Prodded, Manipur to give cover to kin of boy ‘killed by CM son’

NEW DELHI: On the Centre’s nudge, the Manipur government has decided to provide security cover to parents of a boy who was allegedly shot dead in a road rage case six years ago by present chief minister N Biren Singh’s son, and the social activist who highlighted the case.

Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh informed the Supreme Court on Monday that the boy’s parents – Irom Chitra Singh and Irom Lokendra Singh – as well as social activist Binalakshmi Nepram have been provided armed security cover by Manipur Rifles since June 3, a day after the home ministry wrote to the state government.

He also informed Justice Deepak Gupta that lawyer, Utsav Singh Bains, would also be provided appropriate security cover as and when he travels to Manipur to appear in the high court on behalf of the parents who have sought enhancement of the five-year imprisonment awarded to the CM’s son N Ajay Singh. Ajay Singh was convicted in January this year for the 2011 incident in which he allegedly shot dead Irom Roger for overtaking his vehicle. The trial court had also directed him to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the victim’s family.

After informing the court about the steps taken to provide security to the parents, social activist and the lawyer, the ASG with Manipur advocate general N Kumarjit turned the heat on them for flogging a dead horse to gain mileage through publicity in media.

The state government assured the SC that it bore no grudges against the petitioners, who were free to approach the HC to seek enhancement of punishment against the CM’s son, and that there had been never any attempt to coerce them. The parents, social activist and the lawyer had alleged that the CM was misusing his official position and using his connection with terror organisations to threaten them after they filed petition in the HC.

The ASG said: “All the allegations of harassment of the parents and the threat to their lawyer turned out to be false on investigations and it appears that there had been an attempt to sensationalise the case to garner publicity through media coverage.”

The state in its affidavit through advocate S Biswajeet said: “The petitioners had already cooked up a strategy to make this a media issue, solely because the accused was a ‘son of a minister’, a tag-line which was deliberately used to attract social activists…”

It said the allegation by the lawyer that he received threats from banned militant organisation turned out to be false as the specific input provided by the advocate was investigated and found that he had received no telephone call from any militant outfit. “All Manipur Bar Association has responded to Bains’ allegation and denied that the parents were ever refused to be represented by the lawyers in HC. In fact, the parents never approached any lawyer in HC,” it said. The SC posted the matter for hearing in July.

Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN

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