3 AR soldiers, civilian injured in Kangjeibung blast
IMPHAL, 7th Feb: At least three Assam Rifles personnel and one civilian were injured when two grenades hurled by unknown persons exploded near the southern gate of Imphal pologround (Mapal Kangjeibung) at about 6.20pm Wednesday.
Among the injured AR personnel was a warrant officer of 6 AR namely Bipin Nath (50) of Silchar, Assam and the other two are identified as head constable Chamanlal (40) from Jammu & Kashmir and head constable Prajapati (44) from Bihar. The lone civilian injured in the blast has been identified as Anil Kumar Saha (30) son of Bijay Saha from Jharkhand but presently staying at Nagamapal Singjubung Leirak. Saha runs a mobile sugarcane juice shop. All the injured were rushed to RIMS hospital where they are undergoing treatment currently. Sources informed that personnel of 6 Assam Rifles of 9 Sector AR have been making preparation since Wednesday for the state equestrian tournament to be organised by DGAR from February 11 at Imphal pologround. At about 6.20pm Thursday, unidentified miscreants lobbed two hand grenades near VIP gallery of the stadium and both the grenades exploded injuring three AR personnel and one civilian.
Police recovered lever of one of the grenades right in front of gate of the stadium and lever of the other grenade inside the fenced area near the main gate where flowers are grown. Both the grenades exploded near the gallery of the stadium and impact of the blast also caused partial damage to wall of the gallery.
Immediately after the blast, top police officials including Imphal West SP rushed to the spot and conducted a thorough investigation but no arrest could be made.
Terming the incident as unfortunate, DGP LM Khaute informed media persons that Imphal West police have been conducting routine operation to prevent attacks by militants and there was no lapse on part of state police force. Apart from police, Assam Rifles have been keeping strict vigil in the area, he added.
IGP (Zone-I) Clay Khongsai and DC Imphal West N Praveen too inspected the blast site apart from 6AR CO, 15 AR CO and CRPF officials.
Meanwhile, chief minister N Biren told media persons while visiting injured AR soldiers and civilian at RIMS that it was very unfortunate that militants targeted security forces in public places and his government always condemns such attacks.
State police did not took extra security measures in the area as Assam Rifles authority did not share information about organising equestrian tournament at Imphal pologround though sought permission from the DC concerned, Biren said while admitting that there was communication gap between state police and Assam Rifles. Miscreants could have taken advantage of this communication gap and targeted the security personnel, he said, adding that a thorough investigation would be initiated after consulting state force, AR and intelligence unit.
It is worth mentioning that two grenades too exploded during equestrian tournament organised by DGAR at the same venue on February 5, 2018 and two AR personnel were injured in the blast which was later claimed to have been triggered by the proscribed UNLF.