In a state bloodied by decades of armed rebellion, Thounaojam Herojit became one of India’s most deadly policemen – killing more than a hundred people. This year, he became something rarer still: an executioner who wanted to tell the world about his crimes
When he began to kill, Thounaojam Herojit never intended to tell his wife – let alone the whole country. After an execution, he would go home and wait by the corrugated tin gate for her to bring him a towel and bucket. He bathed, right there in the lane, as their children did, to keep the pollution of death from entering their house. Each time, he would ask her to wash his uniform, even though his clothes looked clean. Eventually she caught on.
The worst days were ahead of Herojit – these were merely the most dangerous. He was a young police constable in Manipur, a province in the north-east of India bloodied by decades of separatist insurgency and state reprisal. But he was also a commando – part of an elite unit raised to fight the insurgents – and he was set to become their most effective executioner.
The seven men stayed subdued, and the truck drove to a spot on the hillside – where Herojit shot them all dead
The UNLF was established in November 24, 1964, with the firm conviction that Indian colonial rule had been strangling the genuine development of our peoples … We have also begun striking at the occupation forces from time to time in order to awaken the masses to the real and ugly face of Indian colonialism and to propagate the revolutionary line that our national pride and independence can be regained through armed struggle only …
The execution in front of witnesses got him suspended for ‘indiscipline and grave misconduct’. It lasted 10 days