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Alert salesman averts blast in Manipur

An alert salesman of a pharmacy at Kombirei market, where the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences is located, averted a major blast early on Friday morning, police sources said.

The salesman, identified as L. Ramandeep, came to open the pharmacy at 7 am when he noticed a small polythene bag in front of the shop. Inside were a tiffin box and a mobile phone handset.

He informed H. Joychandra (80), the owner of the Lamphel Pharmacy, who in turn alerted the City police station. Police and a bomb detection and disposal squad rushed to the scene . The busy area was closed to traffic for some hours during the operation. Police found a powerful bomb inside the bag. It was taken away for a controlled implosion.

Outlawed underground organisation, the National Revolutionary Front Manipur, in a statement owned responsibility for planting the powerful bomb. “It is good for all that the bomb was collected by the police in time”, it said. The outfit had asked the pharmacy owner to abandon his confrontationist attitude. However, the owner was headstrong and it was left with no alternative, the statement said. It warned that if there was further violence, the owner should be held squarely responsible.

The outfit clarified that it had no connection whatsoever with the bomb blast in Little Flower School in Imphal on Monday morning. The school authorities, it said, know that the outfit had no quarrel with them.

Police had claimed that a cadre of the outfit, identified as Thounaojam Rishi, was arrested in connection with the blast in Little Flower School. It said explosive materials were recovered from his house at Kangla Sangomshang, Imphal east district.

The outfit said it had no truck with Rishi or members of the family. It explained that some its “army men” were on a mission on May 6. However, on sighting security personnel nearby, they dumped the explosives in the house. Police had arrested an innocent person. It said police had also got the name of the chairman of the outfit wrong.

Meanwhile, a press release issued by Somsai battalion of Assam Rifles said that a cadre of the banned Zeleirong United Front had surrendered with arms on Thursday. He had brought a .22 pistol with 19 live rounds of ammunition and one China-made hand grenade. He will be rehabilitated, officials said.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 12:25:45 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/alert-salesman-averts-blast-in-manipur/article65513929.ece