NATIONAL

Imphal death toll is five



Iboyaima Laithangbam

State Government announces compensation

IMPHAL: The death toll in Wednesday's grenade attack on the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) complex here on Wednesday during the Janmashtami celebrations has gone up to five, with the death of T. Ranjeeta, 24, on Friday.

Shortly after her death, members of non-governmental organisations and some women blocked traffic at different parts of Imphal.

Most of the 11 foreigners who came to participate in the celebrations had been evacuated. Brian Nash, a U.S. citizen, is in a critical condition at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences here. Three Americans and one Swiss national were injured in the blast.

The State Cabinet on Thursday night took stock of the situation. While condemning the incident, it decided to give ex gratia payment to the next of the kin of the dead and financial assistance to the injured.

Top police officials admitted that there had been no breakthrough in the investigation. Since a proscribed militant group was suspected to be behind the blast, it would take time to round up the miscreants, said an official.

Denies involvement

PTI reports:

The Manipur Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) has denied its involvement in the blast.

In a statement here, its deputy secretary (publicity and research) Apabi Mangang said the KYKL had not demanded money from the ISKON authorities.

The statement assumes significance in the backdrop of media reports quoting a Union Home Ministry official as saying that the KYKL was suspected to be behind the incident. The statement said the KYKL collected "tax" from private schools, and as part of its policy, it also collected about Rs. 10,000 from a private school run by the ISKON authorities. But it had nothing to do with the grenade attack.

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