Imphal: Republic Day celebrations in Manipur were marred by four powerful bomb blasts amidst high security measures after six militant outfits called for a boycott of the day, police said. However, no one was injured in the explosions.
“A powerful bomb exploded near the deputy commissioner’s office in the eastern part of Imphal at 8am. There were three more subsequent explosions by noon in different parts of the city,” a police spokesperson said yesterday.
The area where the first bomb went off is close to the official residence of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. Police officials with additional reinforcement rushed to the spots and combing operations were on to nab the guerrillas behind the blasts.
“The bombs were planted in four places of the capital city by the outlawed outfits to kill people on Republic day,” police said.
The army on Saturday recovered two explosive devices planted in separate places in Bishnupur district. Both were safely defused.
Security was further stepped up at strategic locations in Imphal, including the crowded commercial areas of Ima Market, Paona Bazaar, Thangal Bazaar and Governor Road and civil secretariat areas.
Police also enhanced frisking and patrolling in and around the city. Six frontline separatist outfits based in Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura earlier gave a call to boycott the Republic Day celebrations and asked people to observe a general strike from 1am to 5pm.
Separatist groups have for years boycotted national events and staged violent attacks in the run-up to the celebrations to make their presence felt.