Confessions of a Murderer
There were times when the face of the man I killed haunted me. But I no longer feel remorse. Now, I feel that was his destiny
Like everybody else, I too believe murder is one of the most heinous sins. But I had to kill a person—more accurately, an enemy of my political philosophy. I had nothing personal against him. But it happened. This was about two decades ago. I was part of the hit squad of a major political party in north Kerala. We were keen to retain my village and its surrounding areas as a ‘party village’, where no one subscribed to any philosophy opposed to it. We never pardoned defectors. The party told me and other squad members to kill a man who had left the movement and joined another political formation. He was hacked to death. This was followed by more death and destruction. But the murder helped the party prevent any more defections in the region.
Those were the days when party diktats overruled my conscience. I never wanted to kill even a mosquito. But being a committed cadre, I was never concerned about the merits and demerits of commands from the party. When the party asked me to set the house of an enemy on fire, I did just that. When it told me to learn techniques of making country bombs, I had no option other than to obey.
I was sentenced to life imprisonment. Even inside the prison, there were party blocks. Prisoners belonging to my party were never allowed to enter the area set aside for rivals and vice versa. Plenty of party literature was available in the jail, but I got bored of it after a few years. I got parole several times. Later, when I was released from jail, I refused all marriage proposals. I decided I wanted to remain a bachelor all my life.
There were times when the face of the man I killed haunted me. But I no longer feel remorse. I now feel that was his destiny. Destiny? Yes, I have started to believe in destiny too. Those years in jail have slowly made me a believer. Gone are the days of atheism.
The party’s doublespeak and double standards pained me a lot. They don’t have faith even in what they preach. Then why should I believe in it? I am no longer part of the party. But even now, there are hit squads to kill opponents.
(He was part of a hit squad in Kannur, Kerala, and was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing a political rival. He now runs a tea shop in a Chennai suburb)
As told to K A Shaji