Confession of a killer’s son..

I was just an infant when I used to watch my Father coming back home late and my mother eagerly waiting to bring him a towel and bucket, right there in the lane, where he took a bath, probably to keep the pollution of death from entering our house.

The worst days were ahead of him. He was just a young police constable in Manipur, a province in the north-east part of India which was bloodied by separatists and state reprisal. But he was also a commando- which was part of an elite unit raised to fight the insurgents and there he was set to become their most effective executioner.

Afterwards, it was like a routine, always in order, a recovery van carted the bodies to the morgue, the police issued a statement: The commandos have been attacked and had fought back, killing seven insurgents in the armed “encounter”. Job done! It became a habit for him to make his victims face him. He looked them in the eyes when he pulled the trigger. I remember him keeping a diary along, assuming that was for recording names and dates that were ‘killed’. Eventually he lost his counts.

A thorough research disclosed the full enormity of crime happening in our land where the commandos do not waste their time making arrests. And my father happened to be one of India’s most seasoned extra judicial killers. My growing up wasn’t normal as people used to get skeptical about our family or letting their children play with me or with my brothers and sisters. There were days when we skipped our meals and couldn’t afford to buy bag of coal to cook so father broke up a wooden stool. Next day he chopped up an old door.

I have seen my mother struggling hard and yet having faith on her husband. To be very honest it didn’t matter to us what the nation thought about my father or his enormous killings. He was just following his orders. His past wasn’t that easy either, he and his family had to face so many problems because of these insurgents. Once they made him lay face-down on the ground for raising his voice for his family. He was only 16. He did not remember how long they beat him. This was like a daily routine for the insurgents in those border areas. Until he got the real opportunity in December 2002, when he pumped eight rounds from 9mm pistol into two suspected insurgents whom he caught in Central Imphal- his first kill. His mind was calm and he remembered that what he wanted had started from that very day!

Yes, I know my father is a killer, there are all together 1528 fake encounters. But if he had the courage to kill someone he also has the courage to tell the truth and talk about it in public. His case could be a 1st step towards a process of restoration of justice. It can also open a door to a whole new, higher moral ground. I believe if he discloses everything, getting a pardon won’t be easy but it is honorable to face his fears for himself and for his family because he believes behind that act lies the chance of redemption for Manipur and for all of India’s defiant states where counterinsurgency has gone rough.