted stringent punishment for those involved in the arson which had led to the destruction of a lot of important documents on the state’s history and boundary, flagging “intelligence failure” for the burning down of the UCM office. Apart from the documents, cash, computers and clothes were destroyed in the fire.

UCM is a conglomerate of over 30 CSOs and was formed in 2001 to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur, something which has also emerged as a key issue with the Kuki-Zo organisation demanding separation from Manipur and the Meiteis vehemently opposing it.

The Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), another leading conglomerate of CSOs, condemned the bomb blast and the burning down of the UCM office and called for unity during the ongoing conflict.

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