Taruni, a professor of Medicine in Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, was shot and wounded on Friday night by unknown assailants. She was rushed to the RIMS hospital with a bullet injury in the head. Doctors and post-graduate students immediately closed the emergency ward in protest.

Sources said that Dr. Taruni was in her private clinic a little away from the RIMS complex. There is a strict order from the RIMS authority not to indulge in private practices since the faculties in the institute are drawing non-practising allowance at the rate of 25 per cent of their salary.

At 8:49 pm she was busy examining her patients in the clinic when three shots were fired. Reports say that a rifle might have been used to fire the shots. The bullets pierced the glass partitions. Though two of the bullets missed her, the third bullet hit her at the back of the head. Perhaps on seeing her slumped body the assailants fled. She was immediately rushed to the RIMS hospital. Late in the night she regained consciousness. However doctors attending on her told The Hindu that she is not out of danger as yet. She is kept under observation round the clock.

No underground organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack as yet. However police fear that some militants might have tried to kill her as she perhaps refused to pay a whopping amount as illegal tax. It is believed that she had received extortion threats from some underground organisations. Police have registered a case against unknown persons.

The doctors, students of medical, dental and nursing colleges are abstaining from work. A sit in protest is also planned. Dr Sekharjit Sinam, Director of RIMS, has strongly condemned the attack against the lady doctor. There were many instances in the past on kidnap and extortion. But this is the first time that a lady doctor has been shot and wounded.

Meanwhile police recovered the dead body of a passenger bus driver identified as Monas Ali (22) of Bokajan in Assam. Suspected tribal militants had abducted him on February 21. Police have been unable to rescue him all these days. He was staying at a rented house in Imphal for driving the passenger bus.

Farmers who were going to their fields had found the dead body of the driver on Friday near Molvon village in Senapati district. They alerted the police who later took away the body.

Though police have registered a case no progress is made in the investigation. No outfi thas claimed responsibility so far in the case.