STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 9th May:
Two Border Security Force jawans were killed and at least three civilians including a woman injured in a powerful bomb blast which took place at about 2.10pm Wednesday near the entrance gate of 49 Bn BSF at Koirengei under Heingang police station in Imphal East district.
It was second blast in less than 24 hours in Imphal after a twin grenade attack at Sanjeevani, North AOC where the office of PRO IGAR (South) is located. One AR soldier was injured in the grenade attack at Sanjeevani.
The deceased BSF jawans in Wednesday's explosion have been identified as Constable Ningombam Ningthouba Meitei (27) son of Shyamkishore of Bashikhong Kitna Patnung, Imphal East and Constable Sanjay Tirke (29) son of Sh Bisnu Tirke of Mespara tea garden, West Bengal.
The injured civilians are identified as Mangsatabam Premalata (40) wife of Ningthemjao of Luwangsangbam, Heisnam Mobi (45) son of Manglem of Maiba Khul and Bindiya Thakuri (18) of Koirengei.
Speaking to media persons after enquiring condition of the injured persons at Raj Medicity, North AOC, chief minister N Biren Singh made it clear that the government takes the incident very seriously and will never remain as a silent spectator but hunt down the perpetrators and book them under the law of the land.
Informing that the Police Department is investigating the recent blasts that occurred at different pockets of the state capital, the Chief Minister said that necessary steps would be put in place and more security measures activated to prevent such incidents. He also told media persons that the Government would bear all the medical expenses of the injured persons.
Later, the Chief Minister went to JNIMS morgue, where bodies of two deceased BSF personnel were deposited, and met the authorities of the paramilitary force.
The CM was accompanied by MLAs Awangbou Newmai, Th Satyabrata and L Susindro and DGP LM Khaute.
Sources informed that injured Premalata runs a grocery shop while Mobi is a school van driver.
Premalata was inside her shop when the bomb exploded nd Mobi waiting for students at the roadside. Bindiya suffered splinter injuries while walking in the area.
The bomb suspected to be IED exploded near the shutter of Premalata’s grocery shop located adjacent to the approach road of 49 Bn BSF battalion headquarters. Constables Ningthouba and Sanjay, who were on road patrol duty nearby the grocery shop, were hit by bomb splinters, the source said, adding both of them succumbed at RIMS hospital after brief treatment. Both Premlata and Mobi were hit by bomb splinters badly and were rushed at Raj Medicity where their conditions are stated to be serious.
The blast ripped apart major portion of Premlata’s grocery shop apart from causing damage to some vehicles parked nearby. The impact of the blast also created a crater measuring around 2 feet in diameter at the site.
Immediately after the blast, top police officers including SP Imphal East K Meghachandra, Assam Rifles, 49 Bn BSF and Manipur police bomb squad along with forensic experts rushed in and inspected the blast site. Snipper dogs of Assam Rifles were utilised in further search of the area.
According to bomb experts, the bomb could be IED triggered by remote control.
The previous major attack on security forces was in November 2017 when two riflemen of 18 Assam Rifles were killed and six others sustained injuries in a powerful IED explosion at Mahamani village under Chandel police station in Chandel district.
The Mahamani village blast occurred when some personnel of 18 AR were out for their regular morning jogging.