An Indian Reserve Battalion Personnel lobs a grenade causing serious injuries to 5 civilians. The grenade is of the type that are usually used by Armed Opposition Groups. The law-enforcement personnel has been arrested. Police says, militants may hav...e infiltrated the security forces. Human Rights Defenders say, security forces acting as 'mercenaries'.
The Telegraph reports,
Grenade blast near hospital- Five hurt in Manipur, IRB jawan held
Imphal, Aug. 21: A grenade blast in front of a hospital at Thangal Bazar here this morning left five persons wounded, two of them seriously.
Police have arrested a rifleman, T. Munal, from the IRB’s 2nd battalion on suspicion of having thrown the grenade and are investigating whether he has any links with the Kangleipak Communist Party (Military Council).
The grenade exploded about 20 feet from the main entrance of Chamber Hospital, Medical Care and Research Centre, along the approach road around 6.30am. The site is about 200 metres from Imphal City police station and 150 metres from the Assembly.
“Not many people were present at that time. I saw something rolling on the road and suddenly it exploded in front of our medicine store,” a salesman of the store, Rajen Singh, said.
He was lucky. Eight-year-old Yashika Jain was not. The girl, who lives on the first floor of the building next to the hospital, was coming down to buy medicines for her fever when the grenade exploded near her feet. Splinters hit her right ankle and belly. Doctors said the splinters would have to be surgically removed.
Md Leihaluddin, 18, was just stepping out of the hospital to get medicines for his mother, Fatima, who had undergone a surgery, when the blast occurred. A splinter is lodged in his lungs. He was referred to Shija Hospital for immediate operation.
Doctors said the condition of both Yashika and Leihaluddin was serious. Three others, relatives of patients and passersby, were discharged after first aid.
The blast damaged the exteriors of nearby shops.
Confirming the arrest of the IRB jawan, senior superintendent of police L. Kailun said, “We are investigating and interrogating him to know more details.” The police are probing whether the jawan is a member of the KPC (MC) or whether he was engaged by the outfit for a fee.
The police suspect the KCP (MC)’s involvement in the blast because the outfit had earlier owned up to leaving a pinless Chinese hand grenade at the entrance of the hospital on August 15 morning. They said a Chinese grenade was also used in today’s blast.
The outfit had said in a statement the next day that the grenade was a warning to the hospital for not complying with its rules and regulations.
A functionary of the hospital’s managing committee today said, “We did not receive any threat or demand from any group. No one contacted us. We cannot say whether our hospital is the target as there were several medicine stores near the gate of the hospital.”
The police believe the motive for today’s blast could be extortion.
The recovery of a grenade last Saturday and today’s explosion have terrified doctors, nurses and patients at the hospital. The staff and doctors staged a sit-in in front of the hospital this afternoon in protest against the attack.