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The Voice From The Cell

Jun 12, 2010 3:15:00 PM - thesundayleader.lk

Help me to change...

By Ranee Mohamed

There are many strangers we meet each day. And it is but natural that we trust them. Most often we are taken in by a ‘Good Morning Ma’am,’ or a ‘How can I help you, Madam?’ But this voice from the cell is a blaring example of the dangers that surround us. It amplifies our need to analyse all possibilities…

He stepped into his 30s when he was in prison. He hails from Ulpathgama and could be described as smart and handsome.  However, never can a woman ‘enjoy’ his company and his stand is that if he hears the voice of a  woman, he would love to get closer to her… just so that he could kill her with his bare hands.

“You cannot blame me ma’am for what I am. But I have been emotionally battered and bruised by women all my life, so much so that when I hear the voice of a woman today I really want to kill her and nothing will be able to stop me. It all started with my parents separating. The separation broke my little heart. I was a child back then and hated to see my uncle, my father’s brother walk into our lives. I was devastated when my mother married him. They had two children of their own and I was the black sheep. I used to sleep with my mother, but when my uncle married her, he put me in a dark room to sleep alone. When I used to cry aloud for fear of darkness, he would come around, kick me  hard shouting ‘Go to sleep you dog’.”

“A couple of years later I decided to go in the path of religion. Yet my uncle came to the place I was in  and threatened to kill my mother if I don’t come home. So I went back home I had to do all the house work.  If my brother and sister cried for some other reason, I would get beaten. It was my responsibility to see that they did not fall down and to feed them on time. Those were traumatic days, but I had no alternative,” he said as he shouted out to  a prison mate for a bucket.

“There were many dark happenings I want to talk about my wife too. When I saw her I thought she was the most shy, pretty and reserved woman I have ever met. I married her and we lived happily. She did not want to have children and it was as if by accident that my daughter came into our lives. Friends and neighbours told me that my wife was having an affair with the son of the mill owner near our home. When I caught them red handed I was heartbroken. I forgive you, I told her because I loved her. Then we packed our things and moved into another house far away. There we lived happily. Yet my wife showed me no love. She would  cook for me, yet never on any day serve food for me. She used to scold me calling me a ‘dog’ and shunned her marital duties towards me. I was so unhappy, yet I had to live with her for the sake of my daughter,” he said.

“One day I was summoned by some friends because they had a problem with their water motor. As they lived quite far away I set off in the morning. Half way through I received a message that their son’s wife had gone into labour and was taken to hospital and that their house was now closed. So I made my way back home. I stopped at nearby shop and bought a cigarette. Having a lighted cigarette in my hand, I jumped over the wire fence in our backyard because I did not want our daughter to see me smoking. I sat on the well and smoked and then washed my face and hands after drawing a bucket of water and slowly walked towards our house. On entering I saw some shadows in our bedroom. I knew it was my daughter and jumped in from behind the curtain to give her a surprise and was aghast to see my wife in a compromising position with my uncle. I thought I was going to die, I could not believe it. Before I could pull myself together I saw my uncle run out of the house. My wife could not move,”  he cried, his voice was shaking.
“I did not want to hit my wife. I could not hit her. I loved her. I took the bottle of kerosene oil and poured it on my head and body and grabbed the box of matches.  She began to scream and grabbed the box from me and threw it into a pot of water and began to scream. I told her not to scream. ‘If you scream, I will have to tell everyone about what happened,’ I threatened her. Thereafter I left the house. I later learnt that my uncle had taken my daughter and left her with his wife before coming to my home to be with my wife. I went home, took my daughter and handed her over to my wife’s parents and then went away,” he said.

“I got a job as a salesman and met many women. By this time I had acquired an ID card which helped me to pose as an  intelligence officer of the law. There were women who would give me their business cards and ask for mine. Some of them would then suggest that we meet outside. I discovered that many of them were  married, some with children, with their husbands providing comfortably for them. Some would ask me to come home and whisper that their husbands would not be at home at that time.  I did not hesitate to kill those ‘tarts’ by ripping their necks,” he said, his voice shaking with rage.
“Sometimes, when a woman would coo to me and ask me to meet her at her home, I would send a couple of friends and tell her that two of my friends will stop by and ask her whether it would be possible for her to give them some tea. They would have the tea and then kill her on my behalf. Women who sleep around do not deserve to live,” he insists.
“By this time I was into contract killing. I had  a couple of men working for me and I was the leader of the gang. But I undertook to kill only women. I  killed the ‘other women’ of husbands on contracts given by some wives.

“The contract killings brought me a great deal of  money, and above all it gave me the greatest job satisfaction. I know the times when husbands go to work and I know the times when women are alone at home.  I would go posing as a salesman and pretend to feel faint and ask to sit inside the house. And when I did the fun began. I would grab the woman by the neck and demand all the valuables and then, with pleasure, kill her. Women would go down on their knees and call me God. They would beg me (Aney mage deiyo kiyana thanakata wadinnam mawa maranna epa. Mage mahaththaya thaniwei, mage daruwa thaniwei). God, you are my god, I would worship you in any place you tell me, please don’t kill me, my husband will be alone, my children will be rendered motherless, Please don’t kill me… And that pleading gave me the greatest pleasure. And as the pleasure surged inside my very being, I would rip their throats,” he said amidst much noise.

“Women have offered me many things in the face of death. I will write my property in your name, I  will write this house in your name, they have offered, but I have not spared them,” he said.  “I have killed a woman and cut her to several pieces and abandoned those pieces in Borella, Dematagoda and Pettah. She was never found,” he said. “Once I entered a house and climbed upstairs. No one heard me. She was the wife of an educated man. I kicked her chest and she never regained consciousness after that kick. I took the valuables in the house and put them in my bag. Then I went to their plush bathroom and had a nice, long cold shower before I left the house,” he said.

“What gets my killing instincts in complete motion is the sight of proud, haughty women who think no end of themselves. I will pause only after killing them. One day I killed a woman who was decked in jewellery. I later discovered that her jewellery was imitation and that she had only Rs.20 in her purse,” he said.

“I never want a woman in my life ever again. The only woman who comes to see me is my mother. Puthe (son) she would call me lovingly and give me a packet of rice prepared at home,” he said.

“I want to get out of prison for the sake of my daughter. I want to change her life. Yet I don’t think I will ever come out. Living in a cell which is about 8 X 6 is difficult. And we are not alone in here. The ventilation is poor and there are rats the size of Volkswagens crawling in this place,” he said. “I think I can change. I think I will become a better man, but the law has put me in here. I am angry with the system, I am angry with the police. My plea is to listen to me. Help me to get out and help me to change myself, ” he appeals.