Two people were injured Wednesday in a bomb explosion at a market in Shahlang in Meghalaya’s West Khasi Hills district, police said.
“The explosion took place at 6 p.m. when unidentified people lobbed two grenades at a market place in Shahlang, injuring two people,” Muthu Ramachandran, district police chief of West Khasi Hills, told IANS.
However, one of the grenades did not explode.
Ramachandran said the condition of the injured is stable.
“The blast is mainly to create fear psychosis in the minds of the people. We are still investigating into it and are not ruling out the involvement of militant groups,” Ramachandran said.
Though no militant group has claimed responsibility for the blast, intelligence agencies suspect the involvement of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), a rebel group operating in the region.
“It could be the handiwork of the GNLA militants to create fear psychosis and divert security agencies’ attention in the wake of the combing operation against them,” an intelligence official said.
Security forces launched a massive combing operation in Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills districts.
The GNLA, which was declared a terrorist outfit under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, is headed by police officer-turned outlaw Champion R. Sangma and is fighting for Garoland in the three impoverished districts of Garo Hills to be carved out of Meghalaya.