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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014
Get away with murder
Indrajit Hazra, Hindustan Times
September 08, 2013
First Published: 02:17 IST(8/9/2013)
Last Updated: 02:22 IST(8/9/2013)

Do you have sudden urges to wrap your hands around a neck and throttle its owner to death? Or perhaps if you’re more of the thrust-and-parrying sort, a desire to knife someone, not repeatedly like a crazed maniac with no sense of decorum, but to plunge the blade once into the heart and turn it like a bathroom doorknob? No? Good. Because as you probably know already if you live anywhere outside western Uttar Pradesh, killing someone is wrong and can get you into trouble.

If you do, however, intend to kill someone despite my active discouragement, I’d advise you to take the following steps. They should help you to literally get away with murder.

Turn It ‘Communal’:

The trick is to turn an individual crime into a sociological phenomenon. On Tuesday, for instance, Ahsan, a 26-year-old sanitation worker, was reportedly shot dead in Timarsa, Shamli district, in western UP, after a “verbal dispute” broke out between him and a house owner over the dumping of garbage. Ten more people were injured in the clash that broke out “between two communities”, mediaspeak not for Jains and Arya Samajis but for Hindus and Muslims. On Thursday, one national newspaper carried the small item with the headline, ‘One killed in clash over dumping garbage.’ Another newspaper (with a far higher circulation) carried the small item with a headline, ‘Yet another riot in UP.’

Both the headlines were right, considering that what had started as a murder of a “sanitary” (sic) worker was successfully turned into a ‘communal riot’ with its mandatory “arson and firing” along with a full-blown ‘communal’ addendum: the circulation of a mobile phone video clip — apparently originating from Pakistan — of two boys being viciously beaten up. The police filed FIRs against 230 people including a BJP MLA who allegedly shared and ‘liked’ the video on Facebook. That nearby Muzaffarnagar was already “communally tense” since three men were killed earlier “amid eve-teasing and molestation charges” must have helped to turn the murder of a sweeper into a ‘communal killing’. So if you have to kill someone, kill a member of a community with a history of hostility towards yours — a Protestant if you’re Catholic, a Shia if you’re a Sunni, a Salman fan if you’re a Shah Rukh devotee. You will find support, and certainly in the run-up to an election year.

Be The Right Age:

Much spittle has been hurled at no one in particular over the recent court judgement that sentenced one of the rapist-murderers of the Decemeber 16, 2012 case in Delhi as a ‘juvenile’. The guilty was under-18 and as according to law, being a minor, he will serve a far lighter sentence in a ‘correctional centre’ than the other rapist-murderers. So if you do murder someone, do it before you turn 18. Being 17 would be helpful, but just in case the law is changed after the considerable public pressure to make 16 the age of legal adulthood, it’s best to be 15. Or even five.

In case you’re no longer the mid-teen sensation you once were, hold on to your homicidal urges until at least a decade after you attain senior citizenship (60). While murder won’t get you to undergo a potency test like the rape-accused 72-year-old Asaram Bapu — who miserably passed the test — if you manage to come across as being vaguely infirm, with early signs of dementia and travel around in a wheelchair mumbling about your grandkids and god, you should manage to be let off. If Chilean president General Pinochet could be let off the hook for being too old after he was first arrested in London on charges of killing some 3,000 people, jailing 80,000 and torturing about 30,000 people that included women and children, I have a feeling that as a 70-plus murderer, you’ll be fine.

Know The Secrets of Powerful People:

Being beholden to a powerful public figure alone won’t help you to dodge murder charges. If the suspended Gujarat Deputy Inspector General of Police DG Vanzara was Narendra Modi’s chauffeur and had, in a murderous rage, killed Narendra Modi’s cook, the BJP wouldn’t have gone into an existential huddle. Some bright Vanzara-like spark would have then been sent to bump off the real Vanzara. But seemingly in possession of some embarrassing information about Modi’s administration — till now, he’s just hinted at carrying out ‘encounter killings’ according to orders from the government — Vanzara’s alleged murders will now become ‘political’ and his willingness to squeal on his bosses who have left him in the lurch of prime importance. To ‘know too much’ is, as people like Sajjan Kumar, Kamal Nath and Jagdish Tytler know, still the best way to be insured against any kind of charges.

So if you have to kill someone and you’re not in the Indian Armed Forces or Police or live in western UP where this column will make no sense at all, my advice to you, my homicidal friend, would be to murder a member of some community rather than an individual, be 15 or 75 years old, and let the fact that you know some embarrassing secrets of some VIP be vaguely known to the VIP. Trust me, you’ll be fine.


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