Blasts, Attack on Assam Rifles in Manipur on R-Day

Republic Day was celebrated across the country today with unfurling of the national flag and colourful parades but the celebrations were marred in Manipur where suspected militants triggered four powerful bomb blasts and attacked an Assam Rifles post injuring two personnel.

A Major-rank officer and a rifleman were critically wounded in the attack on the post at Sajik Tampak in Chandel district near Myanmar border, while no one was injured in the blasts in different places in and around Imphal. Six major insurgent outfits in Manipur had given a call to boycott the Republic Day celebrations.

The militants first triggered an improvised explosive device near the post and in the ensuing shoot-out, the two personnel were injured. They were taken to the Military Hospital at Leimakhong, about 25 km from Imphal, official sources said.

Earlier, two bombs exploded in the capital complex near the deputy commissioner's officer when the march past was on at around 8.25 AM at the centrally located Kangla, while two other explosions were reported from Chingmeirong and Chingamakha on the outskirts of the city at around 11 AM.

In Jammu, Governor N N Vohra hoisted the tricolour at Maulana Azad Stadium, saying security forces should continue to maintain a close vigil without lowering their guard till a peaceful environment emerged in Jammu and Kashmir.

He asked Pakistan to maintain calm along the border and said repeated ceasefire violations and cross-border infiltration have yet again disrupted normalcy in the state.

"Needless to say, till a peaceful environment emerges our security forces shall continue to enforce eternal vigil along the frontiers without lowering their guard," Vohra said.

"The repeated breach of the ceasefire agreement and continuing attempts at infiltration across the International Border and the Line of Control in the past year have yet again disrupted normalcy and caused varied problems for our people who live in villages along the border," he said.

Vohra hoped Pakistan will "respond positively" to the peace initiatives which have recently been taken by India.

Meanwhile, Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir this morning by resorting to unprovoked firing for three hours.

"Today morning at 6:15 AM, when it was dark, there was unprovoked firing from Pakistani side. They fired about three rocket-propelled grenades and small arms on to the Kaman post (in Uri sector) on the Indian side," GoC of 19 Infantry Division Major General Anil Chauhan said in Srinagar.

There was no casualty in the ceasefire violation, the first in Kashmir since the DGMO-level talks between India and Pakistan last month.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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