Author : Visakh B. Nair
Company : QBurst Technologies
Email : email@example.com
A Police Story
Success and failures are both part of human life. We always try to bury our failures in the past and go on with our life. But there might be incidents which would stay in our minds until the day we are alive. I too am saying such an incident here – “a puzzle which I failed to find an answer”.
Myself, Rishikesh Desai, ASP, Crime Branch. I have been able to find success in most of the cases attended. Policing have always been mine passion and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But the murder at the Eden Bungalow came as a new challenge for me. I had taken over the case from one of my junior colleagues within two days from the murder.
I went through the case file in detail. A man was brutally murdered by one of his two identical sons. The murder happened on the 27th February, 2010 at 11 pm. The murdered man, Sanjay Verma, was a business tycoon. He was stabbed six times on the chest using a dagger. The murder was committed by one of the two sons as per the statement of the servant, who was the only sole eye witness. But he was not at all sure who among the two committed it. This is where the case interested me.
As per my instructions the servant was summoned for questioning the next day. He seemed a really tired and shaken man to me. A man who have probably suffered a lot in life. Should be around 45 years of age. I decided to start off with closed questions.
Me: I understand you were the key witness for the murder at the Eden Bungalow?
Servant: Yes sir.
Me: Are you okay to answer some questions for me?
Servant: Sure sir.
Me: Well Gopal, how long have you been at the Eden Bungalow?
Gopal: Nearly 3 months sir.
Me: Where have you been staying since then?
Gopal: Actually my house is around 150 kms from here. So as per Sanjay sir’s instructions I too stayed at the Bungalow.
I took out a cigarette pack from my pocket.
Me: Would you like a cigarette?
Gopal (going pale): No sir. No. Actually I am feeling a bit tensed. Never been in such a situation.
I lighted a cigarette and placed the pack on the table in front of us.
Me: Why do you need to be tensed Gopal? You are here to help us solve this case. And that would be possible only if you stop being nervous and fully corporate with us. I hope that is clear?
Gopal: Yes sir.
Me: Good. (After a slight pause) What kind of a man was Sanjay?
Gopal (saddened expression): A really gentle and kind human being. He was always nice to me. He also had great love for both of his sons.
Me: What are their names?
Gopal: The elder one is Vijay. He deals with stock market and owns a pub too. Is always busy with work. I have rarely seen him coming home. The younger one is Ajay. He..err..is mentally unstable. Has been so since childhood. Actually one of my job was to take care of him too. No one can predict Ajay’s behavior. At times he can be really violent. At other times he remains totally moody.
Me: Hmm. Well Gopal, now I will need you to narrate the complete occurrences on the night of the murder.
Gopal: As usual after giving medicines to Ajay, I took him to bed. That day Ajay was more restless than from normal. I can’t say that for sure but there was something that was bothering him. Sanjay sir was in the study room busy with his work. I dropped by is room and asked if he needed water or anything else. He didn’t turn back, just waved me off. So after having food, I went to bed.
Me: Was Vijay at home?
Gopal: No sir. Vijay was yet to reach home. He usually comes very late. So I went to bed. But soon I was woken by a loud scream which I recognized to be of Sanjay sir’s. I rushed to the study room and…
Suddenly Gopal stopped talking. He was in a state of shock, probably recalling the incident. I got up from my chair and went near him.
Me: Thanks Gopal. You may leave now. It has been good talking to you.
Gopal: Thank you sir.
Saying this he was about to leave when,
Me: Just one last question, Gopal. If I give you two colors – one black and another white, which color would you compare Ajay with and with which Vijay?
Gopal (surprised by the question): Sir..I..??
I repeated the same question.
Gopal (after thinking for a few seconds): Ajay would be white and Vijay black.
I smiled back at him and thanked him once more. Gopal left.
I walked to my cabin and sat on the chair. The case file was laying on my table. I opened it and went through the pages. The conversation with Gopal was constantly going through my mind. I leaned back on my chair and slowly closed my eyes.
“…I was woken by a loud scream which I recognized to be of Sanjay sir’s. I rushed to the study room and was shocked by what I saw there. Sanjay sir was lying on the floor drowned in blood and beside him was a man with a dagger in his right hand. He raised it and probably was about to stab Sanjay sir again when I gave out a loud cry. The killer turned around and to my disbelief it was none other than Ajay. No..no..Vijay. No..I am not sure. His face was partially covered with blood. He just kept staring at me. Before he could get up and approach me I ran for my life. I….”
I opened my eyes and found Anand, one of my colleague, standing near me.
Anand: Sir, Vijay Verma is here to see you. Shall I send him in?
I waved my hand in a sign of approval.
Anand: Also sir, this file contains all the news/stories related to Sanjay Verma in the last 10 years.
He handed me over a file and left. Soon I saw a stout personality walking towards my cabin.
Me: Please sit.
Vijay: Thank you sir.
Me: Ahh, Nice watch!! Might be quite expensive I guess?
Vijay: Yes sir. It’s Raymond Weil. Roughly around 80000 rupees. Gifted by one of my friend on my birthday.
Me: Wow!!! Rich friend. I assume the glass material is Sapphire Crystal, right?
Vijay: Correct sir.
Me: I would say this is one of the last independent brands in the luxury Swiss watch industry.
Vijay: True. Sir, you seem to know quite a lot about watches?
Me: Hmm. I always have a special interest on such expensive watches.
Vijay (smiling): Ohh great. Actually one of main hobby is collection of such branded watches.
Me: Well Vijay, was this the same watch your wore on the day of the murder?
All of a sudden Vijay turned pale. I could notice him gasping for words.
Vijay: Actually…I am not sure about this. But I guess this was the one I wore that day.
Me: Okay. Did your father have any rivals or enemies that you knew of?
Vijay: No sir.
Me: Gopal told me that you had a small quarrel with your father on the day of the murder. Is it true?
Vijay: That bugger is lying. I have always been in good terms with my father. There was no unhappy talks between us recently.
Me: Weren’t you short of money? The crash in the stock market and the pub loans might have really shaken you?
Vijay: We can stop our conversation here. I can only speak anymore in the presence of my lawyer.
Me: This actually isn’t a conversation but rather an interrogation going on. And I assume you know the difference between the two. You won’t leave this room unless you answer each and every questions of mine. You get me?
On hearing this Vijay cooled down a bit
Me: Okay. Now tell me. When did you reach home on that night? I would like to hear your side of the story.
Vijay: Sir I might have reached home at about half past 11. I noticed that the front door was open. I walked in through the hallway. Suddenly I heard the sound of something banging on the floor. The sound grew louder as I approached the study room. I was horrified by what I saw there. Ajay was sitting on the floor with a dagger in hand. He was banging the floor vigorously with the dagger. It was completely stained with blood. Close to him was my father..laying…on the floor, drowned in blood
I watched Vijay closely. How much of what he said could I believe? Was he saying the truth? I can never be sure of this.
Me: What did you do then?
Vijay: I went close to my brother and asked him to calm down. But he gave me no ears and continued banging on the floor. I leaned over to my father and felt his heart. He was dead. I had no idea of what to do next. I called out for Gopal but he was no where to be found. The next thing I did was disposing off the dagger and making my brother feel that nothing unusual has happened.
Me: Do you think Ajay might have really killed his father?
Vijay: I still can’t believe this sir, He really loved him a lot. My father too loved him more than me. I might have asked him a 100 times about what actually happened. But he never responded. He might never have done this knowingly.
Me: Yes. Ajay would never have done this knowingly. But what if that night we had a fully normal Ajay in the house?
Vijay (bewildered): What??
Me (smiling): I will explain. There was never really an Ajay in that house that day. As per your plan you and your brother switched positions. You presumed the role of Ajay and stayed in the house. But you knew that for Ajay it would really be difficult to presume the role of Vijay even for a few moments. So you might have taken the help of one of your friend (may be the watch guy) to pick up Ajay from your house. And then you waited for the right opportunity and eventually murdered your father.
Vijay jumped up from his chair
Vijay (infuriated): What bloody nonsense!! Are you accusing me of killing my father with your crap thoughts?
Me: You have been going through a really bad financial phase for the last few weeks. A debt of 30 lakhs and the pub loans added to the worries. As you and your father was never in good terms you were sure that he would never help you settle the issues. So you bought about a plan. A plan that would never point the murder towards you as Vijay was never at home on the day of the murder. A perfect plan.
Vijay buried his face inside his hands as if he didn’t want to hear any more.
Me: No one could hide the truth for much long Vijay. One day or the other it will surely come out. And in your case you tried to sacrifice the life of your own brother too for your misdeed.
Vijay (almost breaking down): Please stop. Please. What ever you said was right. I was never at good terms with my father. A hindrance who always stood in my way. This ultimately tuned into hatred against him. Two days before the day of the murder i had approached him asking for some money which I needed urgently. That talk led to a quarrel between us which eventually resulted in me leaving the house.
Me: Hmm. And after two days you came up with a master plan that would never throw any doubt on you. Do you still have to say anything else regarding this?
Vijay: Sir, I know whatever I did was a big crime. One of the biggest mistake a son would ever be thinking of doing against his father. And I also know that I would never be forgiven by Ajay for my mistake. But I swear to God that I could and never has murdered my father.
One week later
The court hearing on the murder at the Eden Bungalow came to an end today. Vijay was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. I was once again the center of attraction. I somehow managed to escape from the media persons waiting outside the court and boarded my jeep.
I was a bit surprised to find Gopal walking towards me. He was carrying a large box too.
Me (smiling): Off to your home town?
Gopal: Yes sir. I don’t think that I could work there any more. Even though I worked there only for a few months I could never forget Sanjay sir and his memories would always stay with me. May his soul rest in peace. I also feel really sorry for Ajay.
Me: Hmm. Whom do you stay with Gopal?
Gopal: Actually only my wife.
Me: Okay. And children?
Gopal: I had a son. But he has passed away leaving me and my wife alone.
Me: Ohh. I am really sorry. How was it?
Gopal (tears in his eyes): It was a car accident. About seven years ago. He was all that we had had. Me and my wife would never forget that day.
Me (smiling): Hmm. Okay Gopal. Hope we would see again soon. Bye.
Gopal (smiling): Bye sir. And take care.
Gopal walked away and I drove off to my office. Another case solved and another golden feather added to my career. I knew this would be a difficult case as there was no substantial evidence and might need to use a wildcard at any point against Vijay. And I was successful in that. I hope the next case…
Suddenly I happened to notice a file among the group of files in the front seat. I assume this was the file which Anand gave me once stating to have the new and stories related to Sanjay Verma in the past 10 years. Actually i had never had time to go through this. I went through the pages until I reached a particular newspaper clipping which read:
“Business man Sanjay Verma involved in a hit and run case resulting in the death of a 8 year old kid….”
It was a car accident. About seven years ago.
I applied the brakes all of a sudden. I went to the details of the particular news.
“..the accident occurred in the inner areas of Saboli Village at about 9 pm. From the onlookers statements it was clear that the kid was hit by a speeding and fully drunk Sanjay Verma…”
Actually my house is around 150 kms from here.
“..The kid died on the spot. Even though Sanjay Verma was arrested and kept on remand he was released three days later due to lack of substantial proofs. The case was closed then and there….”
A man who have probably suffered a lot in life.
At times when justice is not delivered we might have to snatch it for ourselves. And I assume I have just been a cause for bringing about this here. I can never be sure whether I had actually succeed or failed in this case. But I would never wish to find the truth too.
I read the name of the kid given at the bottom of the page as Arun Gopal .