Black Sunday : Seven killed as bomb rips apart bus at Pourabi
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 16: At least seven passengers, including three women were killed when a bomb planted in the middle of the road exploded and ripped through the bus (407 Mini Canter) in which they were travelling today at about 5.10 pm at a spot in between Pourabi and Huidrom on the Imphal-Pukhao road under Lamlai police station in Imphal East.

While three of them were killed on the spot, another three succumbed to their injuries at RIMS while another died at JN hospital, Porompat.

All the bodies of the dead as well as injured were nothing less than mashes of flesh with their limbs blown away.

Many more are still in critical custody in the hospitals and the number of death may increase.

The mangled remains of the bus, the maimed limbs some with amputated bodies, the blood spattered spot all tell the horror story of the terror blast on Black Sunday which killed at least seven people at Pourabi

So powerful was the blast that it flung the bus about 25 feet away from the explosion spot.

The bus was a mangled remains of metal, when this reporter reached the spot. Most of the passenger seats were found ripped away by the impact of the blast while the two rear tyres were punctured.

Reports received from the spot said that the bus was on its way to Pukhao from Imphal.

The three persons who passed away at the spot have been identified as Soibam Bobby (32) son of Bobo of Keibi Mayai Leikai, Phijam Thoi (20) son of Bonjaoba of Sekta Mayai Leikai and Singam Inao (24) son of Gunadhor of Tiger Camp.

Thirteen persons were admitted to JN hospital but one of them passed away later in the evening at about 6.30.The victim who passed away at JN hospital is identified as Laishram Devika Devi (13) daughter of Gulapi of Huidrom.

Three others also expired at RIMS hospital.

They have been identified as Oinam Bobi (25) son of Mani of Uyumpok Paning Leikai, Khangembam Ibemcha (43) wife of Sanayanba of Keibi Heikak Mapan and Sinam Subala Devi (22) daughter of Thoiba of Keibi Tiger Camp.

When this reporter reached the spot, a passenger Jeep was found lying beside the road.

The site of the bomb blast was just a little away from the Jeep.

The Jeep was obviously behind the ill fated Canter and the driver must have lost control and driven the Jeep into the road side when the bomb exploded.

The bomb left a 3 feet wide crater on the road.

The bus was found flung about 25 feet away from the bomb site and inside the bus there many belongings of the passengers strewn all over.

Flesh and blood were found scattered inside as well outside the bus.

Some local people told this reporter that they saw a small mound of earth in the middle of the road today at about 8 am.

Later in the evening at about 3 the local people saw some youths kneeling by the roadside and talking over the mobile phone.

Some of the youths also inquired when the last bus for the day was expected to come.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Ph Parijat, who is also the MLA from Lamlai AC visited the injured at JN hospital in the evening.

Assuring all possible help from his side, the Minister said that he would ensure that there is no problem of any shortage of medicines and if any of the patients face financial problem, then he would personally help from his own pocket too.

Speaking to some reporters at the hospital, Parijat said that such action perpetrated on innocent civilians is highly condemnable and added that the time has come for the people to stand up and come out as one to oppose such a culture.

A Ministerial team comprising of K Ranjit, N Biren, L Jayanta, Dr Kh Loken, Allauddin and MLA Salam Joy also visited the victims and their kins at RIMS and JN Hospital in the evening.

Speaking to reporters, Ranjit questioned whether killing innocent people can help realise the goal of sovereignty and asserted that whoever was behind today's blast should clarify to the people explicitly.

Striking a tough pose, the Works Minister said that fitting action would also be taken up against all those involved.

Assuring that the Government would extend all possible help to the victims, Ranjit said that RIMS authority has also been urged toi extend their best help to the victims.

The RIMS Voluntary Unit has also started extending all possible help to the victims.

The proscribed UNLF has today evening clarified that it was not behind the bomb blast.

Following the bomb blast security has been beefed up all over the valley area.

Meanwhile condemnations have poured in from different quarters.

Strongly condemning the incident, the Ethno Heritage Council (HERICOUN) in a statement today said that the incident was triggered by inhuman elements.

The Pourabi Rising Star Club and the Pourabi Lainingthou Puthiba Thousil Kanglup cum Development Committee, Pourabi have also strongly condemned the incident and urged those responsible to clarify.

In a statement, the Committee said that as news of the bomb blast spread an emergency meeting was convened with the president in the chair.

All the members present at the meeting expressed deep pain over the incident and also condemned the incident in which many civilians lost their lives.

The Committee has also appealed to all the concerned to clarify at the soonest possible.

The Pourabi Rising Star Club has also raised a number of question such as whether the bomb blast was politically motivated or whether it was meant for the security personnel or whether it was the handiwork of any underground outfits.

In a statement, the Club said that the blast goes against all human norms and behaviour.

The victims who have been admitted to JN hospital are identified as Keisham Somorendro (35) of Keibi Heikak Mapan, Wahengbam Bembem Devi (13) daughter of Pakpa of Keibi Heikak Mapan (Serious condition), Wahengbam Babita (12) daughter of Kuber of Keibi Heikak Mapan Awang Leikai, Ahanthem Kala (35) of Keibi Awang Leikai (Serious), Heikrujam Herojit (35) of Heikrujam, Takhellambam Kenedy (23) of Keibi Kumuda, Ningombam Sanamacha Devi of Huidrom, Ngangbram Somen (21) of Keibi Kumuda (Serious), Sagolshem Rebita Devi (16) daughter of Ingoba of Huidrom Awang Leikai, Singdam Premananda (25) of Keibi Awang, Thounaojam Leima Devi (12) daughter of Binamalik of Keibi Makha Leikai, Thounaojam Tiken (22) of Keibi Khunou.

A 35 year old woman in critical condition has also been admitted at Shija hospital.

She is identified as B Sobita Devi of Kumbi Mayai Leikai.

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