Judgement Day – Chapter 2
Judgement Day – Chapter 210 mins 199 10 mins 199
The story so far….
Postman Iqbal finds an envelope which has no stamp and addressed, of all the people, to the High Court Judge, Seetaramayya and written in Marathi language! Perplexed, he delivers the same to the judge who opens and finds a single sheet of paper and an unfinished drawing…. Seetaramayya is presiding over a case termed as Mysore Murder case involving fire brand prosecution lawyer, Naveen Krishna….the next day, two envelopes land at Judge’s house and the drawing becomes more clear and resembles, lawyer, Naveen Krishna…!!
Chapter 2 – Omman Kutti
Seetaramayya slumped on the chair holding the two single sheets of paper; he was staring out side the window without looking at.
After some time, he got up and picked up the file containing details of Mysore Murder case. By the time he finished and got ready to sleep, it was past mid-night.
Sleep eluded the judge; when he closed his eyes, the sharp moustache, the sparkling ear stud danced in front of his closed eyes. Why the picture of Naveen Krishna? Who is sending it? Are they trying to send some sort of a signal to me?. He tossed in the bed.
When he finally slept it was nearing 3 am in the morning.
When judge got up, it was past 7. He usually woke up as early as 5 in the morning. He felt uneasy and freshened up quickly and went to breakfast table. He started turning the pages of Sunday newspaper.
By the time the judge finished his breakfast, he had decided the further course of action.
He called the cook Narayan and told him that he would be in library and should not be disturbed; except that lawyer Rangayya would come in a short while and should be ushered directly to the library.
Cook Narayan was used to getting this kind of instructions from the judge time and again. He nodded his head.
Judge called Rangayya on his mobile.
Rangayya was astonished to get call from the judge, that too on a Sunday morning.
He picked up the phone and said, “Good morning Sir. Tell me sir.”
Judge weighed his words and spoke
“Ramayya, I want you to come to my residence as soon as possible. Please leave your car and take a rikshaw. And, please keep it discrete.”
Ramayya, kept looking at the mobile long after the call was disconnected thinking, why would the judge want to meet me?
Ramayya was ushered by Narayan to the library and Narayan waited at the door step for instructions.
Judge said, “Bring two Lemon tea, hot.”
Narayan brought two tea cups, kept it on the round table and left closing the library door softly.
Judge sipped the hot tea and spoke in a measured voice.
“Ramayya, am sure, you were surprised to get my call on a Sunday morning. I wouldn’t have called you, but I feel the matter is most grave and urgent. You mentioned in court that the accused in the Mysore Murder case, Mahadevappa, was working in Naveen Krishna owned farm house. What other things did you find, in your investigation?”
Defense lawyer, Ramayya looked out of the window and spoke.
“Sir, we could not find out much. We understood that Mahadevappa has a wife and a daughter. No one knew where they have gone. After doing lot of needling, we found out that his wife is living near Mysore in her sister’s place. Whereabouts about his daughter is unknown. Every time my persons started making enquiries about his daughter, some how they were thwarted in their effort.”
Judge nodded his head and spoke, realising that he should open up to un lock the mystery.
“Ramayya, the Mysore Murder case does not seem as simple as it looks on the face. Do you know any reliable police inspector who has retired from duties, recently?”
Ramayya did not show any emotions. He spoke in a matter of fact voice.
“Sir, I know a very honest and reliable inspector who retired just 6 months back. In fact, you too would know of him as he testified for years in the court. Albert Pinto. He is smart and can work discretely. Tell me sir, what do you want to do.”
Judge felt relieved.
“Oh yes. I know Albert Pinto. Well there are two things I want you to get it done from Pinto without, of course, linking my name. Also, this is outside the departmental enquiry, therefore, Pinto should handle it tactfully. We will disown if it becomes public. Is this clear?”
Ramayya nodded even as judge got up, walked to the cupboard and removed the three sheet of drawings, kept it in front of Rangayya on the table and watched his reactions.
Ramayya took the three pages and spread it and looked.
As his eyes moved from first page one to the three, he involuntarily let out a muted scream and got up.
He looked with astonishment on his face and spoke, his voice barely audible.
“Sir? These pictures? Who drew them? The man in the picture, without an iota of doubt looks like our Naveen Krishna!”
Judge nodded his head and explained every thing that happened in the last two days and kept the envelopes on the table.
Ramayya’ s astonishment increased and his heart started beating erratically, as he heard the details from judge.
“Ok, Ramayya, here is what I want you to get Pinto to do; first, ask him to find out the whereabouts of our accused person’s daughter, very quickly.
Second, I want him to travel to Ernakulam and find out who drew and posted these pictures and what they are trying to communicate to me. Once again discretion is the word.”
Ramayya hesitated when he spoke. “With due respect to you sir, you have reserved middle of next week as judgement date. It looks very difficult to get all the information in such a short time.”
Judge nodded and said. “I have already thought about it. If need be, I will extend the date.”
Ramayya nodded, picked up the letters and envelope and left as he came, by hiring a rikshaw.
Ramayya called Pinto as soon as he reached home and Pinto said, he will be coming latest by 12 noon.
Pinto, a stout and shrewd man of 60 years, had a swarthy face; very few gray strands of hair stood up and he kept pushing them to the side. He had very sharp eyes and he did not need any spectacles to see. He wore jeans and a tea shirt and stood up and listened attentively to everything Ramayya said.
He spoke once Ramayya finished; “Sir, if we need to do as you just asked me, I would need one more person to work alongside me. Of course, I have a reliable person. There are few things you need to do. Please don’t use your regular phone. Give me number of a mobile which is not known to others. And sir, I might call you at odd times, is that ok with you?”
Ramayya gave him a number which he never used.
Pinto left, stuffing the money the lawyer gave him. As soon as he went outside, he called Shailesh, his trusted lieutenant and barked some orders.
Shailesh an un employed youth of around 30 years, who was a reformed part time thief and worked as assistant to Pinto; he was very efficient and knew his way around. He left to Mysore within half-an-hour of getting instructions from Pinto.
Pinto, booked a night bus to Ernakulam and called several people in Ernakulam who were on his network list.
As soon as he got down in Ernakulam bus stand in the early morning hours, a surprise was awaiting Pinto.
He bumped in to constable Eranna who worked in Bangalore’s Commissioner’s office!
Eranna, though just a constable, had contacts inside the department to the top. The extra money he made came from passing on discrete information from and to department. If a raid was scheduled, the client, who were willing to cough up sum demanded by Eranna would get advance notice.
He was very clever and never went overboard.
He had worked with Pinto and knew him very well. “Pinto sir? What a surprise? How come you have travelled all the way to Kerala? Any new private assignment?” Spoke Eranna searching Pinto's face.
Pinto hated the sight of Eranna; he knew the antics of Eranna and stayed away from him even during his service.
He flashed an artificial smile, waved a wedding card which he pulled from his pocket and spoke.
A very close friend’s son is getting married in Cochin. So, what brings you here? Has commissioner given any special assignment to you?” chided Pinto.
Eranna knew Pinto was very sharp.
“You know our prosecution lawyer Naveen Krishna? You know he is very close to our commissioner. He wants me to get some information from Ernakulam. I came two days back and am leaving to night.”
Pinto heaved a sigh of relief hearing that Eranna would leaving; he went looking for auto stand even as Eranna looked at him from behind.
Eranna knew too well that Pinto has come to do some investigation. He was itching to find out.
He pulled his mobile and spoke to commissioner’s secretary and passed on the information about Pinto arriving in Ernakulam and informed that he too would be coming back to Bangalore after couple of days.
Shailesh visited all his known contacts traying to trace the farm house and whereabouts of Mahadevappa wife and daughter.
By late night when he went to his lodge, Shailesh had lots of things to share with Pinto and waited for 10 pm – the agreed time for discussion.
Exactly at 10, Shailesh got the call from Pinto.
“Ok, Shailesh, what do you have.”
“Pinto Sir,” Shailesh, who still feared Pinto, spoke haltingly. “Sir, Mahadevappa’ s wife has been staying with her sister here in a village abut 40 Kilometer from Mysore city. I visited her and she refused to open up. I was sure, she was trying to hide something. About his daughter,” Shailesh paused making Pinto speak angrily.
“Why are you stammering as if you have done something wrong?”
Shailesh recovered and spoke. “No sir, from the date Mahadevappa got arrested by the police his daughter is missing. No one is ready to speak; not even her mother. I suspect some foul play. My contacts are all pick pockets and small time thief’s, which you know. I need some police contacts to get more information.”
Pinto nodded and spoke.
“I am messaging two numbers. They too are retired police personnel and will help you. I will call you again tomorrow night.” Pinto disconnected the phone.
Hari, a press reporter in Ernakulam and long standing friend of Pinto, was the translator and guide to Pinto. He spoke to the Ernakulam post office contact in Malayalam and took Pinto to the twin city, Cochin post office from where, the envelopes were posted.
The contacts at Cochin post office could not help as the letters were dropped in the box kept outside.
Pinto was annoyed that they could not get any concrete information.
While Hari went to speak to the shop owner, diagonally opposite to the post office, Pinto was just standing at the entrance of the post office thinking his next moves when he observed a lungi clad middle aged man looking here and there suspiciously and moving towards the post box.
When cornered by Pinto who flashed his outdated police badge and Hari, the man spoke continuously in Malayalam to Hari. Pinto kept looking at Hari’s face which kept changing with every sentence the man spoke.
Finally, Hari spoke.
“Pinto, this man accepts that he only posted the envelopes which I showed him. The pictures are drawn by his son who only wrote the address. He has said few things which are very difficult to comprehend. I have given him warning that we will go to the local police, if he does not cooperate. He has agreed to meet us again in the evening at his place. I know the place. We will meet him and will get more information.”
When phone rang, it was very late. Ramayya hurriedly went inside his room, locked it, before answering.
Pinto spoke slowly but clearly without any emotions.
“Sir, we have made some breakthrough. It is very complicated.
First, in Mysore, my associate has found out that Mahadevappa’ s wife is living near Mysore. He met her but the lady won't open her mouth. His daughter’s whereabouts are not known, she is missing from the day her father was arrested. Shailesh will get some concrete information by tomorrow.
In Ernakulam, the matter is simply un believable; the letters are written by a young boy born and brought up in Kerala. His father has suppressed the information fearing that something bad may happen to his only son.
Sir, here is the shocking news; the boy though born and brought up here, does not speak Malayalam. He speaks a language not known to his parents. Hari, my friend here had spent some time in Mumbai. He says that what he speaks is Marathi!
And sir, his name is Omman Kutti!”
to be continued.......