Manipur BJP spokesperson N Biren’s son, Nongthombam Ajay, was on Friday held guilty of “homicide not amounting to murder” (304 section ii) by an Imphal sessions court. The hearing was in relation to a 2011 case in which N Ajay, then 27-year-old, was accused of shooting 21-year-old Irom Roger after an altercation during the Holi festivities. Irom had been shot on the highway that passes in front of Imphal’s Tulihal Airport. The matter had been under investigation and had been handed over to the CBI by the local authorities.
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N Biren, a former Congress Minister and spokesperson, had recently resigned from the party and joined the BJP and will be contesting the approaching assembly elections in Manipur which are due for February 4 and 8th.
District and Sessions judge M. Manojkumar Singh had earlier reserved his order in the case. The quantum of sentence will be announced on January 11. N Ajay has been sent to Sajiwa central jail in Imphal till January 11.
Irom was studying in Bangalore and had been visiting his family in Imphal on Holi, one of Manipur’s biggest festivals. On the day of the incident – March 21, 2011 – both Irom and Nongthombam were out with their friends. Irom in a i-20 and Nongthombam in a jeep. According to an earlier report of The Indian Express, both group of friends had an altercation near the airport about the right of way. When Irom’s car overtook Nongthombam’s jeep, the latter took out his pistol and shot at the car. Irom was shot in the process and died on the spot. N Biren
was at the time a Congress cabinet minister. Following public pressure, Nongthombam, along with his five friends, had surrendered to the police with the murder weapon.
Nongthombam has since been out on bail. Again after great public pressure, the case was handed over to the CBI on May 9, 2011.
In his order today, the sessions judge M.Manojkumar Singh says that the shooting was not with an intention to kill. “I come to the conclusion that the act of the accused shooting from his licensed pistol toward the i-20 car, thereby causing the death of Irom Roger, falls in the exception number 1 of section 300 IPC, and thus it is culpable homicide not amounting to murder and further, there is no material to establish, that the accused shot the deceased with the
intention of causing death,”says the order.
N Biren, the father of the accused was unavailable for comment.