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Serial blasts rock Manipur, two injured

Two people were injured after four serial bomb blasts rocked Manipur’s capital Imphal city and Thoubal district on Independence Day yesterday. “There have been a series of blasts of grenades planted by insurgents in these places,” said Manipur Police chief Y Joykumar Singh. Though Singh said “no one was injured in the incident”, other officials said two people were critically injured in the first blast at Mela Ground in Thoubal district town around 8 am. 

The injured were taken to a nearby hospital at the district headquarters of Thoubal, about 50 km from state capital. An hour later, a series of three blasts took place in Sagolband Salam Leikai, Telipati and Yasikul in Imphal.

All the three explosions took place when Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh was delivering his Independence Day speech at the 1st Manipur Rifles’ Parade Ground. Ibobi Singh asked insurgents to shun violence and become part of the mainstream for the overall development of Manipur.

Though no insurgent group has claimed responsibility for the blasts, Manipur Police and intelligence officials said the blasts were carried out by the Coordination Committee (CorCom) — an umbrella of seven major separatist outfits fighting for an independent Manipur.

The group had boycotted Independence Day celebrations in the northeastern region Meanwhile, security has been heightened in the state. “No one has been arrested but a manhunt is on to nab the insurgents,” Singh said. There are more than 20 rebel armies active in Manipur with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy.

Shutdown marred I-Day celebrations in Meghalaya
The Independence Day celebrations in the state were marred by a shutdown called by militant group National Liberation Council (HNLC), which affected life in the state. The HNLC, which conducts hit-and-run raids from its hideouts in Bangladesh, wants a sovereign Khasi homeland in the state. In capital Shillong, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma unfurled the national flag and took the salute at a ceremonial parade. Sangma stated, he urged the insurgents to surrender and join the fight against hunger and poverty rather than playing into the hands of anti-national elements. 

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