`IRB trooper lobbed grenade in Manipur for Rs 5,000`
Imphal: A grenade attack outside a hospital in the restive northeastern state of Manipur that wounded five people on Friday was carried out by a paramilitary trooper lured by just Rs 5,000 offered by separatists, officials said on Saturday.
A police spokesperson said rifleman T Munal of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) lobbed the grenade outside a hospital here.
"Locals with the help of our commandos captured the IRB rifleman spotted by witnesses while lobbing the grenade. During investigations, the IRB trooper confessed to having carried out the attack," L Kailun, police chief of Imphal, told journalists.
Two of the five injured were in critical condition.
A rifleman of the 2nd IRB based in Imphal, Munal confessed to carrying out the attack on behalf of the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland for the majority Metei community in Manipur.
"The IRB rifleman said he got Rs 5,000 to carry out the grenade attack," the police official said.
"We need to find out if the trooper carried out the grenade attack just for money or if he has definite terror links."
The rifleman during interrogation also confessed to having carried out two similar grenade attacks earlier this year at the behest of the KCP.
"On further questioning, Munal disclosed that he was involved in lobbing hand grenades at Shanti Hospital on July 27 and Langol View Clinic on July 28 here," Kailun said.
Questions are now asked if there are more separatist elements in other security agencies.
"This is a very serious issue and we need to be vigilant against this new phenomenon of separatists infiltrating into the security forces," another senior police official said.
There are 19 rebel groups active in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to autonomy and the right to self-determination. More than 10,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in the state during the past two decades.
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