Manipur nominee?s residence attacked

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  • Published 27.09.04

Imphal, Sept. 27: Unidentified persons hurled a grenade at the residence of Sapam Budhichandra Singh, Congress candidate for the Konthoujam Assembly byelection, at Lamphel Sanakeithel in Imphal West last night. No one was injured in the attack.

The incident follows close on the heels of the attack on the candidate?s workers in Konthoujam Awang Leikai. Militants had last week beaten up Congress workers and burnt poll materials at the candidate?s ancestral home.

Budhichandra is a consensus candidate of the Okram Ibobi Singh-led Secular Progressive Front, comprising the Congress and the CPI.

Police said the grenade hurled from behind a truck parked nearby exploded near the fence of the house. The miscreants also fired several rounds before fleeing. Hearing the blast, CRPF personnel fired in the air from a nearby post. The candidate was away in his constituency, campaigning for the October 13 byelection, when his house was attacked.

Security has been tightened in the area and a search launched to track down the assailants.

No one has been arrested so far. The candidate has appealed to chief minister Ibobi Singh for additional security guards while he is travelling as well as for his two residences at Konthoujam and Lamphel Sanakeithel.

Ibobi Singh, who is the president of the Manipur PCC, kicked off Budhichandra?s election campaign by hoisting the party flag at the candidate?s residence at Konthoujam Awang Leikai this morning.

The campaign was launched under tight security.

?The bomb attack on Budhichandra?s residence and on his workers are a threat to the electorate. This is an attempt to rob the people of their rights,? Ibobi Singh said.

He said the attacks justified the government?s decision not to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from Manipur.

?It is because of such threats and intimidation that the act was promulgated in Manipur,? he said, appealing to the electorate to ignore the threat from militants and to take part in the electoral process without any fear.

The chief minister promised the electorate adequate security to counter any disruptive activity during the election. Former chief minister and Rajya Sabha member Rishang Keishing, who was present at the function, appealed to the underground and overground organisations to come forward for talks with the government to resolve their differences and get their grievances redressed.

In a separate incident, an Assam Rifles soldier was injured when militants ambushed a foot patrol of the paramilitary force along the Imphal-Moreh Road near Khudengthabi this morning.