Shillong: A low-intensity IED blast was reported from the busy Laitumkhrah market in Meghalaya‘s capital Shillong around 1.30 pm on Tuesday.
A woman, who ran a tea shop in the locality, was injured in the incident, said the police. She was rushed to Nazareth Hospital where her condition is said to be stable.
Left in a state of shock, the injured woman’s sister Cynthia said: “My sister and I had come to our tea stall to do some cleaning as we were planning to open it from tomorrow. Suddenly, the explosion happened. I called out for my sister because the room was filled with smoke. She was not able to get out, so I pulled her out.”
Cynthia added that her sister is currently admitted at Nazareth Hospital and suffered some minor bruises but is stable at the moment.
Immediately after the incident, local MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh rushed to the spot. Lyngdoh said security has beefed up and the police are working to ascertain the cause of the blast.
“The first thing we did was to calm down the people since it was a big blast. I came to the location to find out and get first-hand information. It looks like it is not an electronic blast. I can say only after the officials confirm,” said Lyngdoh.
Local head (Rangbah Shnong) Andrew Jyrwa said that such an incident has never happened in the past. Jyrwa said that he will request the district administration to beef up security in the area, especially in the run-up to Independence Day.
“We condemn this act or an attempt to scare the people or to create panic. I hope there is no secondary device. Lives should not be jeopardised at this moment,” said Jyrwa.
Meanwhile, the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), a banned militant organisation in Meghalaya, has claimed responsibility for the IED blast.
Uploading a post on Facebook, Sainkupar Nongtraw, general secretary of HNLC, said: “Once again HNLC has taken responsibility for the IED blast at Laitumkhrah.”
Officials of the Crime Scene Unit (CSU) and fire department are currently at the site and have cordoned off the entire area.
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