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Bombs found ahead of Modi's election rally in Manipur

The National Highway number 2 (NH 2) in Manipur is blocked since November 1 by the United Naga Council cadres which has affected the normal day-to-day life. (Representative image) Photograph: (AFP)

PTI India Feb 24, 2017, 03.20 PM (IST)

Police said they have recovered a hand grenade and a bomb from separate places in Manipur, a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the northeastern state to address an election rally.

The Prime Minister will address a rally at Langjing Achouba ground in Imphal West district in support of BJP candidates in the ensuing Assembly polls. Police have intensified frisking all over the state capital to ensure that there was no loophole in the security arrangements for the prime minister's visit. State police commandos under the supervision of Additional SP S Ibomcha and led by DSP Thankhochon and OC Thaingampou carried out search operations and house-to-house verification at Taobungkhok Awang Leikai.

A Chinese-made hand grenade was found near the gate of BJP candidate Soibam Subhachandra's residence at Ningombam Leikai in Imphal West district, 9 km away from the Achouba ground, while another bomb was found in front of another BJP worker O Sunil's residence in Thoubal district, 40 km away from the rally venue.

State police commandos under the supervision of Additional SP S Ibomcha and led by DSP Thankhochon and OC Thaingampou carried out search operations and house-to-house verification at Taobungkhok Awang Leikai.

Two powerful blasts had occurred during India's Republic Day on January 26 in Manipur in Imphal East and West district. However, there were no casualties. Militant groups had called for a boycott of Republic Day celebrations at that time.

This time however with the prime minister's visit just 24 hours away, security forces in the state are on high alert. 

Meanwhile, the Centre has decided to deploy an additional 30 companies of central paramilitary forces in Manipur for smooth conduct of the state assembly election. Polling for the 60-seat Manipur assembly will take place in two phases on March 4 and March 8.

The Chief Secretary said the "state is ready for elections". Manipur will witness the highest central forces deployment for the upcoming two-phase elections.

(PTI with agency inputs)

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