Imphal, Oct 19: A major disaster was averted with Manipur Police recovering a van packed with powerful explosives and fitted with a remote-control device, a police official said Friday.
The van laden with improvised explosive devices (IED) containing RDX and other explosive substances and bearing Assam registration number AS-01-AZ-2653 was to be used in a major terror strike in state capital Imphal, the police official added.
The vehicle was seized from the house of a suspect in Imphal West district late Thursday night. Two people have been arrested, according to the official.
“We have averted a major tragedy as the preliminary investigation revealed that suspected rebels of PREPAK-Pro planned to trigger the bomb-laden vehicle near the Manipur’s Secretariat with a motive to disrupt the raising day of Manipur Police today (Friday),” Imphal West district police chief Konsam Jayanta Singh told IANS.
The seizure followed arrest of two suspected workers of the outlawed People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak-Progressive (PREPAK-Pro) from Thoubal and Imphal West districts following a tip-off about a terror strike by the outfit.
Manipur Police commandos first raided the residence of Mohammad Rajak at Lilong Bazar area in Thoubal district and recovered eight detonators and a remote control device from his possession, the police official said.
Based on Rajak’s confession, Konsam said the commandos raided the house of Hidangmayum Dhananjoy at Kongba Laishram Leikai area under Imphal West district and recovered the bomb-laden Maruti Eeco van fitted with two powerful IED bombs in the back seat.
“The commandos have averted a major disaster and had they (the insurgents) managed to trigger the bomb, it would be a major tragedy,” the police official said, adding that the operation is on to arrest PREPAK-Pro rebels for their attempt to make a terror strike.
PREPAK-Pro is one of the constituents of the Coordination Committee (CorCom), an umbrella body of seven groups operating in the valley areas of Manipur, fighting for an independent homeland for the majority Metei community.
On Oct 9, PREPAK-Pro chairman M. Paliba rejected any dialogue with the central government and declared that it will begin targeting security forces to “liberate Manipur”.