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Amitav Ganguly



Amitav Ganguly


Mobile Phone Butcheries {Murder Mystery} Final Part

Mobile Phone Butcheries {Murder Mystery} Final Part

13 mins

That night, next week, the inspector was about to retire to bed; it had been raining, and the atmosphere was bearable after a long spell of intense summer heat.

And then his mobile phone rang. From the other side, Ahmedi’s voice came in, “Sir, just now we have received information from the security guard of Lochan Verma at the mansion that Mukund has been murdered there! He was brutally and repeatedly stabbed in his stomach. It was a horrendous end!”

The inspector wasted no time rushing to the murder site.

The next day early morning, pondering about the murder of Mukund last night, Inspector Samsher Brahma realized how the case had now moved, dramatically, from the stage of the Bhubna’s dead body and SMS link to the realm of another murder. The mystery was indeed deepening!

He got up, picked up his cap, and strode out. He planned to do some quick investigation of his own and meet a few people. On the way, he picked up the local newspaper.

Ravi, from Combined News, was surprised to see the inspector in his office.

Samsher Brahma took a seat before his desk and began without any preamble, “I saw your news report. You have full knowledge of the death of Mukund Gonzales. Can you give me more information?”

“Sir,” Ravi said, “what can I say? I have no more update except what I have reported in the newspaper, but I feel horrible.”

“Did you know him for long?”

“Yes, we were friends. But believe me, sir, I had no idea that he was involved in criminal activities; otherwise, I would have had nothing to do with him.”

“How did you know that he was involved in crime?” The inspector asked.

Ravi kept quiet.

“Tell me, how did you come to know, that day, we had gone to Lochan Verma’s mansion? We had moved fast, but you seemed to know as quickly and reached there in good time.”

Ravi looked at his hand, then thought a bit before replying, “Mukund himself called me, although he did not want anyone to know about this.”


He shook his head.

“Why did you not publish that day’s news?” The inspector asked.

“My editor did not allow me.”

Sophia nibbled at her fingernails and stared at the inspector sitting in the college cafeteria. A painfully slim girl with enormous eyes and fashionably trimmed hair, looked every inch a teenager that she was.

“Are you a friend of Johnnty?”

She said, “Perfect friends!”

The inspector looked at Hasan, her friend, who was sitting next to her. He too nodded his head vigorously; his curly crown of hair shook in tandem.

“Do you all share your secrets?”

Hasan replied, “Yes, but why are you asking these questions to us?”

The inspector thought for a few seconds, “We are investigating a murder case, and it will be nice if you can help the police. We will appreciate this and also tell your parents.”

Both Sophia and Hasan gawked at Samsher Brahma.

“We will do our best,” said Sophia.

“Ok, my first question is this; what does Johnnty think about his parents? Tell me the real story.”

“He is an impulsive guy, very sensitive; but loves his parents,” Hasan said.

Sophia shook her head. “Not recently. He is terribly upset with his mother for some reason.”

“What is the reason?”

“We do not know.”

“Any guess?” The inspector was insistent.

“Her love affair with some guy, who stays in the mansion,” Hasan replied somewhat shyly.

“Give me a name.”

As Hasan did not reply, Sophia spoke, “He is the PA…”

“Ok, thank you! Where is Johnnty now? Is he in the class?”

“Yes, Inspector.”

“Is he behaving, ok?”

“He is very shaky today.”

Dhupar, Lochan Verma’s manservant, was standing before the inspector at the police station. A short, middle-aged man, with grey hairs, he was distinctly uncomfortable.

“What have you to say about Mukund ’s murder?”

Abruptly he broke down, crying and holding his head, then sat down on the ground.

“What can I say? I have lost my support…my well-wisher…,” he sobbed.

“During our interrogation, you gave Bhubna’s sordid past in some detail when other servants were unwilling to talk. Did Mukund make you, do it?”

Dhupar nodded his head, “Yes.”

“Do you know who killed him? You were so close to him.”

“No… no...sir!”

Soon, one of the staff from the call tracking unit handed over a report to the inspector. The switched-off Bhubna’s mobile phone was powered-on and used for eleven minutes about half an hour ago, and the police had traced its location in the Swatantra Bari area of the city. The inspector was aware that Sameer‘s house was located in that area and instructed Ahmedi to visit this house and make inquiries. Since Sameer was still living in the industrialist’s mansion, there would be no hindrance.

A little later, he called Ahmedi again and directed him to place Johnnty under immediate surveillance and to give him instant reports. He added that Johnnty was in his college at that time.

While noting that the time was 11.55 a.m., he fervently hoped that he was not too late in setting the process in motion.

It was after 1.40 p.m. when Ahmedi came in and updated the inspector.

“Sir, my first report is that just now my plain-clothed policeman has seen Johnnty come out of his colleagues during recess time, and at present, he is walking towards the adjacent pond, about a kilometer away, with a medium-sized packet. His movement seems to be suspicious as he is looking around often to see if anybody is following him or not.

“The second report is that we visited Sameer’s house and came across his wife; her name is Suhani Sarpanch. She disclosed that she had indeed used a mobile phone, left by her husband. She was not aware that it belonged to Bhubna. So, at last, we have found the offending mobile phone!

“What are your orders, now, sir?”

The inspector quickly gave detailed orders.

Two days later, that morning, the headline news in the local newspapers and the press was sensational. It reported that Johnnty Verma, the son of the well-known industrialist, Lochan Verma, had been arrested by the police for murdering his father’s ex-PA, Mukund Gonzales. Along with the son, the PA’s ex-assistant, Sameer Sarpanch had also been arrested for the murder of a former head-gardener of the industrialist.

Inspector Samsher Brahma was in his office, standing and looking through the window.

Sub-Inspector Ahmedi was also present.

That day, Sub-Inspector Mubarak, attached to Inspector Nokul Hegde in the western city police station, involved in many complicated criminal cases, had visited them for the day on a particular assignment. He was sitting in the visitor’s chair.

Ahmedi said, “Sir, how could you crack this case, which I believed was quite puzzling?”

The inspector smiled and went back to his chair.

Mubarak said, “Sir, it will be my privilege to hear the gist of the case from you.”

Inspector Samsher Brahma gave a nod.

“This is an exceptional case where the criminals sent the police on an investigation trail for their nefarious ends.

“Let us logically analyze the facts which in most parts had been confessed by Sameer Sarpanch under my interrogation and as per law he will soon sign confession statements and appear before a court.

“The first incident happened when I received an SMS from an unknown mobile phone number, making me examine the dead body of a man with an injured left eye. The multiple knife injuries on the body also indicated a murder. Apparently, someone wanted me to investigate a specific mobile phone number and a particular dead body that was unidentified and unclaimed.

“Well, that number belonged to one Bhubna Barocha, and the location and address of the number were the staff quarters of the industrialist, Lochan Verma.

“When we went to Lochan Verma, searched the quarters and the mansion, and also spoke to him, we found that Bhubna was his former head-gardener; the industrialist had no knowledge of that man’s present whereabouts.

“Four days later, we also managed to identify the dead body. He was the same Bhubna, the former head-gardener, who, about three years ago, was thrown out by Lochan Verma. Interestingly, just before that incident, he had a physical scuffle with the industrialist and got his eye injured. At the heat of the moment, unfortunately, Lochan Verma had vowed to destroy Bhubna. This was a very reckless thing to do and became risky for him.

“Somehow, my investigating instinct was, now, telling me that one or more persons were trying to frame or put the finger of suspicion on Lochan Verma because of his reckless behavior, through murdered Bhubna. Therefore, pointers were planted for the police to follow.

“But who was he or who were they, and what were their motives?

“The first clue came while we were investigating Mukund, the PA of the industrialist, and Sameer, his assistant. Their backgrounds were a revelation. They had dangerous criminal records in the neighboring city.

“The next clue was the fact that they had been sacked by Lochan Verma on serious charges of money misappropriation which could put them behind bars for long. Pertinently we knew that sacking had happened a week before that SMS came to me, and thus a third clue was manifesting in my mind.

“So, was it a case of revenge, against Lochan Verma for sacking?

“To understand this aspect, we had to first consider the original part of this crime. After Bhubna was thrown out by Lochan Verma consequent to that physical scuffle, Mukund and Sameer were initially in touch with him and were friendly. However, this bonhomie was rudely broken when, one day, Bhubna tried to rape Sameer’s wife, Suhani, and that was a turning point in this crime. Sameer repeatedly stabbed Bhubna to death in a fit of rage and dumped his body in a park.

“All this happened a couple of days before the sacking of these two crooks by Lochan Verma.

“This fact of Bhubna’s murder would have remained a secret, but Suhani fortuitously shared this with one of her close friends soon after the murder.

“Then we tracked Suhani because she, unwittingly, used Bhubna’s mobile phone. With that, not only the mobile could be found, but she also revealed to us the picture of the original part of the crime. This was also confirmed by Suhani’s friend.

“In any case, we had to understand the sequence of events of the rest of the crime to conclude the investigation.

“It was clear that when Lochan Verma sacked these two crooks in his mansion, a couple of days after the incident of Bhubna’s murder, they became so enraged that they made a revenge plan against him to frame him for that murder.

“Apart from revenge, Sameer had another reason; he thought that he could escape any allegation of Bhubna’s murder by diverting it towards Lochan Verma.

“So, they sent that SMS to me to link Bhubna with Lochan Verma after a week from the sacking date. They wanted to use Bhubna’s body, lying in the morgue and utilizing his mobile phone which they had picked up after his murder.

“Subsequently, that day, while I was questioning them, they also suggested that I should not spare anybody, however important he or she might be. This was an oblique reference to point at the industrialist to drive home their plan to frame him.”

Ahmedi uttered an oath. “Dangerous crooks,” he said.

The inspector carried on, “In any case, that same day, before we reached Lochan Verma’s premises, Bhubna’s mobile phone was already switched off, and I believe, was taken away, by Dhupar, to Sameer’s house in Swatantra Bari. It was kept there without informing Suhani that it belonged to Bhubna.

“Afterwards, during Ahmedi’s interrogations, Dhupar, under Mukund’s direction, was more than willing to inform us about Bhubna’s sordid past, the injury to his left eye, and more importantly Lochan Verma’s vow to destroy Bhubna.

“So, a stage was neatly set, to put Lochan Verma under an uncomfortable murder investigation process and get him arrested by the police if these crooks were lucky.”

At this juncture of the narrative, a phone call came for the inspector from his senior, the Deputy Commissioner of Police-North {DCP}. Stopping his tale, he left for the Northern Headquarters, to apprise DCP about the case and for some urgent assignment.

On his return, the inspector found both Ahmedi and Mubarak waiting for him. Saying, “Ahmedi, the DCP was happy at the successful conclusion of this case,” he occupied the chair.

“Sir, please complete your tale,” Mubarak pleaded.

“Yes, Mubarak. Ironically, these two crooks could do all these evil acts since they were still staying in the mansion; Lochan Verma had ignored my advice to not allow that.

    “Nevertheless, going forward, I felt that in addition to their revenge motive and Sameer’s escape plan, there could be another motive for the crime, especially for Mukund.

    “Was it, therefore, possible that Mukund’s other motive was connected to the divorce proceedings between Lochan Verma and his wife Rimi Verma, in which she had alleged mental and physical cruelty on her husband’s part?

    “Now, if these were so, it made sense that any murder allegation against the industrialist, however false, might go against him in the divorce, and to add to the negativity his arrest could even be better.

    “As far as Rimi Verma was concerned, her case would be reinforced by the fact that since her husband is facing an allegation of a murder charge, cruelty is but expected.

   “Moreover, if this negative news was publicized adequately through the media, then Lochan Verma could be fighting a credibility battle before the public.

    “I checked and found that Mukund indeed had friends in the media to propagate the damaging image of the industrialist. In fact, he was a long-term friend of Ravi, from Combined News who would have helped him inconspicuously.

    “Note that these lines of my thought could be meaningful only if Mukund had some special relationship with Rimi Verma. And what would that be? Surely it was an adulterous affair!

    “I had an inkling of this affair when Ahmedi reported the fact of their numerous phone calls based on the call records. It seemed very peculiar to me that forty-two mobile phone calls were made during the last two months between the lady of the house and her employee. And mind you, both of them were staying in the same mansion!

   “Mukund had also planned that a successful divorce would clear the path for him to conveniently marry Rimi Verma. He knew that she had enough estate of her own and that of her father and would still be a wealthy woman after the divorce.

    “I knew that Mukund was capable of all these wicked acts since he was not only a criminal but also a habitual womanizer and an opportunist to boot. He had surely trapped her, but who knew, even she might have voluntarily fallen into his charm.”

The inspector paused to pour and drink a glass of natural spring water.

By listening to the inspector so far, Mubarak’s appreciable appearance was evident.

Ahmedi now said, “When Mukund was murdered, you suspected Johnnty? How did you do that, sir?”

The inspector answered, “As the adulterous affair between his mother and his father’s PA was blossoming in the mansion, I dare say that most probably Johnnty had seen them in a compromising position which had enraged him. His mind was then in a deep turmoil. I could make that out by his reaction when I spoke to him; he said that although he fully supported his mother, he would never forgive her till the last days of his life for what she was doing.

“Hearing this strong and contradictory statement, I decided to check him out with some of his close friends in the college, and they said that Johnnty was an impulsive guy, overly sensitive, and detested his mother’s love affair with some man staying in the mansion. And that man was Mukund.

“This proved that my deduction was correct, and I became sure that Johnnty had taken the drastic step, although frankly speaking, I never thought he was capable of such a crime.

“Against this background, I visualized his murder activities in this way. When Johnnty came to know that Mukund had been sacked by his father because of the theft and would leave the mansion shortly, he understood that he had little time. He got the opportunity that night to enter Mukund’s room, and with a readily available large kitchen knife stabbed him brutally to death. After having killed him in hot blood, he panicked and wanted to get rid of the knife, as soon as possible. He preferred to use an opportune time to look inconspicuous the next day during college hours.

“My next step after that was to advise Ahmedi to keep Johnnty under immediate surveillance. And what happened as a result? A traumatized Johnnty was caught red-handed while throwing the murder weapon into a pond near the college. And, under intense questioning, the young man has also admitted to his wrongdoings and will shortly sign a statement of confession and appear before the court!”

Detective Inspector Samsher Brahma then got up, picked up his cap, and departed for another urgent assignment about the slaying of industrialist brothers which the DCP had handed over to him.

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