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Imphal blast: Dead rickshaw puller points to Kangleipak Communist Party

By Sumit Bhattacharya
Last updated on: November 30, 2011 19:27 IST
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The bomb that went off at the Sangai festival in Imphal, Manipur, on Wednesday morning was being carried by a rickshaw puller identified as Kora in his rickshaw, police sources have said.

They added that they managed to interrogate him before he died at the spot. The rickshaw puller revealed that the IED was given to him by a person who identified himself as a Kangleipak Communist Party member.

It was a faction of the KCP that had called for the 72-hour general strike in Manipur, which is slated to end on Thursday at 6 am, in protest against the prolonged economic blockade on national highways.

Official sources said two women visitors were also injured while Union Home Minister P Chidambaram put the number of injured at four. The explosion occurred when an unsuspecting rickshaw puller, who was paid Rs 20 to transport the bomb by militants, was placing it near the gate of the exhibition, official sources in Imphal said.

Chidambaram said the information he had was that the bomb was an Improvised Explosive Device. The site of the blast is about 50 metres away from the newly-constructed 'City Convention Centre' which is due to be inaugurated by the prime minister on December 3.

"The information is IED was handed over to a person and before he could place it, it went off. He was severely injured. Four others have received minor injuries. The police have been able to speak to the person who is believed to have carried the IED and they have taken a statement," he told reporters in Delhi.

He said government anticipated trouble in Manipur and very stringent measures have been taken. No individual or group has, however, claimed responsibility for the incident.

The Sangai Festival, which has attracted many foreigners, ended on Wednesday,and state Governor Gurbachan Jagat was expected at the event at 3.30 pm.

The blast, which killed one and injured three, comes just days before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the troubled state on December 3.

With inputs from PTI

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Sumit Bhattacharya In Imphal