I haven't eaten anything in the past 24 hours. My arms felt tired. My elbows were
sore and bruised holding a 12 kg rifle for a longtime. The target may come out of
his house anytime. I didn't know his routine completely but my orders are clear
'Take as many days as you want but finish the job'. My job is not to ask questions
but carryout orders which I am doing now.
I looked through the telescope of my rifle, still no activity at the house. One of the
security men was stationed at the back door. Two more were stationed at the gates.
But they were quite casual, signs that the VIP they are protecting is not going to
come out now. So it is going to be a long wait.
Though I was around a kilo meter from the targets house, well hidden from
anybody's view I occasionally checked with my binoculars for any other security
snipers at the possible vantage points. There were none. This 'checking' part was
supposed to be carried out by my partner but the orders this time didn't allow me to
take a partner with me.
I pulled the thick tarpaulin over, completely covering me to protect from the cold
and rain. Soon it will become dark. The chances of my target coming out at this
time is less but still I don't want to miss that opportunity. I told myself the 'sooner
you finish the sooner you can see your children'. I imagined how much Karnan
would have grown now. I saw him when he was 10 years old, that was three years
back. I longed to see him and my dear Poongothai. 'God, I miss them'. I know how
difficult it will be for her to stay away from her husband, looking after a small kid,
not knowing if I will return or not.
But I have told her 'It is a war for our rights. I fight for our children. They should
not be ill treated like me or you in future. I don't care if I lose my life as long we
are free people in our own country'. I hoped she understood, after all her father
himself fought for our cause and lost his life.
It was completely dark now. I still looked through the telescope of the rifle.
Though my mind said that he was not going to come out now, my desire to see
Karnan and Poogothai made me go on. My leader had promised me that I could see
my family after this assignment.
The nights calmness was overwhelming. Hours passed with no activity from my
side or from the house I was watching. I checked my wrist watch. It showed 5 AM.
In another hour the sun will appear. I continued to look through the telescope. I had
already calculated the range and was sure I will get my target. I have never missed
before. This time will not be the first.
The back door of the house opened. I became more vigilant. This may the time I
was waiting for. For minutes I waited seeing through the scope. None appeared.
Then two small children came running through the door. There was a swimming
pool in the backyard of the house. These children were dressed to swim. I didn't
mind them, waited for my target. He didn't appear but a lady appeared. She was
calling the children. Probably the targets wife and their children. She continued
calling them. They didn't listen to her, continued running and playing. Children, the
most beautiful things in the whole world. They are oblivious to the war going
around them. What they say is true, 'ignorance is bliss'. I realized I was drifting
from my focus. 'Concentrate', I reprimanded myself. I corrected my lens
and focused again on the door. Then he came.
He was the defense minister who has started a military campaign against our
movement with considerable success. We suffered many setbacks in quick
successions. The supreme leader of our organisation and his deputies decided. Take
the minister out.
He too was in his swim shorts. Our organization’s intelligence reports said,
'MINISTER SWIMS EVERYDAY MORNING BETWEEN 6 AND 7'. So I chose
it as the ideal spot to kill him. It is the people with habits who makes my job easy.
He called the children. They came running towards him. I was able to see them
clearly. They were fond of their father. They joined him in the swim. There were a
few chairs at the side of swimming pool. The minister's wife was sitting in one
holding towels. I hoped the minister will take a break after his swimming session,
lying in the chair. I adjusted my snipers telescope once again to get a clear sight of
It was only a matter of minutes. The minister and his children were swimming in
laps. Soon they will be out and soon I will finish my assignment. I looked through
the binoculars. The children were now playing at the shallow end of the pool. The
minister had joined them. They were splashing water on each other.
The bigger among the two children would have been as old as Karnan. I looked at
his face. It was devoid of any hatred. Pure innocence just like my Karnan.
Suddenly I felt nauseated, a feeling which I couldn't explain. I didn't like it.
I again checked the sight of my sniper rifle. The feeling didn't go away. I have
killed before, in fact many times. But what was different this time? the children. I
couldn't simply take them out of the picture. The more I wished they were not there
when their father was to be killed, the more the face of Karnan came to me.
'But it is for the cause', a part of me argued. The other part reminded me of Karnan
and Poongothai. The images of Poongothai and Karnan grieving over my dead
body came as flashes. I realized then. I didn't want to kill this man. He may be a
defense minister. He may be our oppressive governments agent. He may
responsible for deaths of our cadre. But still he is a 'FATHER' of two small
children. I didn't want him to die. I didn't want his sons to grow without a father.
My other part argued against these feelings. It even accused me of 'treason'. I knew
I would be letting down my organisation and the 'cause' for which I have fought all
these years. I am even be betraying my organisation. But I cannot 'kill' him. Let my
leaders get someone else to do the killings. I am done. I don't want to kill any more
brothers, fathers, sons. I cannot do this. My superiors can question my sudden
change of mind, for a hardcore killer like me. The reason can even sound
ridiculous to them, but they are not the ones who has a kid like me. I will start a
new life away from all this. Yes. I will go to India with Karnan and Poongothai. I
will at least live away from all this violence. I decided. I made up my mind. I took
my finger of the trigger.
The sound of high pressured gas released from the chamber of a gun was ear
piercing. The minister and the children were frightened by the sound. The security
guards came rushing towards the minister. They were shouting at him to move
away from the swimming pool. The confusion and chaos prolonged.
'What happened?' the minister asked his security chief hours later. He and his
chief of personnel security was sitting in his office. He had just consoled his
frightened children and his wife. 'Sir an enemy sniper targeting you was
identified. He was shot and neutralized by our own snipers. More details are