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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 |IED blast on NH-2, firing along buffer zone increase tension ahead of 2nd phase in conflict-hit Manipur

A Kuki organisation on Tuesday said a cadre of Arambai Tenggol, a Meitei armed group, was injured in the firing. The same, however, could not be verified with the police.
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 06:53 IST
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 06:53 IST

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Guwahati: An IED explosion on the National Highway-2 in Kuki-dominated Kangpokpi district and firing along the "buffer zone" in the past 48-hours has increased tension in the conflict-torn Manipur ahead of second phase Lok Sabha elections on April 26.

The blast that was carried out by unidentified miscreants at around 12.45am on Tuesday caused three big craters on a bridge between Bapermeina and Koubru Leikha affecting transportation between Imphal and Nagaland's commercial town Dimapur. Movement of essential commodities was affected due to the explosion, officials in Manipur said.

Kuki Students' Organisation of Kangpokpi alleged involvement of Meitei armed groups in the explosion but Meitei organisations charged that the blast was triggered by the Kukis to disrupt movement of commodities for Imphal Valley districts.

The explosion took place amid intermittent firing along the buffer zone between the Kuki-dominated Kangpokpi and Meitei-dominated Imphal Valley on Tuesday. The firing that began in the noon continued till late at night, sources said. A Kuki organisation on Tuesday said a cadre of Arambai Tenggol, a Meitei armed group, was injured in the firing. The same, however, could not be verified with the police.

Polling for Meitei-dominated Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat and 15 Assembly segments under Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seat was conducted on April 19. Polling of 75.41 per cent was recorded on April 19 but firing by suspected Meitei armed groups, destruction of EVMs and alleged booth capturing marred the polling in the first phase. Repolling in 11 polling stations was also conducted on April 22.

Polling in Naga-dominated areas and some Kuki-inhabited areas in Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seat is scheduled on April 26. Four Naga candidates representing Congress, Naga People's Front (NPF), an ally of BJP and two Independents are in the fray as the Kukis decided not to contest the polls in view of the conflict. The NPF candidate was elected to Lok Sabha in 2019.

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Published 24 April 2024, 06:53 IST

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