Telipati Locals Protest Bomb Blast

(Top) Building damaged by the impact of the blast and Telipati residents staging a sit-in protest. Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

IMPHAL, Jan 22: Vehemently protesting setting off a powerful bomb at late night yesterday, residents of Telipati area resorted to road blockade of the ImphalUkhrul route while demand for deployment of security personnel was put forth to the Government.

From early morning today a large number of locals came out to the street, burnt tires and stoned vehicles resulting in damage of a Tata Magic passenger carrier and several auto rickshaws who were unaware of the wildcat agitation.

A powerful blast was exploded at around 9.30 pm at Telipati in Imphal East district causing substantial damage to at least three buildings, shattering window panes and two vehicles, including one Ambassador car and a jeep, parked near the blast site. The blast created a crater of three feet deep and five feet diameter.

Telipati is a densely populated area comprising mainly of non-Manipuris.

As the agitated locals intensified road blockade and stone throwing activities, State police force resorted to baton-charge and fired tear gas shells besides opening black fire to disperse the mob.

At least 10 protestors, including women, suffered in- juries in the police crackdown while a police personnel also got hurt in retaliation by the locals.

When the situation was finally brought under control Telipati residents joined a sit-in-protest in the locality during which the blast was strongly condemned.

A JAC against the blast was also formed with the JAC president Bhagwati Prasad pointing out to some newspersons that Telipati residents had been settling in the area since 1803 and has been recognized as ‘minority community’ in the State Gazette.

While attempt by the protestors to meet the Chief Minister after the sit-in-protest was denied by the police a JAC delegation was however allowed to proceed and hand over a memorandum to the CM.

Among others the memorandum raised demand for protection of the Telipati residents, whose main source of income is edible oil business, setting up of a security outpost, adequate compensation to owners whose houses have been damaged by the blast and provision of a separate power line.

In the aftermath of the blast, Telipati residents set up a bamboo wall across a bylane that connects Telipati and the adjacent Khurai Ahongei Leikai, who evoked strong protest from the latter.

Contrary to Telipati residents contending that the wall was constructed on security ground, Khurai Ahongei locals insisted that the structure was connected to a future plan for godown construction.

While tension initially prevailed over the issue the situation subsided after intervention by the local elders.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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