July 18, 2017
The Supreme Court today directed the CRPF to provide security to the family of Irom Roger, who was shot dead by Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh’s son Ajay Meitei in 2001, while transferring to Gauhati High Court an appeal filed by the family.
The court entrusted the family’s security, earlier provided by Manipur police, to the CRPF to ensure free and fair appeal proceedings in Gauhati High Court.
Besides Roger’s family, the court asked the CRPF to also provide security to social activist Binalakshmi Nepram, who has taken up the family’s cause, and Chandigarh police to provide security to Chandigarh-based advocate Utsav Singh Bains, who has taken up the case. “We will take over responsibility of the security of the family. We will direct the CRPF to provide security to the family… it is now the responsibility of the court to provide the security…we are doing this in the peculiar facts of this case,” a three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, verbally told Manipur’s advocate-general during a hearing.
Later in the day, while passing a formal order, the bench, which also comprised Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Navin Sinha, asked the inspector-general of CRPF, Manipur and Nagaland zone, to prepare an “assessment report” (of the threat to the family and the two others) and place it before the court. The court passed the directions while dealing with a petition filed by the family complaining about the threat to their lives at the alleged behest of the chief minister. In their petition, they claimed that such was the threat and pressure mounted on them that no lawyer was ready to represent them. It was alleged that Bains, who had flown to Manipur to file an appeal in the state high court in the case, was threatened.
Ajay had shot dead Roger on March 20, 2011, after the deceased had reportedly not allowed the convict to overtake him in his SUV. Biren Singh was the sports minister in the previous Congress government at that time.