Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh escaped an assassination attempt on Monday at Ukhrul helipad. Shots were fired at him and his entourage when he was getting out of his helicopter at the Ukhrul helipad. One security personnel of 6 Manipur Rifles sustained bullet injuries. The helicopter immediately took off and left for Chingai but could not land at the remote village due to protests, said an official.
With elections now just months away in Manipur and the agitation for a ‘Greater Nagaland’ gaining momentum, some forces were determined not to let the Chief Minister step into Ukhrul.
The Chief Minister then cancelled his programmes and flew back to capital Imphal, where he called an emergency Cabinet meeting, a source said. The CM had several programmes lined up at Hunphung village and at Chingai village in Ukhrul district. He was to travel to Hunphung to inaugurate a 100-bed Ukhrul district hospital, besides a power sub-station, the source said.
NSCN (IM) Suspected
Suspected NSCN (IM) cadres are alleged to be responsible for this ghastly attack. Minutes after the chopper landed at a helipad around 10.30 am unknown armed men began firing towards the CM, police sources said.
Meanwhile, irate Ukhrul public torched two police vehicles as security forces carried out massive operation at the Tangkhul Naga dominated town. Earlier, a jawan of the Indian Reserve Battalion sustained splinter injuries in a bomb attack by suspected militants on the newly constructed hospital in the wee hours today before its scheduled inauguration, police said. Two bombs were fired at the hospital either from a lethod gun or rocket launcher, the official said.