Special cop for security - Series of bomb blasts in Imphal spurs move

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  • Published 11.11.13

Imphal, Nov. 10: A series of blasts in Imphal city has prompted the Okram Ibobi Singh government to look for a senior police officer to oversee security measures in and around the city.

There were eight bomb blasts since September 13, most of them in the heart of Imphal city, leaving 12 people dead and more than 20 wounded. The victims included nine migrant labourers.

The United National Liberation Front (UNLF) claimed responsibility for one of the blasts in which a member of the Assam Rifles foot patrol was injured. No group claimed responsibility for the remaining seven cases. Four of the explosions took place in non-Manipuri concentrated areas of the city.

The serial blasts shook the security establishment of the state police compelling chief minister Ibobi Singh and deputy chief minister Gaikhangam, who is also the home minister, to preside over a series of security meetings.

“In view of the development, the government decided to entrust the task of supervising security measures in and around Imphal city to a police officer, not below the rank of deputy inspector-general of police, who will be solely responsible for the overall security of the city and beyond,” a senior home department official told The Telegraph.

The official said a decision to this effect had been taken and a police officer would be in charge very soon. He would be asked specifically to secure Imphal city from bomb blasts in the future.

“The police officer will work for better co-ordination among the police officers and ranks and files of the state force to ensure that the city remained trouble free and its residents protected,” the official said.

At present, Imphal city police station under the supervision of Imphal West district superintendent of police K. Jayanta Singh is looking after the security of the city.

The police are yet to find the perpetrators of the serial blasts.

“We are investigating the cases. It is very difficult right now to name anyone or any group. Nobody is making any claim. All the victims are innocent people. We condemn these acts of violence,” director-general of police M.K. Das told this correspondent.

The serial blasts came at a time when Manipur government is preparing to hold the annual Sangai Festival from November 21 in the city. The festival is aimed at promoting tourism and attracting foreign tourists to Manipur.

“We are taking all possible measures to ensure that the festival goes off smoothly. Everything will be in place as far as security measures are concerned,” the police chief said.

However, city dwellers and traders are in a state of fear and they want the state police department to do more to keep “bombers” away from the city.

“We don’t feel safe. Given the frequency of blasts in the city in the past couple of months, anytime another bomb could go off anywhere in the city. We wish the police do more so that we are protected,” R. Jain, a city trader, said.