“There have been a series of blasts of grenades planted by insurgents in these places,” Manipur Police chief Y. Joykumar Singh told IANS.
Though Singh said “no one was injured in the incident”, other officials said two people were critically injured in the first blast at Mela Ground in Thoubal district town at around 8 a.m.
The injured were taken to a nearby hospital at the district headquarters of Thoubal, about 50 km from state capital Imphal.
An hour later, a series of three blasts took place in Sagolband Salam Leikai, Telipati and Yasikul in Imphal.
All the three explosions took place when Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh was delivering his Independence Day speech at the 1st Manipur Rifles’ Parade Ground.
Ibobi Singh asked insurgents to shun violence and become part of the mainstream for the overall development of Manipur.
Though no insurgent group has claimed responsibility for the blasts, Manipur Police and intelligence officials said the blasts were carried out by the Coordination Committee (CorCom) — an umbrella of seven major separatist outfits fighting for an independent Manipur.
Security has been heightened in Manipur after the serial explosions.
“No one has been arrested but a manhunt is on to nab the insurgents,” Singh said.
The CorCom and Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), Tripura People’s Democratic Front (TPDF) and United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) boycotted Independence Day celebrations in the northeastern region.
There are more than 20 rebel armies active in Manipur, a state bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy.