Senior BJP leader in Manipur escapes assassination bid

Imphal, Dec 8 (IANS) BJP election strategist Thounaojam Chaoba and his family members escaped an assassination attempt on Wednesday night when a China-made hand grenade was recovered from the gate of his house, police said on Thursday.

A controlled explosion of the explosive material was done late in the night at Nambol in Bishnupur district, where his house is located.

However, Chaoba was not at his place when the grenade was recovered.

He and state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Khetrimayum Bhabananda are camping in New Delhi, chalking out election strategy with the central leaders.

The septuagenarian leader has been facing life threats from insurgents for quite some time. In one assassination attempt, his wife and one of his sons were killed, although he escaped unscathed.

A former Union Minister of State, Chaoba had been appointed the state BJP President, but recently he made way for Bhabananda, as he crossed the age of 75 years.

His son Basanta recently resigned from the state police, presumably to contest the January elections.

The BJP, which has two MLAs in the 60-member House, is planning to wrest power from the Congress which has been in power for the last three consecutive terms.

Some state BJP leaders see a political hand behind the assassination attempts.

Police said: “In view of the life threats the politician faces, we have taken the incident seriously. An FIR has been registered and investigation is under progress.”

So far, no arrest has been made.