Imphal: Manipur's Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam on Sunday had a miraculous escape, when police commandos on patrol found a powerful bomb planted on a road through which the leader was scheduled to pass.
Police of Bishnupur district spotted the bomb at Mallom Bomdier area, about 14 km from Imphal, shortly before Gaikhangam and his entourage arrived, officials said.
Gaikhangam, who holds the home portfolio and is also the state Congress president, was to be the chief guest at a church function in Sadu Chiru village. He was stranded for over 30 minutes at Tiddim Road while the police bomb squad defused the explosive.
Eventually, Gaikhangam and his team took a detour to reach the village. Police said the bomb was about one kg in weight and had 11 detonators. A manhunt was launched, but nobody has been arrested. There was also no claim from any group.
Gaikhangam, who arrived late to the function, appeared unruffled but avoided referring to the incident. At the function, he said Sadu Chiru village was famous for its scenic beauty, and assured the villagers that the place will be developed into a tourist destination.
Police sources say some tribal organisations have accused Gaikhangam, a tribal himself, of being an "anti-tribal" politician. There were demands earlier to boycott him and not to allow him to attend public functions in tribal areas.