Grenade Blast Kills 4 at Manipur ISKCON Temple

by Caitanya Dasi (ACBSP)

manipur.jpg - 91319 Bytes A religious devotee carries a child, injured in a blast that hit a Hindu temple in Imphal, in northeast India. Militants say the Indian government exploits the region's rich natural resources while doing little to improve its poor infrastructure and alleviate widespread unemployment.

Aug 16, GAUHATI, INDIA — A grenade exploded in a Hindu temple in northeast India Wednesday, killing at least four people and leaving 40 others injured, mainly in a stampede that followed the blast, police said. The attack in Imphal, the capital of Manipur state, came during a major Hindu festival - the birthday of the god Krishna, said police officer Kasim Ali. The injured included an American and three other foreign nationals, an army officer said on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to talk to reporters. No other details were immediately available.

The violence at the temple, owned by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, came despite tight police and paramilitary security in and around the temple where hundreds of Hindus congregated for the festival.

Army spokesman Col. S.D. Goswami said whoever detonated the explosive apparently escaped in the chaos that followed. He did not provide any other details on suspects or how the attack was carried out, and there was no claim of responsibility.

Dozens of insurgencies have festered for years across Manipur and several other northeastern states. Nearly all are fighting for autonomy or independent homelands for the region's indigenous peoples, most of them ethnically closer to Burma and China than to the rest of India.

The militants say the central government in New Delhi - 1,000 miles to the west - exploits the northeast's rich natural resources while doing little to improve its poor infrastructure and alleviate widespread unemployment.

Update: The Hindu

Imphal: At least five persons were killed and 50, including five American and three French nationals, injured when suspected militants lobbed a grenade in the complex of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) here on Wednesday evening. The shrine was teeming with devotees on Janmashtami day.

manipur2.jpg - 15463 Bytes

TRAGEDY ON JANMASHTAMI: Lying pell-mell are people injured in the blast at the ISKCON temple in Imphal, Manipur, on Wednesday during Janmashtami celebrations. - PHOTO: PTI

The toll might mount as the condition of some of those who suffered injuries was critical, sources in the Regional Institute of Medical Science and Hospital said.

A 10-year-old boy and a 70-year-old woman were among the dead, the sources said.

Hospital sources said the foreign nationals were among those who sustained splinter injuries in the blast at around 7 p.m. Several others, including ISKCON chief priest Damodar Das, were among those hit by splinters.

It being the birthday of Lord Krishna, there was a huge gathering of people at the complex.

No individual or organisation has claimed responsibility for the explosions, official sources said.

However, the sources said investigation would be ordered to find out how militants infiltrated the complex where heavy security had been deployed.

"The temple was packed with Hindu devotees when unknown militants lobbed the grenade," said Army spokesman Col. Goswami.

"An unidentified woman and her son were among those killed," said a surgeon from a State-run hospital here.

Police have cordoned off the area and have launched a search for those responsible.

Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh, who visited the hospital, strongly condemned the incident. — PTI, Agencies

Indian Express Report

A day after the quiet Independence Day celebrations Manipuri insurgents today lobbed a hand grenade on the ISKCON temple in Imphal leaving four dead and around 30 injured. Among the injured were ISKCON head priest Damodar Dad and three foreigners thought to be American citizens.

Sources said that the blast occured around 7.20 pm today at the ISKCON centre in Gharu area where around 8,000 people were attending a “Ras Lila” programme being held for Janmasthami. On hearing the blast, people inside the temple panicked and in the ensuing stampede an elderly woman and a child were killed.

The injured have been admitted to the Regional Institutes of Medical Sciences and to several private hospitals in Imphal. Seven victims are said to be in critical condition.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack and the police have not named any group as suspect.

“At the moment we can't speculate on the reasons behind the attack and the group involved. Investigations are on, said IG (Law and Order) R Baral when contacted by The Indian Express.

Highly placed sources said that the grenade was hurled from the southern side of the temple in this largely Vaishnavite Imphal valley where the Hindu population among the Meitei community is concentrated. Meites form the majority community in Manipur with around 12 lakh according to the 2001 census figures.

Director General of Police AK Parashar and Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. Singh, strongly condemning the attack, said that all efforts will be made to identify the culprits.

2006-08-16_INDIA-BLAST.jpg - 15671 Bytes An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard beside a busy street in India's remote Manipur state in this August 24, 2004 file photo. A bomb exploded inside a temple in India's troubled northeastern state of Manipur on Wednesday, killing 3 people and injuring more than 30 others, police said.

Temple Blast in India's Manipur Kills Three

GUWAHATI, India --- A bomb exploded inside a temple in India's troubled northeastern state of Manipur on Wednesday, killing 3 people and injuring more than 30 others, police said.

The blast occurred during evening prayers to celebrate the birth of the Hindu god Krishna, one of the country's biggest festivals and a national holiday.

Police said at least 37 people were injured in the attack at the temple near Imphal, the state capital.

One of the militant groups fighting for a separate homeland in the state could be behind the attack, police said but added that no group had claimed responsibility.

The temple was run by ISKCON, the international Krishna consciousness movement, police said.

Manipur is part of India's remote and turbulent northeast region -- seven states which are home to more than two dozen armed separatist groups and over 200 tribal and ethnic communities.

At least a dozen guerrilla groups have been fighting Indian forces in Manipur for more than three decades.

manipurcentre.jpg - 55125 Bytes

Manipur Blast Update

A deadly Janmastami day attack took place at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the ISKCON temple campus on the Airport road at Sangaiprou, Imphal. The attack brought Janmastami celebrations to a bloody end.

An unidentified attacker hurled a Chinese hand grenade into a crowded mandap where a Rasalila performance was taking place. The bomb exploded mid-way through a Rasalila performance. A sound like that of a firecracker was heard at the eastern side of the mandap. The grenade was apparently thrown just after a firecracker exploded on the other side of the mandap.

According to devotees, the explosive was lobbed from the Southeastern side of the complex, and the attacker escaped into the crowd immediately afterwards in the ensuing confusion. Following the blast, thousands of people ran helter skelter away from the scene, and many of the injured were hurt in the stampede. All the nearby stall owners also ran for their lives.

One devotee sitting on the Southern side was killed on the spot, and scores of others were injured. Among the injured devotees were Bryan Nash of the US (admitted to RIMS) and Radhika Pyari devi dasi of Iran. Radhika Pyari devi had apparently been granted Indian citizenship. She was admitted to Shija Hospital. Reports were also received from Joseph Meade and Jivanuga dasa of California, who arrived only yesterday to celebrate Janmathami with the Manipur devotees. Prabhu Damodara Swami was also watching the Rasalila performance. He was injured mostly on his hands by splinters from the grenade blast.

Temple authorities estimated that approximately 20, 0000 devotees had gathered for the Janmashtami festival, which is one of the biggest religious events in Manipur. The ISKCON temple is one of the largest shrines in the Imphal Valley, which is predominantly inhabited by Vashnavite Manipuris.

An intelligence official said an unidentified group had warned ISKCON officials not to hold the Janmastami festival on Wednesday, when the rest of the country marked one of its biggest festivals. No monetary demand had been made to temple authorities. The intelligence officer said the attack may have been carried out by one of the local groups as part of a campaign to revive indigenous Hindu practices and discourage new religious movements like ISKCON.

Choked with emotion, ISKCON devotees noted that the perpetrators of such a ghastly crime will face the wrath of God. They also questioned the rationale of killing devotees and innocent people.

Devotees Injured in the Blast

One devotee victim is identified as Bir Kumar (74) of Khagempalli Huidrom Leikai. He was also known as Jitendra dasa. Bir Kumar prabhu was in ISKCON for the last 10 years. He died at the spot of the blast.

The dead included one minor boy of 8 to 10 years old and an elderly member of ISKCON. The child has been identified as Wangkhem (Wahengbam) Anil, son of W. Naba of W Nabadwip, Sangaiprou Mamang Leikai. He apparently died while being evacuated to the hospital

Another victim who passed away at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) has been identified as Dr K Binodkumar of Kwakeithel Akham Leikai, aged 65. A fourth victim also passed away at Shija Hospital is identified as Anaom Blondin (12) son of A. Bobby of Lalambung Takhellambam Leikai. He died at Shija Hospital, Langol.

Temple President, Swami Damodara sustained injuries on the right hand and was been admitted to Shija Hospital.

Officials reports said there were 27 serious cases among the injured, including a male American. Doctors at RIMS Hospital, Lamphelpat and the Shija Hospital, Langol were hard-put to cope with the rush of dead and injured in the aftermath of the blast. 'We have attended to 34 people including three Americans, one of whom was operated upon,' said Bobby Singh, a doctor at the hospital.

Immediately after the blast, police and medical teams rushed to the site to render assistance and evacuate the wounded to hospital. Of those injured, the condition of at least four was critical. At least 10 children were hurt, most by shrapnel and splinters that tore through their arms and legs. A list of nearly 40 injured devotees follows.

Officials React to the Blast

Immediately after the blast, special police of Imphal West rushed to the ISKCON temple complex, along with commando teams and troops of Maratha LI. Police recovered the lever of the explosive device. Later DGP AK Parashar and other top officials of police came to the temple and inspected the site.

Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh strongly condemned the incident, calling it a cowardly act. He also said ex-gratia would be given to the next of kin of the deceased, and all assistance given to the wounded.

Speaking to reporters at RIMS hospital, a visibly upset Minister Singh said there was no question of a security lapse at the temple, and he refused to speculate as to who was responsible for the attack until a thorough investigation could be conducted. He said that the Government will leave nothing to chance to book the killers and give them fitting punishment.

Security at Manipur's biggest shrine, the Sri Govindaji temple, was tightened following the ISKCON blast. Govindaji is another shrine where thousands of devotees gathered on Janmasthami night.

Official ISKCON Statement

by Anuttama dasa [ISKCON Communications Minister]

Manipur, India - A Krishna temple operated by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was the victim of a bomb blast at approximately 7:00 pm India time on Wednesday, August 16th. Over a thousand worshippers were celebrating Janmastami, the most sacred observance of the year for devotees of Krishna, at a temple in the state of Manipur, in the northeast region of India. Unknown assailants threw a hand grenade into a crowd of people sitting under a large tent outside of the temple, watching a religious dance performance depicting Lord Krishna's pastimes.

A second grenade, which did not go off, was found an hour later in the most crowded area of the temple, near an altar bearing sacred images of Krishna. According to ISKCON spokespersons in Manipur, four people, including a young girl, are confirmed dead. Approximately 36 people were injured, including five foreign nationals. An eight-year old girl, who had been playing the part of Krishna on stage when the bomb exploded, is among those severely injured. The troupe's dance teacher lost his leg in the blast.

"We are sickened and greatly saddened by this horrible, vicious act," said Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON's Minister of Communications. "The victims were innocent devotees of God. There is no excuse for such wanton acts of violence. We pray for the victims and their families, and we pray that Lord Krishna will soon lift the terrible veil of hatred and violence that is covering our world."

Among the injured, His Holiness Bhakti Svarupa Damodara Swami, an ISKCON leader in Manipur, was taken to a hospital, where he remains in stable condition.

Victims are being treated in several area hospitals. Indian Army and government officials are trying to arrange a special morning air flight from Manipura to Calcutta, where better emergency care facilities are available. Otherwise, victims will have to wait for a regularly scheduled afternoon flight from the remote State in northeast India.

According to the police, no militant groups or individuals have claimed responsibility for the bombing. The temple building did not sustain any damage.

We will endeavor to keep you updated as events develop. Your servant,
Anuttama dasa ISKCON Communications Minister

Contact: Anuttama Dasa, Communications Minister - (301) 299-9707; []
Vineet Chander, North American spokesperson - (201) 925-4973; []

manipurmap.jpg - 93218 Bytes

Militant Groups

Manipur is part of India's remote and turbulent northeast, including seven states which are home to more than two dozen separatist groups and over 200 tribals and ethnic communities. The majority community in Manipur, the Meitis, are predominantly Vaishnavites.

Manipur is home to 19 rebel groups, who make demands ranging from secession to autonomy. Most of the groups belong to the Meiti community.

The underground Revolutionary People`s Front (RPF) reported that it had nothing to do with the bomb attack at the ISKCON complex. A spokesperson for that organisation contacted the media to report that the group strongly condemned the bomb attack and considered such attacks on a place of worship a thoughtless and cowardly.

The All Manipur Students Union, AMSU, also strongly condemned the bomb attack, calling it an act of terrorism.

Hindu Forum of Britain condemns terror attack on ISKCON Temple

The following statement was given by the Hindu Forum of Britain:

"The Hindu Forum of Britain has strongly condemned the bomb attack on the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Temple in Imphal which killed at least five and injured several others during the festival of Janmastami to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna.

The attacks took place yesterday when the ISKCON Temple in Watford in UK was holding prayers for victims of war and terror with a human chain.

"It is sad that at almost exactly the same moment when children were holding hands to pray for victims of terror at 2pm in our temple in UK, terrorists were exploding bombs in our temple in India to kill and maim," said Gauri Dasa, president of the Bhaktivedanta manor ISKCON Temple in Watford which is hosting the largest Hindu festival outside India.

"We had organised this prayer to show our solidarity to all those who are suffering, but the terrorist agenda seems to disregard all humane considerations."

The festival, which attracts over 75,000 people over two days, is marked by costumes, bazaars, plays, singing, dancing, multimedia shows, meditation walks and other shows. The highlight of the festival is a human chain to pray for the victims of terror and war.

Hindu Forum of Britain Secretary General Ramesh Kallidai also condemned the attack, saying "terrorism is a real challenge for countries like India, Britain and the USA."

Calling the attack, "deplorable and shameful", he said the perpetrators "targeted a peaceful community offering prayers to god" and added that "the international community need to rally behind India in its fight against terror". "

Following is a partial list of the injured devotees:

1. Oinam (O) Kunjalata (48) W/o Profullo of Kwakeithel Akham Leikai
2. Khoisnam Rojesh (11) S/o, Indubhushan of Malom Awang Leikai
3. RK. Singhajit (73) of New Delhi
4. Lakshmipriya (50) of USA
5. Brahmacharimayum Gopal Sharma (60) S/o, (L) Thakudhan of Kwakeithel
6. Manik Laishram Devi (22) D/o, ES Laishram
7. Gunija (52)
8. Manihar (65) of Malom
9. Sumitra Devi (50) W/o, (L) Basantakumar Wangkhem of Porompat
10. H Nganbi Devi (35)of Sangaiprou
11. H Sushila Devi (36) of Sangaiprou
12. W Khurai Leima (84) of Mekola
13. Wahengbam Nabachandra (10) of Heirangoithong
14. Murari Das (32) of ISKCON
15. P Rajendrakumar (70) of Kwakeithel
16. Sapam Ibohal Singh (65) S/o, Gouramani of Kwakeithel Tiddim Ground
17. Bhakta Singh (45) of Keishamthong Hodam Leirak
18. Thiyam Gambir Singh (65) of Sega Road Takhellambam Leikai
19. Oinam Ichan (9) D/o, Newton of Kwakeithel
20. Thangjam Ranjita (24) D/o, Rajmani of Langzing Achouba
21. Lukram (o) Malemnganbi (64) W/o, Nimaichand of Naoremthong Khullem Leikai
22. Kangujam Ibemcha Devi
23. Konjengbam Manihar Singh (50) S/o, (L) Paka of Hodam Leirak
24. Irengbam Gouramani (70) of Khagempalli Panthak
25. Thoudam (o) Ibecha (60) W/o, Lokhon of Ghari Awang Leikai
26. Laishram Shanta (26) D/o, L Chaoba of Thanga
27. Maisnam Madhumangol (67) S/o, Ibotombi of Lalambung Makhong
28. Wahengbam Naba (36) S/o, (L) Amutombi of Keishamthong Top Leirak
29. Kabita Kajuriya (36) W/o, Sanju Kajuriya of Maharastra presently Thangal Bazar
30. Sh. Manglembi (60) W/o, Sh Jayanta
31. Moirangthem Ashnikumar (37) S/o, M Chaoba of Changangei
32. Miss L Sarda Devi of Thanga
33. Shiddhish Irom (28) S/o, S Lalit of Keishamthong Hodam Leirak
34. Bhakti Swarup Damodar Swami (69) of Toubul
35. Soram Gunija (51) W/o, IS Laishram of Lamphel
36. Manika
37. Sobita of Sangaiprou
38. Mrs. Ibemhal of Lalambung

Update on the Manipur Tragedy

manipur3.jpg - 28091 Bytes
Police at the ISCKON gate in the aftermath of the bomb blast.

The Janmastami day bomb attack on the ISKCON Manipur temple was the most recent in a string of bombings that have targeted Hindu temples during major religous holidays. Last October, a bomb in Delhi killed more than 60 people during Diwali celebrations. 20 people were killed last March at a Varnasi temple.

The Imphal Free Press (IFP) reports that, "The last rites of the four victims slain in yesterday`s bomb attack at ISKCON were performed this evening, amidst an unprecedented wave of grief and condemnation from all sections of society, while the condition of at least seven of those injured, including an American citizen, is listed as serious."

"This attack on the ISKCON temple that serves all devotees and all visitors with welcome arms is an example of the lengths that terrorists go to undermine the fabric of India and to provoke religious and sectarian conflict," said Ramesh Rao, a member of the executive council of the Hindu American Foundation.

manipur4.jpg - 48201 Bytes
Relatives weep over the body of a man who was killed
by a bomb explosion at a ISKCON temple near Imphal, Manipur.

The number of injured is still unknown, but currently stands at 48. Further details on the injured have been reported by the IFP:

"Among the injured, Brian Nash, 52 from California USA, is currently in the intensive care ward of the RIMS hospital, Lamphelpat.

Others at RIMS who are still in serious condition are Khoisnam Manihar Singh, 68, of Malom Tulihal, and Khumbongmayum Ningthemjao, 70, of Kwakeithel Heinou Khongnembi. Five others are still under treatment at RIMS hospital, but hospital sources said they are out of danger.

14 others are still under treatment at Shija Hospital, of whom four are in serious condition.

They are identified as Monika Devi 19 of Lamphel, Sushila Devi, 36 of Sangaiprou, Th Ranjita 24 of Langjing Achouba and K Manihar, 50 of Thouda Bhabok Leikai.

Monika Devi and Sushila both sustained head injuries, while Ranjita is said to be in a coma.

In the meantime, after completion of post mortem at RIMS mortuary, the bodies of the four deceased were brought in a procession from RIMS morgue in a huge public procession this afternoon, and taken to the ISKCON complex where three of the bodies were cremated after prayers were held and mourners paid their last respects.

ISKCON international director Bhaktiswarup Damodar Swami, who was himself injured in yesterdays incident, participated in administering the last rites.

manipur5.jpg - 42433 Bytes
The father of one of the children who was killed in the bomb blast
cries looking the photo of his demised son.

Thereafter, the bodies of H Birkumar alias Bitendra Das of Khagempalli Huidrom Leikai, Wahengbam Anil, 9, son of W Nabadwip of Sangaiprou, and Angom Blodin, 12, son of A Bobby of Lalambung Makhong Takhellambam Leikai were cremated at the premises of ISKCON at around 5:30 pm. The body of Dr K Binod Kumar, 65 of Kwakeithel Akham Leikai was cremated at their local crematorium at around the same time.

Family members, relatives, and near and dear ones of the deceased thronged the ISKCON premises for the funeral.

Tight security arrangements were made for the ceremony, with traffic along the Tiddim road halted near Imphal college and at a spot around 200 metres from the ISKCON complex at the other end.

The cremation of Dr. K Binodkumar was held at the local crematorium of Kwakethel Akham Leikai attended by large numbers of locals.

Banners reading `down with terrorism` were hoisted at the cremation site.

Earlier, Bhaktiswarup Damodar Swami speaking at the gathering at the ISKCON complex, said that even if yesterdays attack had been carried out of ignorance, in the future, attacks on religious places should be avoided.

He lamented that yesterdays incident has brought shame to Manipur and stressed that all differences can be resolved without violence.

The following message was received by ISKCON's Public Relations Department:

Hare Krishna!

My name is Jagadananda das and I am in Portland,Or writing you this email to give you an update on information I have recieved from Jivanmukta, Jivanuga, and Sachirani dd who are on the scene in Manipur and giving first hand information about the incident. Their is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada named Bhojadeva das that was seriously injured by the blast and is currently in the hospital in Manipur. He has just become conscious and they are waiting for him to get enough strength to sit up so they can fly him to Kolkatta and then on to Thailand to a good hospital so he can then be operated on. Bhojadeva Prabhu was sitting very close to HH Bhakti Svarup Damodar Swami who was also injured in the blast but Bhojadeva took the the brunt of the blast. I would like if you could forward this information to all the devotees so they may pray for Bhojadeva prabhu and all other devotees that are being treated in the hospital. I apologize that I have no info on other devotees that are being treated. Thank you for your kind attention about this tragic situation.

Jason Gaynor

manipur6.jpg - 32884 Bytes
An injured devotee at a hospital.

New Details Emerge on the Attack

The IFP reported that "Police investigators are however hopeful that the attackers would have been caught on one or the other of the many video cameras covering the Ras Leela function on the fateful day.

More details of the crime have emerged in the meantime from accounts of eyewitnesses. They said the grenade is most likely to have been lobbed from close quarters judging from the possible trajectory it took. They said it hit the camera of a cameraman standing amongst the spectators within the mandap (portico) indicating it was not lofted too high. Both the camera and the grenade dropped at the spot. The cameraman is amongst the injured.

The target appeared definitely to be the middle of the performing arena and had it not been obstructed by the camera, it would have been on target. Had this been so, a lot many more children performing at the function would have been amongst the casualties, they said. It has also been confirmed that the grenade is Chinese made and rust coloured.

Official investigators are reluctant to part with their findings yet, but are hopeful there would be a breakthrough soon."

manipur7.jpg - 60048 Bytes
Protesters with a banner denouncing the terrorist attack at ISCKON Temple.

Protests Held to Condemn the Terrorist Strike

Sangai Express today reported that a "sit-in-protest was staged today at Keishampat junction by members of various organisations including AMSU against the killing of Sunil Agarwal and the grenade attack at ISKCON. Students too conveyed strong condemnation against the violence perpetrated at Moreh and ISKCON complex by boycotting their classes today.

The protestors at Keishampat junction held placards reading "Grenade attack at ISKCON was an act of terrorism, it was a conspiracy", "KNF (MC) should stop indulging in communal politics", "One group under cease fire pact with army is terrorising people", "Security force remained a spectator at Moreh" etc.

The protestors include volunteers from Apunba Manipur Kanba Lup, All Manipur Women Social Reformation and Development Samaj, Thangmeiband Apunba Nupi Lup, Paona Bazar Women Welfare Orgn, Heirangoithong Makha Women Social Culture Development Assn, Khwai Nagamapal Women Nisha Bandh Meira Paibi Assn, Nongpok Leingak Nupi Lup, All Manipur Tammi-Chingmi Apunba Nupi Lup and Khwairamband Nupi Keithel Shemgat Shagatpa Lup.

Protesting against the inhuman attack at ISKCON and the murder of AMSU Chandel District Committee president Sunil Agarwal, students of many schools took half leave and protested. Such protests were staged at TG Hr Secondary School, GP Women's College and Ananda Higher Secondary School."

Manipur Governor, Others Condemn ISKCON Blast

"Yesterday`s bomb blast at the Imphal ISKCON complex has evoked universal condemnation from all sections of society, from the Governor of Manipur, Dr SS Sidhu, on downwards.

The Governor, who visited the injured at RIMS and Shija hospitals this forenoon, in a statement expressed deep anguish and distress over the bomb blast, which resulted in killing four persons and injuring around 46.

He termed the attack as an act of terrorism and cowardice, and said the bomb blast in a place of worship on the congregation of devotees is a blot on the rich cultural heritage of Manipuri society whcih is characterised by its pluralistic nature and age-old tradition of peaceful coexistence.

He appealed to the people of Manipur to discard violence of any form and work towards achieving peace and harmony in the state

The state Cabinet, in an emergency meeting today also placed on record its strong condemnation of the act of terrorism and conveyed its condolences to the families of the deceased, and extended its wishes for the speedy recovery of the wounded persons.

The meet resolved to provide financial assistance to the injured person and ex-gratia to the next of kin of the deceased persons.

Expressing strong condemnation over yesterday`s bomb attack at ISKON, the Outer Manipur MP, Mani Charenamei said the attack was carried out by people who has no respect for human lives and values.

Mj Gen EJ Kochekkan, GOC, 57 Mountain Division, expressing shock at the wanton killing of innocent people, stated the attack showed the mental make-up of the perpetrators and their utter lack of concern for the lives of innocent people. All right thinking people and organisations which value human life need to raise their voice in condemnation of the dastardly act. The event also highlights the need to put an end to the spiral of violence, and move towards peace, the statement said.

FPM MLA L Ibomcha, expressing his anguish in a statement, termed the bomb attack as a despicable act, and appealed to all sections to stand united against such blatant terrorist acts

MLA I Hemochandra, in another message, called the attack a beastly act. Where is the conscience of Manipuri civil society, he asked.

The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, condemned the attack upon worshippers as a barbaric and cowardly act and expressed its condolences to the families of the deceased.

While welcoming the statement by chief minister O Ibobi Singh to provide ex-gratia to the next of kin of the deceased and the injured, the MPCC called upon the government to take swift action to bring the culprits to book and punish them according to the law of the land.

Office bearers of the BJP Manipur Pradesh, meeting today to discuss yesterday`s incident, unequivocally condemned it and demanded action on the part of the state government to book the culprits responsible.

The state BJP also took the view that the incident was the result of the failure of the security forces and the state intelligence network to do their job.

The BJP also felt that the O Ibobi Singh government has completely lost control of the law and order situation in the state, a statement issued by the party`s media cell said.

CPI(M) Manipur state secretariat, at a meeting today denounced the bomb attack as a terrorist act, and extended its condolences to the victims. It also took blamed the state government for the security lapses that allowed the incident to happen.

The Nationalist Congress Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Chanura Marup of the Manipur People`s Party, the Communist Party of In dia and the Janata Party have also issued messages of condemnation.

The All Manipur United Clubs Organisation, AMUCO, termed the attack as a crime against the ideal of secularism and asserted that it was totally alien to the Manipuri soil and ethos of pluralism.

At a time when the people of Manipur and the north east are reeling from the effects of state terrorism such an act amounted to knowingly or knowingly extending support to state terrorism, it said.

The Centre for Organisation Research and Education, called the attack a dastardly and spineless act, and expressed its concern over the killing of an AMSU youth activist in Moreh by Kuki militants

The Kuki Movement for Human Rights termed the act as an unimaginable and unthinkable crime, not only against humanity, but against God Humself.

Expressing its shock at the fact that foreign nationals were also injured, it said the persons responsible owe an explanation to the people of Manipur and outside why the barbaric act had been carried out.

The Ethno Heritage Council said such an act could only have been carried out by mindless beasts, lamented that it would result in the international community taking a wrong view of the Manipuri people and Manipuri society.

The United People`s Front, while denouncing the bomb attack, expressed surprise how the attack could take place despite stringent security, and demanded that a high level enquiry should be launched to get to the truth of the matter.

The Threatened Indigenous People`s Society, and United Committee Manipur also condemned the attack.

The Imphal unit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh denouncing the attack as a demonic act of terrorism, resolved to extend full support to any action taken up by the public over the issue.

Similar messages came from the Dharma Rakshak Samiti, Manipur, the Foundation for University of Sanamahi Culture, and the Lainingthou Sanamahi Thougal Kanglup, the Shree Shree Govindajee Temple Board, the Manipur Sahitya Parishad, the Thangmeiband United Club, Imphal East United Clubs Organisations and the Manipur Loumi Lup.

The Democratic students Alliance of Manipur, termed the attacked as a mindless and cowardly act and called on all to repect the sanctity of religious places.

The All India Student Federation, state unit, the All Manipur Senior Citizens Welfare Association, the All India Youth Federation, the Democratic Youth Federation of India, and the Students Federation of India, also condemned the incident.

ISKCON office bearers and Manipur United Religion Cooperation Circle, meeting this afternoon at the ISKCON campus expressed anguish at the death of four devotees and wounding of several others as a result of yesterday`s bomb attack

ISKCON international director Bhaktiswarup Damodar Swami, in a statement issued in this connection asked what the attackers hoped to gain by killing devotees, asserting that no thinking being would endorse the act.

He reposed faith in non-violence, but maintained that belief in non-violence should not be mistaken for cowardice.

From time immemorial, people of different races and different faiths have lived amicably in Manipur, but yesterday`s incident would result in Manipur becoming infamous for internecine violence, and appealed to the people to unite and work to bring an end to such violence.

Women`s Forum for Cultural Foundation, ISKCON, separately held a condolence meeting in the morning today where two minutes` silence was observed in memory of the deceased victims.

The meeting also strongly condemned the bomb attack, and appealed to all concerned against its repeat in the future.

manipur8.jpg - 49100 Bytes
A devotee carrying an injured boy who played the part of Sri Krishna
at the Ras Leela that was going on when the bomb blast occured.

Searching for the Terrorists

As reported by the Sangai Express, "Outlawed militant group Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) is suspected to be behind yesterday's blast at ISKCON complex in Imphal, a senior Union Home Ministry official said here today. Though none has claimed responsibility for the blast which claimed four lives and left 66 others, including two Americans, injured, the hand of KYKL is suspected, he said.

KYKL, which was formed over a decade ago, has been indulging in extortions and are said to have demanded a hefty amount from the ISKCON's chief priest. Refusal to pay the amount led to the lobbing of "Chinese-make hand grenades" at the Sankirtan place from outside the complex when the shrine was teeming with Janmasthami devotees, the official said. He said the Centre was in constant touch with the Manipur Chief Secretary and Director General of Police and reviewing the situation from time to time."

An IFP report further explains, "The underground United National Liberation Front and the Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak have joined in the universal condemnation of yesterdays bomb attack on the ISKCON congregation that killed four people and left nearly 50 others injured, categorically denouncing it as an act of terrorism.

The UNLF, in a statement issued by its senior publicity officer, Ksh Yoiheiba, unequivocally distanced itself from the act, stating that it has always condemned such terrorist activities.

Contending that the attack appears to be part of a campaign to discredit the revolutionary organisations of Manipur before the international community, the UNLF said the people of Manipur should be ready to wipe out the elements responsible.

The UNLF also extended its condolences to the families of the deceased as well as the injured.

The PREPAK, condemning the act in a separate statement, expressed strong concern that the incident could result in the international community misinterpreting the revolutionary movement. The PREPAK also extended its sympathies to the families of the deceased and the injured."

Hindu American Foundation Condemns Bomb Attack on ISKCON Temple in India

From a press release today: "The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) strongly condemned the attack on the ISKCON temple in Imphal, in the Northeastern State of Manipur, India. At least five people have died and nearly 50 others injured. According to news reports, the bomb exploded in the complex of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Imphal on the evening of August 16, 2006 when the temple was crowded with devotees observing the holy day of Sri Krishna Janmasthami. Among the dead were a 10-year-old boy and a 70-year-old woman, and the chief priest of the ISKCON temple was injured in the attack. Some reports have blamed Islamic terrorists for the attack, and news agency reports have alluded to the separatist movements in the region which may be behind the attack.

“Whoever is responsible for this knows that India and Hindus are soft targets”, said Ramesh Rao, HAF Executive Council Member. “This attack on the ISKCON temple that serves all devotees and all visitors with welcome arms is an example of the lengths that terrorists go to undermine the fabric of India and to provoke religious and sectarian conflict.” Ishani Chowdhury, Executive Director, HAF remarked, “The ISKCON temple attack is the latest in a series of attacks against Hindus and Indian targets. In October 2005, we expressed shock at the Delhi bombings that killed more than 60 people during the festival of Deepavali (Diwali), and in March 2006, we were deeply dismayed at the attack on the Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, which killed more than 20 people. The serial bombing of commuter trains in Mumbai in July 2006 that killed nearly 200 people is still fresh in our memory. The Indian Government should reach out to all political parties in crafting legislation that strengthens law enforcement agencies, and defeat this scourge of terrorism and extremism rather than playing politics with the lives of Indian citizens.”

May those who wounded or murdered the Vaishnavas attending the Janmashtami celebration at the ISKCON temple in Imphal, Manipur, soon lose all their wealth, lose all their piety, and be afflicted with a terrible disease that cripples and deforms them. May those who planned, encouraged, assisted in, or sanctioned this atrocity meet with the same fate. Furthermore, may their associates, friends, family, and community who do not renounce and despise them also meet the same fate as the perpetrators.

Manipur Update

manipur9.jpg - 56853 Bytes
Protestors in Imphal, Manipur

The Imphal Free Press (IFP) reported yesterday: "The death toll in the Janmasthmi day bomb attack at ISKCON has risen to five, with the death of one of the injured victims today at Shija Hospital, even as the state government announced a cash reward of Rs. 1 lakh for information leading to the arrest of the culprits responsible for the attack.

Th. Ranjita 24, of Langjing Achouba who was undergoing treatment at Shija Hospital, Langol succumbed to her injuries today after falling into a coma since yesterday. Ranjita had sustained head injuries in the grenade attack.

Following the news of the death of Th. Ranjita, enraged residents of Langjing Achouba put a road blockade at various places along the NH-53 starting from the gate of Govt. Polytechnic, Takyel Khongbal till Langjing Achouba.

The blockade started around 9:30 this morning and continued until the dead body was brought home this evening after post mortem at the RIMS mortuary. However, cremation and the last rites of the deceased was performed at ISKCON complex this evening.

On the other hand, Brian Nash (Bhojadeva dasa), 52 from California, USA is still in the intensive care unit of RIMS Hospital, Lamphelpat and is awaiting evacuation outside the state as soon as his health improves. Similarly, the conditions of Khoisnam Manihar Singh 68 of Malom Tulihal and Khungbongmayum Ningthemjao, 70 of Kwakeithel are reported to be still serious."

In an email from Tattva Darshan dasa to another devotee, he reported that:

"I was with Bhojadeva last week when he made plans to travel to Manipura. Of those injured his condition is the worse and serious. He is still in shock and unconscious and unable to be airlifted out of Manipur to Delhi or Calcutta. The doctors do feel he will recover.

…They took a piece of Swarupa Damodara's hand off that was injured by shrapenal. We need the power of prayer to save our dear godbrother for more service to Srila Prabhupada…. All the devotees in Bangkok are holding prayer vigils I have heard."

Search for the Terrorists

Promising a "vigorous and concerted efforts to nab the criminals responsible for the heinous attack, the state police has made an appeal seeking assistance from the public for the task.

`The whole-hearted cooperation of the public will be of great assistance in our investigation', the police said in a statement, announcing a reward of Rs. 1 lakh for credible information leading to the identification and arrest of the culprits responsible for the attack.

The police has also promised to ensure full anonymity of the informer, and confidentiality of the information provided.

Meanwhile, the SP, Imphal west, Clay Khongsai, informed IFP today an earnest investigation has been launched into the ISKCON attack with full input from the intelligence agencies

The SP ruled out the involvement of outside agencies like the ISI in the incident, and disclosed that the police were almost certain of the involvement of one of the local underground groups.

He further informed the police has secured video footage from several videographers who covered the Ras performance at the ISKCON campus during which the attack took place and held out hopes of identifying the culprits from the same.

Foreigners Being Evacuated from Manipur

New Delhi is evacuating a group of about 10 foreign nationals from India`s northeastern Manipur state where separatists killed four people and wounded 34 in a grenade attack at a Hindu temple, officials Thursday said.

"A special aircraft would arrive here later in the day to take back all the foreigners, including three US citizens and a Swiss national, who were injured in the explosion," senior police official Radheshyam Singh told IANS. "They would be either taken to Kolkata or New Delhi."

The foreign devotees included a family of four from Switzerland, an Indian Iranian, Radhika Pyari, five American citizens, and a French lady.

The family from Switzerland left Imphal this afternoon on a Jet Airways flight, while the remaining, apart from the injured Brian Nash (Bhojadeva dasa) and Radhika Pyari devi, are staying with the ISKCON temple president Adit Das.

Adit Das, who said the foreign devotees are in a state of shock in the wake of yesterday`s attack, affirmed that the foreign nationals would be evacuated by a special aircraft as soon as the condition of the injured Brian Nash improves.

KYKL Denies Hand in ISKCON Bomb Attack

The underground Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup, KYKL, has denied any involvement in the grenade attack at the ISKCON campus on Wednesday that killed five persons and left dozens injured.

The underground group was reacting to an agency report appearing in sections of the local papers which quoted a Union home ministry official as stating that the KYKL had carried out the attack on account of the ISKCON authorities` refusal to pay an extortion demand.

The KYKL, in a statement issued by its deputy secretary, publicity and research, said the group had never demanded a hefty amount from ISKCON, nor had any attempt been made to tax the ISKCON temple.

The group clarified that as in other private schools, the ISKCON school had been asked to pay the group a sum of Rs. 1 lakh as tax, though later the group only took a sum of Rs. 10,000 after taking into consideration the number of students studying in the school.

The statement went on to say that while the KYKL supported the public movements for propagation of indigenous language, script, and culture, if any attempt was made to blame the KYKL for the ISKCON incident on that account, the ISKCON would have to face the KYKL`s wrath.

Condemnation Over ISKCON Bombing Pour In

Leaving aside the differences of caste, creed or religion, several civil society bodies, political parties, NGOs, students bodies, individuals have expressed strong condemnation to the grenade blast at the Imphal ISKCON temple that leaved five deaths and injuring over 50 people including women and children on the auspicious day of Krishna Janmasthmi on August 16, 2006.

Apart from political parties NGO, civil society bodies, students bodies and local organistions, condemnation note poured in to local newspaper offices even from individuals describing the crime committed not only against humanity but also against the almighty.

Major General BS Ghotra, IGAR (South) strongly condemned the heinous act of killing and seriously hurting innocent devotees at ISCON temple on the auspicious day of Krishna Janamasthmi celebration. Terming it as a dastardly act, the IGAR (S) said that is was humanly impossible to imagine that a miscreant could stoop down so low to kill innocent people including children, in the midst of Pooja at a holy place of worship.

In separate condemnation notes, state unit of the national political parties like the Rastriya Janata Dal, the BJP and the Samajwadi Party, said the ISKCON incident is a gift to the people by the Congress led UPF government in Manipur.

In one of such condemnation note, the High Court Bar Association expressed its sorrow and deep anguish for the blast victims at ISKCON apart from condemning the thoughtless and inhuman actions of those who are responsible either individual or organisations.

Several appeals made by the public and civil society bodies to the armed organisations and armed forces not to kill or injure or violate human rights of innocent civilians or citizens. But such appeals does not have any significant impact to the concerned individuals or armed organisations or security forces, the lawyer's body said in a condemnation statement adding it is time for the people of Manipur to think together what course of action could be taken up against responsible individuals and organisations so that such unfortunate incident may be prevented in future.

It also said that innocent people living in Manipur will remain subjected to unjustified killings, injury, tortures at the hands of armed organisations, individuals and security forces if people fails to take up action against forces which are trying to destabilize the society.

While condemning the grenade attack at Imphal ISKCON temple, the Meetei Erol Eyek Loinasillol Apunba Lup Kangleipak (MEELAL) said the incident is nothing sort of a `Religious war`.

While asserting that the incident has created fear psychosis amongst general public in Manipur apart from creating misunderstandings, the MEELAL also observed that the attack could have performed with a conspiracy to sabotaged and undermined Manipur peoples demand for total repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

The Zeliangrong Union has also condemned the grenade attack at ISKCON saying the blast incident calls for international pressure for action against the inhuman terrorists strike.

The intelligence failure of both the centre and the state government for tighten up security measure when even the American Embassy in New Delhi warned US citizens in India of terrorist strikes before 15th August, 2006.

The ZU and ZYF also urged the government of Manipur to investigate the matter to bring the culprits to be booked for justice and punishments as per law in such a way that unruly miscreants are frightened not to repeat such irrational crimes in future.

Condemning the bomb attack at Imphal ISKCON temple, the Manipuri Students Federation said such action was an act of terrorism. The MSF also share pains and sorrows of the bereaved families and to those injured in the incident.

The Hmar Youth Association also condemned the brutal attack at ISKCON and claimed it to be terrorism. The Association also appeals all concerned not to practise such kind of act in public places in future specially at a worship place like ISKCON.

Condemnations are also coming the several organisations namely the All Manipur Muslim Student`s Organisation, the Manipur Peace Committee, the Manipur State Pensioner`s Union, All Manipur Muslim Educational Society, All Manipur College Teachers Association, Federation of Regional Indigenous Societies, D-Cacus Education Centre, the National Identity Protection Committee, the Union of Social Upliftment, Khurai, Malem Yaifasang, Student`s Union Club, Kontha Khabam, the Thangmeiband Apunba Nupi Lup, Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup, Karta Bhagyachandra Parishad, All Manipur Christian Organisation."

ISKCON Delhi Increases Security

The Indo-Asian News agency reported that "Security arrangements at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple here was further enhanced after a grenade attack Wednesday evening near a temple in northeast India, even as celebrations of Janmashtami - the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna- continued in the capital.

Over 100,000 people visited the ISKCON temple here since early Wednesday morning and the celebration were reaching its peak with the approach of the midnight when Krishna - the eighth reincarnation of Lord Vishnu - is believed to have taken birth.

In Manipur's capital Imphal, the grenade attack took place at 7.15 p.m. at the ISKCON temple when it was packed with hundreds of devotes. At least four people were killed and 34, including three US nationals, were wounded in the explosion.

'We have come to know about the Imphal incident but there is nothing to worry. The capital is under a high alert and security arrangement in and around the temple has been in place since early this morning. However, we have directed our officers to be more vigilant and keep a tight look over the situation,' said Anil Shukla, deputy commissioner of police (south).

'The temple is guarded by police from all directions and a three-tier security is in place for anyone entering the sanctum sanctorum. Everything is being monitored through close circuit cameras too,' Shukla, who is supervising the security situation, told IANS.

ISKCON temple authorities said they were satisfied with the security arrangements.

'It is Lord's mercy that nothing untoward has happened here so far. There are over 700 police personnel guarding the temple and visitors are being frisked before being allowed to enter the premises,' said Vijendra Nanda Das, director (communication) of the ISKCON.

Delhi Police have put safety precautions in place for all prominent temples in the capital and nearly 6,000 personnel were on guard - especially at the ISKCON, Lakshmi Narayan temple and Akshardham here.

Tens of thousands of devotees thronged temples since early Wednesday to celebrate Janmashtami though the power crisis forced temples to scale down their decorations.

Temples and homes were decorated and floats depicting stories from Lord Krishna's childhood could be seen at temples. The Lord was being invoked with kirtans (religious choruses) ringing of bells, blowing of conches and chanting of Sanskrit verses.

The Lakshmi Narayan temple, also known as the Birla temple, was decked up with flowers and devotees were seen gathering at the temple early for prayers. 'We visited the Birla temple at 8 a.m. because all the adult members were fasting. It's the birthday of the Lord of the Universe and we will visit several temples,' said Sashiprava Aggarwal, a devotee.

Devotees were not allowed to carry liquids or the traditional offering of coconuts inside the Birla temple as parts of security measures. They were only allowed to offer sweets, fruits and flowers to the Lord.

The authorities have made arrangements for a 24-hour celebration at the Akshardham temple that was opened here last year. The temple organised a musical ballet on the life of Lord Krishna that continued till midnight.

However, due to the power crisis across the capital, many temples had to scale down their lighting arrangements. 'The decorations are mostly floral,' said Swami Charansinghji, a priest in an east Delhi temple."

isckon_blast.jpg - 36041 Bytes
Members of ISKCON carrying the mortal remains of the blast victims.
The Swami also led the kirtan while paying homage to the victims.

manipur10.jpg - 198636 Bytes

Following are updates on the wellbeing of the devotees in Imphal, Manipur, particularly Sriman Bhojadev dasa, who was very seriously injured in the blast:

"The devotees are requesting bhajan and prayers be offered to the Lord by our temples and others for Sriman Bhojadev Prabhu who was critically injured in the terror attack on our ISKCON Manipur Temple in Imphal, Manipur.

Sriman Bhojdev Prabhu bravely risked his life to protect the lives of HH Bhaktisvarup Damodar Swami and other devotees present in the terror attack which occurred in the pandal during the Rasalila performance on Janmastami day. He is currently in the hospital in critical condition in Manipur.

The prayers of the Vaishnavas to Sri Krishna for his protection and safe recovery would be greatly appreciated by all devotees who were victims of this terror attack and especially those devotees who were protected by his brave sacrifice.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated in this matter.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Sriman Gaja Hanta Das ACBSP

Please Pray for Bhojadeva Prabhu

This is an earnest request for all the devotees to pray for safe recovery of His Grace Bhojadeva Prabhu, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, who was severely injured in the tragic terror attack during the Janmastami celebrations at ISKCON Manipur. A hand grenade was thrown into the middle of the Pandal (a temporary hall built for cultural performances during the festival) where the Manipur traditional Rasalila performance was being held. Near to the performance, His Holiness Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Maharaja was seated along with important guests. Bhojdeva Prabhu was sitting next to His Holiness. It appeared that the grenade was targeted to His Holiness but landed near to Bhojdeva Prabhu. A total of five devotees left their bodies till now. Bhojadeva Prabhu took most of the explosion in the direction where they were sitting and thus severely injured. He saved His Holiness and few other devotees from being severely injured. I was also saved by Bhojadeva Prabhu as I was sitting just behind him.

When the explosion occurred Bhojadeva Prabhu was chanting with both his hands crossed near the chest and that saved him as well as his stomach and chest were protected by the hands by the blessings of the Lord's Holy Name. However, he sustained severe injuries in his face and left arm. He was operated on 17th. His eyes were damaged and still swollen. He is able to open and see thru his right eye. Unfortunately he is not able to open the left eye and he is not responding to the light. His nose was also damaged and broken. His nasal cavity is open up to the sinus. Along with the blood from the damaged area, there is also fluid coming from his brain. Doctors say it takes few days before the opening of the nasal cavity is closed but they are worried that there may develop some infection that could go up into the brain.

Today he is fully conscious and speaking. Doctors say that he is recovering quickly. He is stable and completely Krishna Conscious and thanking the Lord for saving him by giving him less than that is deserved by him by his Karma. We have given him the water. Tomorrow, if possible we will give some fluid or solid prasadam according to the situation. Day after tomorrow we are hoping to take him to Calcutta for better treatment. After few days if he is able to walk and is fit, he will be taken to his residence in Bangkok. Meanwhile, we are all very much worried about his left eye and possible infection that may develop in the brain. Bhojadeva Prabhu is one of very rare devotees of the Lord. As an example of intensity of his devotion and faith in the Lord, he was chanting even while he was on the floor with severe injuries after the blast. Please sincerely pray to the Lord to protect Bhojadeva Prabhu to give us his valuable association, guidance and inspiration to serve the Lord. Hare Krishna!

By Sacirani Devi Dasi
Posted on August 19, 2006
From Imphal, Manipur, India.

manipur11.jpg - 214841 Bytes Many news reports are coming out of Manipur about the terrorist attack on ISKCON's Imphal, Manipur temple. The following reports were posted by the Sangai Express:

"To seek blessing of the almighty for the peaceful rest of the departed souls claimed by the August 16 bomb attack and speedy recovery of the many injured, the ISKCON Manipuri Bhaktas will observe 'Akhand Harinam Sankirtan' at 5 pm tomorrow which will continue till Sept 1 (Radha Asthami). A press release issued today, also appealed to people of all community to join the occasion in their traditional/ceremonial dress.

Girl Succumbs, ISKCON Blast Toll Rises to Five

Death toll in the August 16 grenade attack at the Mani Mandir of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) here has risen to five with one more victim succumbing to injuries today.

The latest victim, a young woman, has been identified as Thongam Rangeeta (24) d/o Th Rajmani of Langjing Achouba Awang Leikai. She breathed her last at around 2.30 am at Shija Hospital, Langol where she was undergoing treatment. The body has been handed over to the bereaved family members after post-mortem at RIMS morgue later in the afternoon.

As news of the death Rangeeta spread, infuriated local people came out to block the road from Langjing to Moirang Hanuba Leirak today.

Currently, 10 bomb blast victims, some of whom are in critical conditions, are undergoing treatment Shija Hospital.

They are identified as Maisnam Madhumangol Singh (70) of Lalambung Makhong, Maisnam Ongbi Ibemhal Devi (60) of Lalambung Makhong, Gopal Sharma (54) of Kwakeithel, Monika Devi (19) of Lamphel, Sushila Devi (36) of Sangaiprou, K Manihar (50) of Thouda Bhabok Leikai, Manglembi Devi (60) of Sunusiphai, I Gouramani (75) of Khagempalli, M Asnikumar (37) of Changangei and Asem Bhakta (45) of Keishamthong.

According to information received from RIMS, nine persons who sustained injuries in the bomb blast are also undergoing treatment at the hospital.

They are Khoisnam Manihar (68) of Malom, Khundongbam Ningthem-jao (70) of Heinoukhongnembi, Bryan Nash alias Bhoja Dev (52) of USA California, Khoisnam Roger (11) of Malom Tuliyaima, Thiyam Gambhir (63) of Tiddim Road Takhellambam Leikai, Sapam Ibohal (65) of Tiddim Ground, Kangjam Ongbi Ibemcha (54) of Kwakeithel Mayai Koibi, Sapam Mitrika (6) of Tiddim Ground and Ningthoujam Samananda (12) of Thanga.

Among them the condition of Manihar, Ningthemjao and Bhoja Dev are stated to be critical.

Dharnas Staged to Condemn ISKCON Attack

Even as condemnations against the august 16 grenade attack inside the ISKCON temple complex continue to pour in unabated, sit-in-protests were staged at various places today to denounce the ghastly act.

Occupying nearly half the Tiddim Road, people in large number participated in a peaceful protest organised by Tourism and Rural Development Project-ISKCON, Toubul in front of the ISKCON entrance.

Apart from members of the Project, people from all walks of life including representatives of meira paibis of Toubal area and Kabui community congregated at the protest site. At Lalambung Makhong the local meira paibis organised sit-in-protest to condemn the act of terrorism. The protest session was also participated by school students.

Similar agitation was organised at JN Manipur Dance Academy premise, Changangei Keithel, Singjamei Super Market and Kwakeithel Thokchom Leikai. Meanwhile, GOC 57 Mountain Division Maj Gen EJ Kochekkan expressed his deep anguish on the wanton killing of innocent people at the ISKCON temple on August 16.A PIB (DW) statement conveyed of the Major General's heartfelt sympathies to the families of those who have lost their lives while hoping for speedy recovery of the injured.

Expressing shock, the GOC mentioned that the attack unleashed on a peaceful religious congregation isunprecedented in the pluralistic and culturally rich society of Manipur. "This attack shows the mental make up of the perpetrators and utter lack of concern for the lives of innocent people".

All right thinking people, social bodies and organisations which value human life need to raise their voice in condemnation of the dastardly act, the Maj Gen continued and opined that the event also highlight the need to put an end to the spiral of violence apart from underlining the need to move towards peace.

Stir Called by Students' Federation of India

The Students' Federation of India manipur State Committee has called an 'academic strike' on August 21 to protest against the grenade attack during Janmasthami celebration at ISKCON on August 16.The SFI state unit urging authorities of both Govt and private educational institutions to observe the strike call also warned of unwanted consequences in case schools are found open.

The student body also demanded clarification from those involved in the ghastly act besides alleging failure of security apparatus particularly the intelligence agencies of the Govt.

Protests Against ISKCON Temple Blast

The Hindu reports that, "Angry demonstrators blocked vehicles on the Imphal Tiddim road in front of the ISKCON complex on Saturday demanding that the outfit or group responsible for the grenade blast at the temple on August 16 offer an explanation.

On Friday, 24-year-old Ranjeeta, who received shrapnel wounds in the blast, died in a private hospital here. In the blast 5 persons were killed and over 50 others wounded. The condition of many of the injured persons is serious. A massive peace rally will be held on Wednesday."

"Foreign hand"

There is no response from the public to the Rs. one lakh reward announced by the Manipur police to anyone furnishing information leading to the arrest or establishment of the identity of the miscreants.

A top ranking police officer said that it had become increasingly clear that the blast was the handiwork of foreign militants."

KCP Too Denies Hand in ISKCON Bombing

The Imphal Free Press reports that "The underground Kangleipak Communist Party has clarified that the outfit was not responsible for the grenade attack to the Imphal ISKCON temple that left five persons killed and injured over 50 people including a minor and women on August 16.

A statement issued by Lamphel Luwangcha for and on behalf of the ACC of KCP said the incidents like firing in crowded places, lobbing bombs or firing towards civilian populated areas, deliberately or accidentally, are not new in Manipur.

Taking serious view of the activities of the intelligence agencies of India in the north eastern region particularly in Manipur, the KCP maintained that indigenous people of the region KCP too denies hand in ISKCON bombing are being subjected to harassment, torture and killing randomly under government of India`s hidden policy to subjugate indigenous people of the region.

While asserting that people of the region are fully aware about government of India`s act of terrorism, the KCP said the grenade attack at ISKCON could be conspiracy to undermine revolutionary movement in the region.

While speculating that intelligent agents of foreign countries could be amongst the crowd which witness the Ras Leela on that fateful day, the KCP said, taking advantage of the presence of some foreign nationals, the blast was triggered Indian intelligent agencies just to claim universally that revolutionary groups operating in the north eastern region are terrorists organizations.

Asserting that KCP treat equally to each and every religion, Lamphel Luwangcha`s statement maintained that the outfit never lobbed bomb or fire in civilian populated area nor carry out such actions during the course of its freedom movement. The outfit also appeals all concern not to indulge in subversive activities like the one carried out at ISKCON which could undermine people`s sentiment."

"Attack was against peace loving international community"

`Whoever was responsible for the drastic attack against devotees and civilians (on August 16 at the ISKCON complex) were cowards, and it is an act of terrorism against the civilized world` says Laksmi Priya alias Naomi R Trachtenberg, 51, one of two foreign devotees injured in the bomb attack.

Laxmi Priya, who is recuperating at the ISKCON Complex told the IFP that the murderers shall not be allowed to get away by God.

Though she does not know what the miscreants wanted to prove, it is an act of complete non sense and an attack upon the peace loving international community, she said. However, it has not dampened the spirit. Rather, it has made them stronger than they were before, she said.

Showing her injuries at the head and right arms Laxmi Priya said that she will be going outside the state for further treatment in a day or two. She also maintained that in this age masked with chaos and confusion, one must remember the hyms of Chatanya Maha Pravu and chant the holy name of the supreme God Head, Krishna.

Meanwhil, Abhimanyu Das 54 of the United States informed IFP that the condition of Brian Nash 52 of California has become stable and he will be leaving for Kolkata for further treatment in one or two days. He further revealed that some other Americans have arrived here to take care of the injured. He also said that in this time of grief everyone should take shelter in Krishna and his holy name since it is the only cure for the problems of life.

In the meantime, it is reported that the American consul will be visiting the state on August 22 to assess the situation.

On the other hand, Bhakti Swarup Damodar Swami of ISKCON said that whoever carried out this act should to their senses and stop such drastic acts. He asked what one will achieve by killing devotees and innocents, and reiterated that ISKCON has no ill feeling towards anyone and is devoted to religious principles. He further maintained that all are children of the same father though they follow different religious path. All religions preach peace and harmony he added.

However, the attack on one particular religions sect is against the norms of civilized world and the time has come for all the people to co-exist in peace and harmony, he said.

Communities Unite Against Terror

Sit-in demonstrations were held at several places in Imphal protesting against Wednesday`s bomb attack at the Imphal ISKCON complex even as messages condeming the incident continue to pour in at media offices.

People in their hundreds participated in a massive sit-in at Sangaiprou, near the ISKCON complex, and similar demonstrations were staged at Lalambung Makhong, Tera Bazar, and at the campus of the JN Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal.

Local meira paibis, youths and school children participated in the demonstration at Lalambung Makhong, held in front of the Royal Hospital, RIMS road. Shops and pharmacies in the vicinity stayed shut for the day in support of the protest.

Another sit-in protest was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy campus, in which students and staff of the academy participated.

Tera bazar was also closed for the day as vendors, shopkeepers and members of the public participated in the protest demonstration against the ISKCON bombing.

In the meantime, the United Naga Council (UNC), All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) and Naga Women`s Union, Manipur (NWUM), in a joint press statement, expressed shock at the at the terrorist act of killing innocent people going for worship and injuring several seriously at ISKCON complex.

`The organizations strongly condemn and request all to condemn such act of barbaric inhuman killing of believers. It is our strong appeal to the culprits to safe life and not take life. It is very hard to believe even worship places are not safe in Manipur for general public. We feel whoever is responsible should come forward and clarify the barbaric act also brave the general public who want to exercise the right to religion`, the joint statement stated.

The organisations also expressed condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for speedy recovery of all those who are injured.

Also condemning the incident, the Kuki Inpi Manipur, in another statement said said it finds no word strong enough to convey the degree of the despicability of such an incident.

`One question that is in the minds of everybody is this: Is Manipur becoming a member of the mindless club of terrorism and suicide bombers`, the KIM asked.

The state government needs to build up its capability to collect and inseminate reliable and actionable intelligence in the times to come. With such lethargic performance of the department concerned the future of the state is in a very precarious hands, it said.

All citizens must unite and fight to prevent recurrence of such an incident, the KIM stated.

Condemning the inhuman, brutal, rash and thoughtless killing of five persons and injuries several innocent civilian, the Manipur Mahila Kalyan Samiti said such act of vandalism has slurred the clear face of Manipur considered as a place of culture and arts in the eyes of the world. The Samiti also appeal people to pray that such incidents - lowest of the low, wildest of the wild and most uncivilized of the uncivilized world - would not repeat again.

The Kuki Youth`s Federation has also strongly condemned the bomb blast at ISKCON and termed it as beastly act of terrorism. The perpetrators should remember that in religion, there is no division of caste, creed and colour and always blinds the ethics of love, oneness and lays no bar between sections of communities.

The Kabui Mothers Association has also strongly condemned the grenade attack to ISKCON and appeals perpetrators not repeat such act of terrorism anymore.

The Manipur Chemists & Druggists Association, Manipur Human Rights Organization, Teachers and Medical Officers Association of the RIMS, Minuthong Hatta Golapati Athletic Union, the BJP Tamenglong district committee, Moirang Hanuba Youth Development Club, UMM-M District Network Committee, Thoubal, the Janata Dal (United) Manipur, Lakhsh Pioneer Committee and the United Women`s Development Organization similarly condemned the incident.

In another condemnation note, the Voluntary Help Unit Committee, RIMS said the bomb attack at ISKCON was a crime against humanity and it calls for worldwide condemnations.

In the meantime, the committee extended gratitude to individuals and organizations who had donated cash or kind for the victims of the bomb blast.

The committee has so far received monetary donations from individuals and social organizations amongst which includes Dr Y Mohen, MD RIMS contributed Rs 14,210 and the AMUCO contributed Rs 15,000, according to a release."

[Home Page] vs.gif - 6443 Bytes

Current Events Page