IMPHAL: Two Assam Rifles Jawans died, 6 hurt in Manipur blast and six others seriously injured in an IED explosion triggered by underground militants in Chandel, 65 km from here, on Monday morning. Chandel is a Naga-dominated town and headquarters of the district by the same name that borders Myanmar.
Police sources said the explosion took place when personnel from Assam Rifles (18th Battalion) were patrolling in the Mahamani area along DC Road around 6.15 am. While one jawan died on the spot, seven others were wounded. One of the injured later died in the Leimakhong military hospitalwhere he had been taken in a helicopter along with the other wounded personnel.
The proscribed outfit Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) said its armed wing People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was responsible for the explosion. A statement issued by RPF said a team of PLA’s “demolition unit” launched the attack and inflicted casualty on the Assam Rifles, which it described as “Indian occupational forces”.
The dead included riflemen Indra Singh and Sohan Lal, while riflemen S Sarkar, N Shyamkumar, Tirendra Nath, Ram Govind Singh, Nirmal Roy and Lalnunpuia were among the injured, the sources said.Senior officers from Assam Rifles and Manipur Police visited the spot to take stock of the situation. A massive manhunt was launched immediately after the attack. Many locals, mostly women, came out to oppose the blast which they said took place in a civilian area. Holding placards reading “We condemn bomb blast in civilian area” and “We condemn cowardly terrorist act in civilian area,” they staged a sit-in protest near the site of the explosion.
The blast comes at a time when police have beefed up security for President Ram Nath Kovind who will arrive in the state on his first visit to inaugurate the 10-day Manipur Sangai (tourism) festival at Keibul village in Bishnupur district on November 21.