Brutal crimes raise concern over Anti-Social Personality Disorder

A man who was estranged from his wife met another woman who had a daughter. A relationship developed and the man started living with the mother-daughter duo.

The couple passed the initial days on a happy note, but soon problems started to crop up between them. Quarrels became an everyday affair which ultimately led to the death of the mother and daughter. The man killed them and dumped their bodies in a forest near his house.

This incident happened in the Cachar district of Assam in October 2019. Akhil Das, who was in the fish business in Silchar town of the district, had fallen in love with Meena Ree, a resident of the same district. Meena had a 13-year-old daughter and she and her husband were separated. Akhil was also living separately from his wife and children. The two came together and started to live in Akhil’s house.

According to neighbours, Akhil and Meena used to fight regularly soon after they started to live together. It was barely six months into their relationship, when one night Akhil took a machete and killed Meena with it. He murdered her daughter too with the same weapon. Then he carried the bodies to a nearby forest and dumped them there.

Akhil rested for some time in the forest and then returned to his house. Next morning, he went to one of his relative’s house in the Jirghat area nearly 50 kilometres from his residence.

Two days after the incident, Akhil surrendered to the police. But, before that he enjoyed a theatre show and had good lunch – all these he confessed before the police officers.

Dr Kamal Nath who heads the psychiatry division at Silchar Medical College and hospital in Assam said that such persons may suffer from Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD) commonly called psychopaths.

He informed: “When a normal person commits a serious crime, he or she will suffer from an intense guilt feeling which causes primary changes in their activities that include anxiety, tension etc. They will develop cognitive changes which can be easily evident from their behaviour. But persons with ASPD will be devoid of these changes.”

Gaurav Upadhyay, a senior police officer in the Special Branch of the Assam government, recalled a murder case when he was posted in the Karimganj district.

Upadhyay said: “It was a twin murder case and the killing was gruesome. Accused in this case was a very unassuming, reclusive neighbour who had no criminal antecedents. The accused tried to mislead the police by narrating some stories as an eyewitness. However, the top of his little finger was found to be severed. He could not explain that injury and later on, after sustained interrogation, he confessed his crime,”

“What stood out in this crime was the brutality of the attack. The victims were cut and stabbed multiple times. No one could imagine that such a quiet and reclusive person with no criminal background could inflict such injuries,” the officer added.

He said that this behaviour can be an accumulation of lots of repressed feelings in the subconscious mind over a period of time which manifests itself in its most brutal form when triggered.

Dr Nath believes that psychopaths generally have a higher intelligence quotient. Since they have no emotional feeling attached to the wrongdoing, these persons can plan things well before and after a heinous crime.

“The accused Akhil might understand that he had no choice and surrendering could bring down his punishment whereas in Upadhyay’s case the accused thought he could never be apprehended and was playing with the police”, he added.

According to Dr Nath, these types of persons are often seen to have a disturbed childhood which later develops into Anti-Social Personality Disorder and can make them commit cold-blooded crimes.

20221119-183802

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