I Plead... Guilty!
I Plead... Guilty!17 mins 225 17 mins 225
Her feet felt heavy when she stepped into Bandra Police station late at 1 am, that night.
"I want to lodge an FIR," she told to a random man, dressed in khaki.
"Go to that room" That person gave a strange look to her and pointed to the room of Senior Inspector Arjun Verma, who was on night duty that day.
"Sir... May I come in," she asked.
"Yes," Arjun replied.
"Take your seat. Tell me. What happened?" He gestured for the woman to sit on the chair.
"I want to report a murder." Her voice was heavy and exanimate with no emotions.
"Ok. Umm. Are you the witness? You saw it?" He questioned while taking out a register from the pile and flipping its pages to note down the points in the report. The woman just nodded to his question.
"Do you know the person who is murdered?" He asked.
"Hmm," the woman gestured a yes again.
"Tell me the name of that person" Arjun started noting down.
"Vaibhav Roy" She answered.
"Have you seen who killed him or just found his dead body?" He asked, to which the woman nodded again and replied, "I saw"
"Who was it? Do you know his name?"
"Her..." she corrected him and then continued, "it was a woman! She shot... three bullets... in his chest... one after the other". She said with intermittent pauses, breathing heavily.
Seeing her, Arjun tried to calm her down, "It's ok madam. Relax now. Calm down. You are in the police station. Nothing will happen. I will help you."
"Hmm," she hummed, looking down.
"Ok. Tell me, do you know that woman who murdered Vaibhav, by any chance?" He enquired. "Hmm.. yes" she replied.
"Great! Do you know her name too?", Arjun asked. "Promita Roy. His wife!" A drop of tear rolled down her eyes.
"Oh! I see... Will you be able to say this as-it-is in court also, being a prime witness?" He asked.
The woman nodded, "Hmm"
"Awesome. That will help. What's your name. Sorry, I didn't ask your name yet" He asked her name to fill up the column of witness' name in the report. "Promita" the woman replied in a heavy and deep voice with a straight face. Arjun looked up at her, frowning with astonishment.
"Hmm... I am Promita Roy... and I killed Vaibhav Roy...my husband!" She uttered.
"What?" Arjun, looked at her, dumbfounded, finding it difficult to believe, which he just heard from that woman, sitting in front of him.
The night was in its last hours. Promita was sitting in front of Arjun. "What? Are you surrendering yourself? ", he asked. She looked away, at nothing in particular. Her eyes welled up with tears.
"I hope you are not doing this under any kind of pressure," Arjun said.
"I went to his home with the legal notice which he had sent me a few days back... to ask him some questions which only he could have answered. He sent a legal notice that I won't be a part of his property at all after our divorce. Where would I have gone? I have no job. No home. I come from a middle-class family and my parents surely couldn't bear my expenses for the rest of my life. Living without a husband is easy sir... but not living without food and a home!" She sobbed.
"Did you ask Vaibhav about that legal notice? What did he say?" Arjun questioned.
"Huh... what would he had said. His words were being driven by his girlfriend, Ishika's wish. She didn't want him to give a single penny to me. They also had put a false allegation on me that I have an affair with someone!"
"So do you have an affair? Do you love someone else?" He interrogated.
"Haha.." she laughed satirically and said, "12 years sir... 12 years is not a less time to fall in love with a person. Vaibhav and I were in a marriage for the last 12 years. I loved him. In fact, I could not even think of being with any other man. I had invested every bit of myself in this marriage, to keep this marriage alive. I dissipated my dreams to his words when he said that it's not required for me to earn. I frittered away my every breath to live up to his expectations... his choices, his family's expectations. I did every damn thing to keep all of them happy in all these years. And it hurts sir... it really hurts when one day you come to know that all your commitment... efforts...marriage... love... everything is a lie... meaningless! I still don't know where did I fail? Why did Vaibhav choose to find his love outside our marriage? Was it wrong on my part to agree to everything which my family said? Was it wrong on my part to love Vaibhav immensely? Was it wrong on my part to live all my life for the happiness of my family? Or was it wrong on my part... to devote all my heart and commitment only to my husband? Tell me, sir! Tell... me!" Promita broke down. She cried helplessly.
"I understand... but Promita, this could have been handled in some other way too. You didn't have to kill Vaibhav for this! A murder is always a murder...not a solution!"
"Even, I didn't want to, sir. Today, evening when I went to his home to ask him about that legal notice, he simply told me to get out. How can someone be so rigid? How can someone forget 12 years of marriage and togetherness, just in few moments? He didn't want to look at me even. I don't know when and why he started hating me so much! And for what? I agreed to the divorce which he wanted. I agreed to live with fact that he loves someone else and not, for the rest of my life! I agreed to accept that I failed in my own marriage! Then why? Why does he hate me?" She paused for a bit and continued, "I just wanted him to give me a certain affordable amount of monthly expenses for myself after divorce because I don't have a job to earn for myself. But he denied it upfront. I begged in front of him. I pleaded with my folded hands, but all I got in return is a slap. And then he pushed me hard... I kept on begging him, kept on crying in front of him... I was on my knees... but he turned hostile to all my tears and pleas. He dragged me by my hand to throw me out of his house. But when I refused to leave, he took out his revolver and put it on my forehead. He threatened me to kill if I don't leave at once. I resisted him. I got petrified. I held his hand tightly and in that moment of a scuffle, the trigger of the revolver got accidentally pulled. It shot three bullets in his chest."
"Oh... I see..." Arjun exclaimed.
"Believe me, sir. I didn't want to kill him. But the truth is that my hands are stained with his blood. And I plead guilty to killing my husband Vaibhav. Arrest me, Sir. Please arrest me" Tears rolled down from her eyes. There was a tone of guilt and failure in her voice.
"Hmm.. Can I ask you something?" He asked.
She just nodded her head.
"You could have escaped Promita. Why did you choose to surrender?"
"At least they give you food and a roof in jail. I don't have anywhere to go sir. Neither, do I have a job or money. I am a very simple woman sir. I always wanted live a simple life. My husband and my family was everything for me. But now, everything fell apart... my marriage...my love... my life...everything! I lost everything, sir. I dont even have a desire to live now. But then I couldn't even take the step to kill myself, after all these. So... I came here... to surrender myself!" She whimpered.
"Promita... I can feel your pain. I can feel your tears. You didn't do anything wrong in a way, I would say. It was an accident. So, I want to help you. See. I have an option for you. I will give you some money. Go to the airport and take a flight to some other city. Find a job for yourself there and start a new life afresh. I will handle everything here!"
"Sir... but why? It's all in my ill-fate and I can't change it. Where will I go? Neither do I have money nor do I know anyone! I don't want to be a burden for you now!"
"No. You are not a burden for me. I just want to help you because I saw truth in your eyes. It's not as difficult as you see it Promita. I said I will give you some money. You just go away from this city before this investigation process starts. If you find any trouble, you can call me anytime. I will help you. Hmm?"
"Ok... as you say Sir, if you insist!" Promita sounded confused and unsure but agreed to what Arjun said.
She was leaving and Arjun thought to himself- such a poor lady. Why do you have to be so cruel sometimes God!
On her way to the airport, Promita dialed a number and spoke, "Hey, I am on my way to the airport. A lot of drama happened today! But yeah, these fake tears and my outstanding acting skills somehow worked. And you know, the twist is, the idiot police officer not only believed me but also gave me money and helped me to get out of all these! Hahaha" With those words, she laughed viciously and wiped off her tears! She was indeed a woman with a masterplan and the real truth was yet to be revealed!
Manish knocked on the door of Arjun's room with a smile.
"Hey there.. Manish. Come...! Arjun called him inside. While pulling a chair for himself, he asked, "Sir, who was that woman? She told me that she wanted to lodge an FIR, so I sent her to you".
"Yeah... it's fine." Arjun replied.
"What's the case sir ?" Manish asked, curiously.
"Tell me one thing, Manish. How many bullets will get fired in a scuffle, if the trigger of a revolver is pulled accidentally? "
"Umm... one sir!" After thinking for a moment, he replied. "Obviously, if the trigger is pulled accidentally, then both of them would stop fighting, at once, after the bullet is fired!" He said.
"Right... You are getting smart day by day, I must say!" Arjun stated with a smile and then murmured, "Ah! I wish, you could have lied in a more convincing way, lady!".
"What's the case sir?" Manish asked.
"She apparently fired 3 bullets in her husband's chest during a scuffle with him!" He laughed.
"That's impossible sir! She is undoubtedly lying" Manish responded.
"Yeah I know, she murdered him deliberately! Arjun asserted.
"Then, why didn't you arrest her?" Manish countered.
With a half-smile, Arjun asked him, "Do you remember that Reshma Sharma's case, which we were dealing with, nearly 5 years ago?"
"Ah, how can I forget it, sir. I remember, that you were investigating it initially, but then all of a sudden, you were abandoned from handling that case further, due to an order by some higher officials. The whole department knew that only you could have solved that case and no one else. Nothing could be more insulting than this, for a real police officer, sir. But, it was quite a sensitive case. That brutal rape and murder of that 10years old minor girl were really nerve-chilling and heartbreaking!"
"Right Manish. Yeah. I had collected all the important and necessary evidence and had arrested two guys who were the real culprits. I myself was present there in person when the charge sheet was prepared. It was such a strong case that the culprits could have been given capital punishment by the court of law, undoubtedly. But then, I was ordered to step out of that case. Yet, I closely kept an eye on every development of the case. It's not about my insult or a setback in my career but I really wanted to get those bastards hanged till death. How barbarous can someone be! And that too with a child! But you know, like always, even such a strong case was dismissed by the court within a couple of years and the convicts were declared clean and innocent. The evidence was tampered with, the witnesses were manipulated and the defense lawyer left no stone unturned to prove those murderers innocent. The convicts were some big names. Their money saved them. It became more of a case to prove those rapists and murderers innocent rather than a case to serve justice to Reshma."
"Such is our law system sir! Hopeless! Disgusting! Blindfolded!" Manish remarked. "But, I couldn't understand one thing. Why are you telling me about that case now?"
In his response, Arjun turned the screen of his laptop to Manish. There was a picture of a woman on the screen, who was deeply connected to that 5 years old Reshma-Sharma's-case!"
"Holy Fuck!!!" Manish reacted instantly. He was left open-mouthed seeing that picture, for it was the same woman who had just visited the police station an hour back. He looked up at Arjun wide-eyed. Arjun nodded at him with a smile.
"She is... " Manish paused with an incomplete sentence.
At the same time, in the airport, that woman was standing at the counter to take her boarding pass, where the person with a smile, asked her, "Your name please, madam?"
Smiling back in her response, that woman stated, "Devika Sharma!"
Meanwhile in the police station, Arjun completed Manish's sentence, "Hmm... She is Devika Sharma... Reshma's mother!"
"Oh!!! And she killed.... "Manish tried to guess.
"Yeah, you are going on the right track Manish. She killed Vaibhav Roy, the rapist and murderer of her only daughter Reshma! I recognized her, the moment I saw her, and then she confessed that she killed Vaibhav Roy. The whole story became crystal clear to me when she showed me the picture of Vaibhav's dead body in her phone as proof of the murder, she committed. She clearly had every reason to kill that bastard. She introduced herself to me as Promita, who gave a false statement in court in favor of her husband Vaibhav, to save him. And then she tried her luck to convince me emotionally with a pretense of surrendering and that made-up story of adultery and accidental firing. She knew that she could have been easily traced and caught , if she had escaped. She required a clean-chit from police first to get away with this murder. That's the reason why she was here! "
"Sir, for the first time, I am feeling that a murder is committed to serving the much-required justice!" Manish opined.
"Why do you think I pretended to be convinced with her lies and helped her to escape from this case, otherwise!" Arjun winked with a smile.
The next day, in the afternoon, while having tea, Manish was all praises for the strength and courage of Devika. Arjun agreed to all his points without a second thought.
Then, in between their conversation about Devika, Manish questioned Arjun,
"Sir, but where did she go? Do you know? Did she inform you anything?"
Arjun stretched a bit and stood up. He walked up to the small window of the room and then replied, "No she didn't. But, If I am not wrong... Maybe..."
Then, after a pause, he exclaimed, "God!" He turned back to face Manish.
"What happened sir?" Manish asked.
"There were two culprits in that case right ? One of them was Vaibhav Roy and the other was... " He searched in his laptop quickly and went through the records to find the details of another convict in that case. "Manav Gupta! Hyderabad!" He uttered!
HYDERABAD, 3.30 PM:
The bell rang and a maid opened the door, "Yes?" She asked.
A lady in black saree, standing at the door, replied politely, "Hi... I am from National Cooperative Bank. I need to talk to Mr. Manav Gupta regarding some important term policies. Is he at home?"
"Yes... You wait here. Let me call him." The maid answered and went inside.
"Yes sure. I will wait here outside." The lady said and then put her hand in her own handbag, turning her back towards the door.
"Yes. Who is it?" After sometime, Manav came outside the door of his house and asked.
"It's me. Devika... Remember?" She turned towards him, with a revolver in her hand. The revolver had a silencer on it and was pointed towards Manav.
"You....?" He almost shouted, petrified. But, before he could utter any word further, she fired three bullets in his chest, at once. He fell down, dead, in a pool of his blood. She looked at him, lying there dead in front of her, and then, with a smile arched on her face, she walked off into the crowd of the city, not to be traced again!
Sometimes... it's not about the violence or a murder. Sometimes, it's just about the justice. Devika was a mother, who had lost her world... her little daughter forever. And, it is truly said, that no one could be more dangerous than a mother, who has nothing to lose. Devika's motherhood was left shattered by the heinous crime committed by those two men. Even Goddess Durga had to take up a Trident in her hand to kill Mahishasura. Isn't it? Still, we do look up at her as a divine symbol of victory of good over evil. We worship her rather, as an epitome of eternal strength of motherhood. And we never do accuse her to be guilty for that killing. Do we? Then, how could we have to hold Devika guilty on the ground of the murder of those two men, who raped and killed her 10years old daughter? It was her story of serving the impending justice to her daughter Reshma, which the court of law and this society couldn't provide. It was a story of a mother who had not only lost her only daughter but had also lost her every hope in the judicial system. It was a story of a mother who had lost her every reason to live a happy life anymore. It was a story of not forgiving and not accepting an injustice. And we could only bow down our heads, with all our respect, in front of such mother; A mother who chose to take up a weapon in her own hand to avenge every drop of tear of her lost motherhood... A mother who chose to stand up with all strength, wiping off her tears, and vowed to avenge every bit of her daughter's pain and every breath of her daughter's lost life!