Manipur car blast: NIA files charge sheet against 2, including main conspirator | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Manipur car blast: NIA files charge sheet against 2, including main conspirator

Apr 13, 2024 01:59 PM IST

Three persons were injured and several public and private properties were damaged in the June 2023 Kwatka vehicle borne bomb blast in Manipur

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against two accused, including the main conspirator, in the June 2023 Kwatka vehicle borne bomb blast case in Manipur, in which three persons were injured and several public and private properties were damaged.

NIA said further investigations are continuing to trace other absconding accused involved in the case. (File)
NIA said further investigations are continuing to trace other absconding accused involved in the case. (File)

The agency said that a charge sheet naming Mohammad Noor Hussain alias Tomba and Seiminlun Gangte alias Minlun has been filed on Friday under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Explosive Substances Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

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The duo was found involved in the blast that took place on a culvert/bridge, adjoining the area of Phougakchao Ikhai Awang Leikai and Kwakta, along Tiddim Road (NH-02), in Kwakta Ward No. 07 Bishnupur, Manipur. The explosion, triggered by a bomb-fitted Mahindra Scorpio SUV, took place at around 7.10 on June 21, 2023. The blast damaged the bridge, electric pole, electrical assets and surrounding houses.

During the probe, the agency arrested Noor Hussain on October 16. It was revealed that he had driven the IED borne Mahindra Scropio SUV and parked it over the targeted bridge at Kwakta, while his co-passenger initiated the detonating mechanism of the IED.

Seiminlun Gangte, who was arrested on November 2, was identified as the key conspirator.

“As per NIA investigations, he had conspired, along with other accomplices, to blow off the bridge with the intent to strike terror and to cut off the movement of security forces, people and supply of commodities. To accomplish the conspiracy, Seiminlun Gangte had recruited his associates for reconnaissance of the targeted area and to execute the actual explosion,” an NIA spokesperson said in a statement on Saturday.

The spokesperson said further investigations are continuing to trace other absconding accused involved in the case.

Manipur has been roiled by ethnic clashes between Meiteis, who are dominant in Imphal Valley, and the tribal Kuki-Zo community, which is in majority in a few hill districts, since May last year. The violence has claimed at least 219 lives and displaced around 50,000.

The clashes broke out on May 3 in Churachandpur town after tribal Kuki groups called for protests against a court-proposed tweak to the state’s reservation matrix, granting scheduled tribe (ST) status to the majority Meitei community.

Also Read | HT interview: Both sides working to find peaceful solution, says Manipur CM

Violence quickly engulfed the state where ethnic fault lines run deep, displacing tens of thousands of people who fled burning homes and neighbourhoods into jungles, often across state borders. The authorities clamped a curfew and suspended internet services, pumping in additional security forces to force a break in the spiraling clashes.

However, for the past 47 days, no incidents of violence have been reported in the state.

To be sure, the state is still divided on ethnic lines with security forces continuing to guard the buffer zones to separate tribals and non-tribals from launching attacks against each other.

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh told HT in an interview on Saturday that both sides are working to find a peaceful solution and that this is the reason peace is returning in the state.

Meanwhile, Union home minister Amit Shah is expected to visit Imphal on April 15 and address a rally there. This will be Shah’s second visit to the state ahead of the general elections. The state goes to polls in two phases on April 19 and April 26.

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