TODAY -

Powerful blast at Sangai Festival leaves one dead, 4 injured
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 30 2011: One rickshaw driver was killed and four other people including two women sustained injuries when a remote-controlled bomb went off near the main gate of the ongoing Manipur Sangai Festival, 2011 at Hafta Kangjeibung at around 11 am today.

The deceased rickshaw driver has been identified as Md Kora (55) s/o late Ibobi of Mayang Imphal Irong Umang Leikai but staying in a rented house belonging to one Md Sanajaoba at Hatta Golapati for the last 10 years.

Md Kora plied the rickshaw taken on hire on daily basis from one Okram Jilangamba of Kongba Nongthombam Leikai.

He left behind his wife, Pishak and a 10-year old son.

Pishak is a vegetable seller in Khwairamband Bazar.

The bomb, which was believed to have been kept inside a carton box, was said to have been loaded in his rickshaw by one unknown person who identified himself as a member of the proscribed KCP from near New Checkon crossing with the instruction that it should be taken towards the festival ground.

The alleged KCP member also gave Rs 20 to Md Kora, who apparently did not know about the content, for carrying the box.



Scene at the entrance of Sangai Festival, blast site.
Scene at the entrance of Sangai Festival, blast site.


However, as the rickshaw crossed the main gate, the bomb went off.

The impact of the blast was so great that both the legs of Md Kora were severed from his body.

One of the severed legs was found near the drain of MB College while the other was found lying around 20 metres from the blast site.

The rickshaw driven by Md Kora had also been blown up into pieces.

According to some eyewitnesses, amidst the smoke emanating from the explosion, Md Kora was seen lying on his back among the mangled parts of his rickshaw.

Perhaps stunned by the explosion, Md Kora did not make any sound nor show any sign of pain.

After lying in that position for about 5 minutes, Md Kora started moving and waving his hand as if asking for help.

Despite both his legs severed from his body, Md Kora managed to sit up by getting hold on the handle of the damaged rickshaw.

Although many security personnel were seen in and around the festival ground, none came forward to the rescue of Md Kora.

After around 15 minutes, a team of Imphal West District polic led by Additional SP Birbabu went up and talked to the injured rickshaw driver.

In the conversation, which was heard by all the people in the nearby area, Md Kora said without showing any sign of losing consciousness that he was given Rs 20 by one unknown person who identified himself as a member of the proscribed KCP for transporting the box towards the festival ground.

After about 20 minutes of questioning at the blast site, the injured rickshaw driver was taken in a DI Tata of the police for treatment at JNIMS where he passed away at around 11.50 am.

The four persons who sustained injuries in the blast have been identified as Chabungbam Bidyapati (24) d/o late Bihari of Awang Khunou Mamang Leikai, Yumnam Bala (50) w/o Rajendro of Konthoujam Awang Leikai, Md Sattar (20) s/o Atou of Moijing and Wahengbam Kulladhwaja (42) s/o Lalabi of Kangla Uchonkhong.

Bidyapati is a recruit of North East Security Services and she was manning the ticket counter of the festival while Bala came to see the festival when the explosion took place.

Bidyapati was hit by bomb splinters on her right hand while Bala on her right thigh.

Meanwhile, talking to Hueiyen Lanpao in connection with the explosion, an official of Imphal East District Police informed that the bomb was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and it is suspected that the explosion was remote-controlled.

Whether the bomb was kept inside a box or simply loaded on the rickshaw and what instruction had been given exactly to the rickshaw driver has not yet been ascertained.

After the explosion, DGP Y Joykumar, Senior SP of Imphal East L Kailun, Senior SP of Imphal West Clay Khongsai, other police officers, bomb experts, Assam Rifles, Army and BSF and National Security Guards who are presently in Imphal in connection with the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh rushed in for spot inspection.

Tourism Minister TN Haokip and other government officials also arrived at the spot for inspection.

Although police claimed that KCP (MC) had earlier given restriction on organizing any sort of entertainment programme, no one has claimed responsibility for the blast till the time of filing this report.


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