Imphal blast probe sought

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  • Published 28.10.08

Imphal, Oct. 28: Residents of Ragailong and its surrounding areas today demanded a judicial inquiry into the October 21 bomb blast in which 17 people were killed and more than 30 wounded.

While residents in the rest of the state were preparing to celebrate the festival of lights, those in Ragailong, a tribal village on the outskirts of Imphal city today spent the day by organising a protest march.

A powerful bomb, fitted to a moped, exploded near a dice game venue near the gate of Ragailong, close to a police commando barrack and an Assam Rifles transit camp, on the night of October 21.

Cadres of the Kangleipak Communist Party (Military Council) planted the bomb to “target” the police and security forces who “encouraged” gambling and also to “warn” the gamblers.

The incident evoked widespread condemnation and sent the Manipur government into taking various preventive measures to avoid such incidents in future.

The residents of the blast site formed a joint action committee to take up the matter with the Ibobi Singh government.

Protesters belonging to all communities took out a march from the spot towards the chief minister’s office. The police stopped them at Palace Gate, around 300 metres from the office. A delegation was allowed to meet the chief minister.

The memorandum signed by N. Bhumeshgore, secretary of the action committee, urged the chief minister to order a judicial inquiry into the blast to find out how the bomb exploded near two security establishments and also if there were any security lapses.

Residents have been accusing the state police of serious lapses. “We repeatedly told the police to stop the gambling in the area. But our requests went unheeded,” Kambui Lunglu, secretary of the Ragailong Women Union, said.

The committee also demanded relief for the victims’ family and the injured. It sought immediate attention for the seriously injured persons and if necessary, their being taken to hospitals outside the state at government cost.

Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has already announced ex gratia for the victims’ family members and extend financial help to the injured.