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CM Ibobi E

Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Monday escaped unhurt when suspected militants opened gunfire as he was getting out of his helicopter at the Ukhrul helipad, CID officials said.

A jawan of the Manipur Rifles was injured in the firing which took place when the Chief Minister stepped out of the helicopter and was being greeted by government officials, the officials said.

The CM’s helicopter immediately took off and left for Chingai but could not land at the remote village due to protests, the official said.

The Chief Minister then cancelled his programmes and flew back to the state capital where he called an emergency cabinet meeting, the source said.

The CM had several programmes lined up at Hunphung village and at Chingai village in Ukhrul district. Ibobi was to travel to Hunphung to inaugurate the 100 bedded Ukhrul district hospital besides a power sub-station, the sources said.

Civil Society organisations had called a curfew and put up a road blockade along the three km route to Hunphung from the helipad, the sources said, adding that two vehicles had also been set ablaze by the protesters.

Earlier, a jawan of the Indian Reserve Battalion sustained splinter injuries in a bomb attack by suspected militants on the newly constructed hospital in the wee hours today before its scheduled inauguration, police said.

Two bombs were fired at the hospital either from a method gun or rocket launcher, the official said.

At remote Chingai village, Singh was scheduled to inaugurate a power sub-station, a BDO office and a bank building.

Tension prevailed in the area, the official said.