IMPHAL: Hundreds of woman vendors of Khwairamband Keithel on Friday staged protest against the bomb blast at the turning of RIMS Road in the city on Thursday.
Meanwhile, police have picked up three members of Kanglei Economic Development Orgnaisation (KEDO) and one member of Workers Union Manipur (WUM) in connection with the RIMS Road blast.
It is said that they were picked up on Thursday itself after police recovered a remote control device from the Punshi Keithel women market, which is suspected to be the device used to trigger the blast.
The arrested KEDO members were identified as Soibam Kumarjit (54), Soibam Narendra (28), Haorokpam Rabichandra (26), all hailing from Loitang Sandum while the WUM member was identified as Kayenpaibam Torongkhomba (32) of Nongpok Heirok.
Of the four, two have been released today while Soibam Narendra and Kayenpaibam Torongkhomba are still in police custody.
With placards in their hands reading “We condemn bomb blast in crowded area”, “Clarify on bomb explosion”, “Don’t make labourers as human shield’ etc., the woman vendors avoided their daily trade and came out to the street to protest against Thursday’s blast, which injured a girl apart from destructing properties in nearby buildings.
Yengkhom Landhoni, president of Punshi Keithel Women Vendors’ Association, while strongly denouncing the arbitrary arrest of KEDO and WUM members, demanded the government to release them, citing that they have nothing to do with the blast.
She expressed suspicion that the remote control device might have been left there by the miscreants after having carried out the blast. It is unjustified to frame charges against the members of KEDO and WUM in connection with the blast, after the police failed to maintain proper law and order in the city. Woman vendors have prepared themselves to launch intensified agitation if the arrested persons are not freed unconditionally, she cautioned.
She said, after the blast, police also threatened to destroy the temporary vending plots erected along the Nagamapal road. She appealed against dismantling of the shopping plots citing that hundreds of woman vendors have been maintaining their poor families by carrying out small scale business here.