“We want the case to be transferred to Delhi. When he wasn’t the CM, he was influential. Now that he is the CM, we are even more scared,” say parents of Irom Rojer, who was allegedly shot dead by N Ajay Meetei, son of current Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, in March 2011 in Imphal. In the capital for a few days now, the parents hope to meet the top leadership at the Centre, as well as the CBI director. Father Irom Lokendro Singh mentions dissatisfaction with the “quantum of punishment” — Meetei has been convicted under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), instead of Section 302 (conviction of murder).
“This was a cold-blooded murder. The punishment awarded to him is not enough. It’s unfair. He has applied for bail. I hope the CBI director will intervene and file a counter appeal,” says Singh, 57, a state government employee. On Monday, the Supreme Court sought the responses of the Centre and the state on a plea of Irom’s parents, in which they have said “they feared for their lives”. Sitting at a tea stall in Delhi, Rojer’s mother, Irom Chitra Devi (56), says, “What can we do? We are a simple, normal family from a small, far away state. In due course of time, we feel, we will be threatened even more.”
On March 20, 2011, Meetei allegedly shot Rojer after he didn’t let him overtake his car. In January this year, an Imphal court convicted him under Section 304 and Section 27 of the Arms Act and sentenced him to five years in jail. “When we came to Delhi in 2011, we met Sonia Gandhi and other leaders, and also the CBI director. At that time, the Congress was in power in the state and at the Centre. This time we haven’t been able to meet anyone, maybe because they think the case is still in court and don’t want to meet,” says Chitra Devi.