India: Militants Threaten SC Lawyer Fighting Against Manipur CM’s Son to Drop Case

May 15, 2017

A Supreme Court lawyer appearing for a 21-year-old man who was allegedly murdered by Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh’s son has written a letter to the Union home secretary alleging that he received a message from militant groups asking him to drop the case.

In March 2011, Biren’s son, N. Ajay, was accused of shooting Irom Roger after an altercation on Holi near Imphal’s Tulihal airport. Owing to public pressure, the then state government handed over the case to the CBI two months later. In January 2017, an Imphal sessions court held 33-year-old Ajay guilty of “homicide not amounting to murder” under section 304 (2). Ajay has challenged the order in the high court and has applied for bail. He has since been in Sajiwa central jail.

In his letter to the home secretary on May 3, Utsav Singh Bains said he received a WhatsApp call on March 22, at around 3.30 am. “The person who spoke in broken English with a Manipur accent, said that he’s calling from PLA (Peoples Liberation Army), Manipur and NSCIM (NSCN-Isak-Muivah) and that I shouldn’t go ahead with the case of Irom Rogers, who was murdered by the son of the present chief minister N. Biren Singh. I couldn’t understand what was PLA or NSCIM during the call but later when I searched for both on Google, I came to know that PLA is terror organisation operating in the North East but couldn’t find clarity as to NSCIM. Later during the day (March 22), I informed [the] superintendent of police (CID) Imphal, Manipur, about the threatening calls,” the letter said.

Bains told the media that he decided not to visit Imphal after the call and tried engaging lawyers from the Manipur high court. He said all the lawyers he contacted “refused to be associated with the case as they feared for their lives.” Thereafter, Bains went to Imphal “inspite of the threat”.



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