Chapter One – The Rapist And Ladies Unknown
For Ranjan to treat human as a human was inhuman. To give them empathy, to give them consideration, or merely to give them a fleeting thought of being a life other than him, was to accept a sin in him. Perhaps that is one of the prime basis for understanding his crime. To be a serial rapist.
Pareidolia is a syndrome where one observes faces in objects, attributing life to them. Ranjan suffered, as was later revealed in the preliminary diagnosis, two days after his arrest, a reverse Pareidolia. In faces, he saw objects, and so his psychologist would present his compilation in the Lucknow High Court.
Ranjan’s mind worked in a manner which was both baffling and horrifying at the same time. Within his mind, he could never understand faces. A happy expression, a particularly sad one, perhaps even an angry one, were all the same to him. He was also confirmed to have Prosopagnosia, a condition where he could not differentiate, remember or recollect faces. With the faces all gone, it was also almost an impossible task for him to associate or remember names of anyone. All that was left in his mind, as an after smoke, were objects outlined as ghostly figures.
Ranjan was, therefore, to be treated as a person of an unstable mind and a mild occurrence of idiocy. Ranjan was thereby confined to Institute Of Mental Health, Agra. Within the facility, Ranjan was scheduled to be attended by psychologists every Tuesday, who would access his mental being. Ranjan showcased considerable development in the treatment he forwarded to people around him. His social skills had been honed to be justly acceptable. His signs of recovery paved the way for his early release.
The first sign in his recovery came as a breakthrough in 2009. He had addressed one of his ward inmates by name. A neural network in his mind was somewhere working, and that simple act gave a mountain full of hope to those studying him closely.
After spending four years in treatment, Ranjan was declared fit for social life and discharged from the Institute. By 2013, Ranjan’s uncle in Kharagpur had arranged for him to work in a local transport agency, as a ticket booking agent. Ranjan, now 27, dreamed of faces, of things he could remember, and recollect thoughts which meant something to him. Memories inside his mind had colourful attributions, faces that he remembered by names. This made him happy. This made him, although for a short while, mildly normal and alive.
However, by 2016, Ranjan after having run away from his day job, and having boarded a train from Kharagpur, leaving for Chennai, had already raped more than 23 women, including 12 minor girls.
In 2017, Ranjan was arrested by the Railway Police in Vadakovai North Station, Coimbatore. Today, Ranjan serves life imprisonment sentence in Coimbatore Central Jail.
The following presentation, Anatomy Of Crime – Interviews With The Railway Rapist, is an exclusive presentation of VoxSpace. The presentation, in order to truly understand the crime and its implications and repercussions, has been presented in the truest and uncensored manner. VoxSpace does not in any manner whatsoever vouch for, implicate or comment, or in any other manner support, the views expressed by the interviewee over the course of this interview. As strong language and graphic details about sexual violence follow, VoxSpace urges readers to exercise their own discretion in proceeding further. The language, opinions, expressions and acts explained within the article, are highly disturbing for impressionable minds.
Rape/Sexual Assault is a punishable offence under Sec 376 in The Indian Penal Code. The applicable punishment ranges from seven to ten years, and fine as decided by the judiciary body.
Chapter Two – Anatomy Of A Crime – The Middle Of Game
“….But why is that wrong? They are telling me what to do. They guide me. Shapes. Haha. Powerful shapes. When they tell, Ok, Ranjan, this woman needs help, I help them. That is my job. Why is that wrong? God made us all, isn’t it? Man and Ladies. Man and Ladies. Haha……”
Our conversations with Ranjan, now in his early thirties, started at a rather sombre note. The first words that he spoke after almost an hour of caressing and cajoling him with explanations as to why we were here, made absolutely no sense. He took names. Perhaps of his ‘friends’. It took us a considerable amount of time, to figure out that he referred to his victims with words such as ‘friends’ and ‘ladies’. Ranjan had conditioned himself to refer to them, in these two different ways, depending on the mood he was in. If he felt close to them, or should we say empathetic towards them, he referred to them as ‘friends’., and conversely he called them ‘ladies’ if he wanted to dissociate with their memories. 23 women, 12 minor girls including, became ‘ladies’ by the time we had started to question him about the morality, and mildly about the legality, of his crimes. Of course, Ranjan who suffered from dissociative memory had taken to using the very condition to his convenience. Afterall, you cannot be guilty of anything, if you do not remember your crime.
“…Man and Ladies. Haha. They are together. Then only this world is all alive. You cannot separate them. You cannot separate them. So I did what they told me to do. They begged me to do so. I have a penis. You know the purpose of Penis? It is to satisfy Ladies. Have you noticed? Penis from Man to Man is different. But Ladies are all the same. Their Vaginas are all the same. They can take any Penis inside. Means what? Means, Ladies are open. Anyone can go. I can also go. What is wrong?”
You are from Lucknow, yes Ranjan? Can you tell us about your childhood? Lucknow is a good place to live yes? How was your school, your friends, could you tell us more about them?
Hmmmmm. Lucknow? Yes. We used to live there. Charbagh station. Near Charbagh station. My father was a Station Master, I think. He used to be in Railway station from Morning to Night. I don’t remember him. What was his name?..Chittaranjan Das. We used to eat and sleep without him. Sometimes he used to just stay home. He was not good when he stayed home. He looked like a torn umbrella. When he stayed home, he used to ask me to sleep outside the house. It was cold. Very cold. I used to sleep outside for a couple of days, as he used to sleep inside with Mother. My mother used to scream in those nights, and I couldn’t sleep. Screams and more screams. It was like rain. You have heard the sound when it is raining heavily? It is like that. It is scary to hear it, but it is also very soothing. So my father, after his stay, would go off, and we would not see him for another ten days. In the morning I used to go to the Railway school. And in the evening, I used to play. We had these narrow lanes, between houses, so we used to tie, a big rope to one end of the lane, and race to it. I used to run fast. After I reached home, My Mother used to put oil on my legs, and massage them. Sometimes, she would apply oil to my penis also. She used to rub it gently in her palms. Initially, I didn’t feel anything, but later I liked it.
Whenever my father, a torn umbrella, was not there, My Mother used to have me sleep beside her. In the middle of the night, she used to run her fingers into my underwear and would ask me to sleep over her. I liked it too. After sometimes, I knew how to insert my Penis into my Mother. She would help me sometimes, but I learned it very soon. I was a fast learner, my mother used to always tell that to my teachers. We used to sleep naked. I got good sleep after my Mother ensured that I was ‘done’. She was good. She understood me.
You ran out of the house when you were 15. Did your Mother also come with you? What about your Father? Do you remember anything more about him? Did you ever scold you or blame you?
My father. He was not a good person. Whenever he came home, he hated me. One day as I came home, I saw my Father beating my Mother with his belt. I stood at the door, watched it silently. Because I didn’t know, what else to do? That day I remember he looked like a big water drum, wobbling with too much water. I think it was my Mother who saw me standing, and shouted at me to go. As I turned to leave, I felt my father’s belt hitting me on the back with its buckle. I ran fast. Really fast. And boarded some train which was already running. I don’t know about My Mother after that. Or my Father. My uncle, when I went to live with him after three years, told me that My Mother had moved to Delhi. I never felt like knowing more about her. See, I couldn’t remember her. She looked like Water Melon, but I don’t know her name.
In your records, it says that after Lucknow, you travelled to Kanpur, where you started to attack women in Trains? Why then? How did this happen and do you remember about the girl or the incident?
I was in Kharagpur. When was I in Kanpur?
Before you were arrested and sent to Agra? Do you remember Agra, Ranjan?
Was Kanpur before that. I don’t know. I think yes. I was in Kanpur. I remember its sweaty smell. Like dry sweat. You know that smell? When you run for long, and sweat then take rest, but the sweat dries up sticking to your skin? You know that smell? Kanpur yes, I remember. When I went there, I started working as a cleaner in the station. My job was to attach the pipes to the central water tank, and jet out water to clean the coaches. In the start, I used to clean the latrines and toilets in the trains, at least those trains which started between morning to evening. They used to pay me 200 I think every day. But the food was free. Most of the hawkers who sold samosas, buns, thalis and pooris, instead of throwing the leftover stock, used to give it to us. We were I think four boys. All of them were my age only, but one boy was married to a girl who used to wash dishes in the canteen. I used to ask him, when they got married, but he never used to tell me. I think he lied. I don’t think he was married; he was just disallowing us to talk to her.
I think I was angry that he was lying to me. She was a friend. Then why was he lying? One day, I was cleaning a coach in the shed, in the midnight. She came. I remember. She came, asking for money. I think I took some money from their bags, where they saved it. Why were they saving it, I don’t know? The boy didn’t come, but the girl started scolding me. Called me a thief. I wasn’t a thief. If you are not using the money, then why should others also not use it. I wanted to buy clothes, and I took their money. Why is that wrong? I wanted to remember her. It was strange. I wanted to remember how she looked and felt. She smelled of oil. But looked like a cloth. A small soft cloth. So when she started screaming, I caught her hand and ripped off her dress. Before she could shout, somehow I knew she would, I hit her. She didn’t wake up after that. I could remember my Mother at that time. I liked it too. She was soft, like my Mother. But her hairy legs were too thin.
Later in the morning, I carried her and placed her on the footpath outside the station. From there I don’t know what happened. We never saw her again. The boy, the husband of the girl, started beating me, but I ran away. He was angry for some reason. She was a friend; why can’t I have my penis inside her?
Is this when you started living out of trains, months after months? Your record says that by the time you were taken to Agra, you had raped five women? What made you commit these crimes? More importantly, do you remember these incidents?
Do you fuck, friend? Do you fuck?
Sometimes…But why do you ask?
See? You fuck. I fuck too. Why is it wrong? You know. I never understand. You like a woman, it could be your friend, neighbour, teacher, cousin or sister. You think of fucking her no? At some point. In your life, at some point, you think of fucking any woman. Everyone does. Don’t lie to me? Don’t you look at a woman, and the first thing you think of is fucking her. But then, you don’t. Why? Who is stopping? Maybe you are afraid of the people. You remember them. If I tell that, you can fuck, or rape anyone, and no one would know, would you not be happy inside. I was happy too. Man and Ladies, friend. Man and Ladies. I felt good about it. I don’t remember her but she smelled like fresh lilies. Maybe she is the one I sometimes remember as Sunitha. As soon as I saw her, I wanted to see how it feels to be inside her? And I fucked her. And one other woman. A girl I think. It is a feeling. Everyone has it. I just did it.
One more incident that we want to understand from your point is that your medical condition was certified to be socially acceptable in Agra. Then what are the incidents that led you to Coimbatore then?
People don’t understand. I don’t know people either. So what I do is not up to me anymore. It is just a series of thoughts which make me do what I do. When I go near Ladies, and they look at me as no one, I don’t feel bad. I feel pity, that they don’t know me. Sometimes, I think I have to tell them, and so I make them friends. And I feel like fucking every day. I’m a Man. If anyone doesn’t feel like that then it is his problem. If you don’t feel like it, as a Man, you won’t enjoy when your penis is the Ladies mouth. Every man likes it. In Agra, they used to put me in sessions. Words. Too many words. Nothing telling me what I wanted to hear.
They asked me questions and answered them by themselves. Everyone thinks they know the answer to someone else’s problems. It is easy for them. But no one does. So in Agra, after going through Shock Treatment for three months, I was finally not thinking about fucking every day. My penis was no longer active. Do you also feel like this? The more you fuck, the more you want to, until your body goes down? I was like that. I looked at myself in the ward mirror, and remember seeing an eggplant. I remember I looked like an eggplant. I remembered names for a short while. Yes. I remember the feeling at least.
Is there something particularly common about the women you attacked? If you never remembered faces for long, or as you are saying, names of these women, how would you feel that they were attractive enough for you?
By God’s grace. Gods tell me when. They live inside my head. They tell me what to do. If I follow them, I cannot be wrong. Gods are never wrong. And we are insects before them. They tell me, this woman is beautiful. She deserves your penis. It is so simple when you think. I have heard people say that it is instinct. Sometimes you just know. You know something is right, just by looking at them. You can’t explain it. Ladies are usually good. You very rarely find someone who cannot be fucked. Even the ugly ones, your mind will tell you, that yes, you can fuck her at least once. That is what Man is. He always thinks like that. But Ladies, they are different. They think. They see a Man, understand him and his thoughts, maybe even marry him, and then agree to him fucking them. I think that is the difference.
So, every Ladies, my friends, are all attractive to me. In some situations, they were available for me to fuck. Some others I couldn’t, but not for lack of trying. And let me tell you, friend, no Ladies is different. They think the same. Because of the people around, they behave as if they are different from each other, but internally they are the same. They think they have a say in what happens? No, no. We are supposed to fuck them, and not them us. So why do they think, that they are required to give permission to Man, I don’t understand.
Have you wondered that maybe your childhood is the reason you are thinking like this? Has anyone in Agra or here in Coimbatore, or any Doctor told you about it? Perhaps you are looking at the world differently, and it means so much worse because of how you look at it?
Why is that wrong? To me, Ladies are all the same. To you, they are not. So, who is wrong? Me or you? I think you are saying that I have to respect Ladies? That I don’t understand. I am just doing what is told to me, and you are telling me it is wrong. Then what is right? Do I listen to you? Who is telling you to do things? I am wrong I know, but tell me who is right? Man married Ladies. They are still strangers, but people tell that he can fuck her, and it is not wrong. Why? Because People accept it. This is something I never understand. Whom I fuck, those Ladies, not just me but also the people around me, should like them too. Means they also need to think about those Ladies, in the same manner, that I think about them. Then why am I different? You, my friend, listen to them. I am happy with my own decisions. People won’t tell me who to fuck. That job is mine. I will do it.
I don’t remember her name, but there was a Ladies, who used to come and watch my treatment in Agra. She told me that I think of Ladies cheaply because I hate the world. Because I am poor. I don’t have money, and she said the voices in my head, were my own. If I start doing a job, start earning some money, I will be ok. I didn’t understand her then. I don’t understand her now. Rich are always afraid of Poor. Then who is powerful? I don’t know. She never truly understood. To me, people are just shapes and smells. Rich Ladies or Poor Ladies are same. I think every Man should only think that he is here to satisfy Ladies and in process satisfy himself. Fuck them because they are beautiful, or not. Fuck them because they are rich, or not. And everything will be better.
Chapter Three – The End Of Insanity
As of the time of publishing this article, Ranjan, who the local newspapers referred to as The Railway Rapist, has attempted to commit suicide. As his mind, further deteriorated into hitherto observed insanity, the treatment for the same could not be continued. His attending Doctors have declared him unfit for ‘coordinated and assisted living’ and thus, Ranjan now has been shifted to a solitary cell, where he spends his days talking to himself. In a last attempt to save his devolution, Ranjan’s Mother had been contacted and was requested to visit him. But his mother, Sunitha, which he assumes to be the name of one of his Ladies, refused to identify or associate with him. She maintained that her son has passed away a decade ago and that she never lived in Lucknow. That left us with only one question about Ranjan’s current existence. Was Raping just a way for him to feel something real inside his mind? Perhaps, he never knew what was real? Or perhaps the voices inside him, made a different world come alive inside of him. One he could identify with and maybe in that world, he meant something.
Anatomy Of Crime: Episode Three: Prologue
Next in the series, We talk to Garima Khatry. A simple and harmless looking 25-year-old girl, who is now serving a life imprisonment in Yerawada Central Jail. Garima, an engineering pass out, a meritorious student, and a certified Microsoft Data Analyst at the age of 20, talks brilliantly about her accomplishments. To an unknown eye, she looks so sharp, that no one would assume her to have committed a crime so horrendous, that even the government officials who took up the case, have reported having felt suicidal tendencies multiple times.
For all the academic brilliance of Garima, she credits her extraordinary diet as the reason. After all, Garima murders people, just for the sake of eating their Beating Hearts……
(To Be Continued…)