The Day The State Split Asunder - 56
The Day The State Split Asunder - 5613 mins 200 13 mins 200
Dhyaneshwar was in his Begumpet office cabin, reading the financial report submitted by his company's Chief Financial Officer. He had tried reading and rereading it several times but still could not make any sense of why the expected financial performance only improved by ten percent compared to the previous year of 2012.
'Rajath is not a perfect man to run this company. I don't know when he will learn the art of running a business. Akshara would run better than him,' Dhyaneshwar concluded after having read the report.
A while later, he put away the report in the closet fixed affixed to his desk. He then started packing the reports and laptop to attend a meeting at his plant in Choutuppal. While he was getting ready to step out his secretary came running into his cabin.
'Sir the police came to our office. They are going towards Rajath's cabin,' said his secretary.
'What the hell are you talking about! How can they come in like this?' Dhyaneshwar barked at his secretary. Subconsciously, all his fears were emphatically confirmed.
In two shakes of a lamb's tail, he ran down the stairs and reached the floor below where Rajath's cabin is present. By the time he reached, Inspector Arjun and Sub-Inspector Imtiaz marched into Rajath's cabin along with half a dozen constables carefully searching every corner of his cabin.
'What are you doing Inspector?' Rajath asked, absolutely stupefied.
'I'm arresting you Mr.Rajath on suspicion of the murder of HBN-7 Channel journalist Suresh. Our team has searched your house in Jubilee Hills and we recovered a laptop which actually belongs to HBN-7 News Channel and which was used by Suresh. We also found some suspicious case study documents in your bedroom,' said Arjun in a monotonous voice. 'You are our chief suspect. I think it's better we carry on this conversation in custody. Please do cooperate with us.' The last sentence was courteously delivered but was an order, not a request.
'On what basis can you arrest him? Do you have a warrant for his arrest?' Dhyaneshwar demanded.
Arjun nodded to Imtiaz who pulled out the warrant from his shirt pocket, unfolded it and passed it to Dhyaneshwar. He scanned it carefully and handed it over back to Imtiaz.
'Your lawyer may apply for bail before the Chief Judicial Magistrate within twenty-four hours of arrest,' explained Arjun.
Dhyaneshwar nodded and turned towards Rajath. 'Rajath don't worry. Our lawyer Harish Goud is a leading criminal lawyer. I'll ask him to represent you. I'm sure that he'll be able to clear up this mess. For the moment, though, I don't think you have any alternative but to go with them.'
'Sir,' came a constable holding a register in his hand. 'This is a visitors register.'
Arjun took the register book into his hands and started going through the list of visitors from October till November. He found Suresh's name along with the name and address written clearly.
Amazing! Suresh has done a good job by entering the correct details in the register. Arjun thought. From the visitors register it became apparent to him that Suresh had visited the office on November 30th, 2013. 'So exactly a day before Suresh had met him. According to Veeresh Rajath drove the car by himself and his wife Akshara said he reached home late and looked extremely tense. It means it is he who killed Suresh. But did Dr.MadhuSudhan help him?
Arjun looked at Rajath. 'Mr.Rajath, last time when we met, you said you don't know any person with the name Suresh? And this visitor's register says he came to your office. Now don't say it is another Suresh. His address is clearly written here.'
The walls are closing in for Rajath. He stood for a moment gazing at the floor getting fidgety; It's obvious he was coming apart at the seams, something he never thought would happen to him.
'And also Mr.Dhyaneshwar, don't leave the city unless this case is closed. Even you are also one of the accused in this murder,' said Inspector Imtiaz.
'I wasn't present in this country when it happened. I have a good name in my industrial circle and I am the fifth highest tax payer for our state,' Dhyaneshwar responded. He had a face like thunder.
'Don't act innocent sir. You were once accused in the murder of Akella Raghavendra,' Arjun retorted.
'Inspector, how did you get to know about it? Please don't get carried away with those ersatz accusations. The court has already absolved me from those allegations.'
'I just came here to do my duty not to explain anything. I presume you might have already known that your son had murdered Suresh and I don't find any expressions of shock on your face which means it's clear you know, your son has killed Suresh and you are prepared for his arrest.'
The words of Arjun hit Dhyaneshwar like a wave. For a moment he felt suspicious whether he would also be arrested.
'And also,' Arjun continued, 'your son has managed to kill Suresh without leaving any trace behind but made one mistake. Had he destroyed those evidences instead of hiding it at home we wouldn't have got this opportunity to arrest you.'
'We have a police vehicle waiting outside. We do not believe you're a flight risk and as a matter of courtesy we're not cuffing you,' explained Imtiaz as he gently led Rajath, a leading industrialist turned accused murderer to the police vehicle outside.
Rajath already seemed mentally and physically worn out. His nightmare without end was just beginning.
The shocked employees in the office began excitedly whispering among themselves. It was a shock for anyone to imagine Rajath was capable of murdering someone despite his aggressive attitude.
The Chanchalguda Central Jail is one of the oldest jails in the city of Hyderabad. It was constructed during the regime of Nizam ruler by name Nizam–Ul–Mulk. The jail has a capacity of 1000 inmates and achieved 100% literacy during 1989–90. This was made possible with the introduction of an adult literacy program.
Seated in one of the damp interrogation cells that stank of sewage and there's only one ceiling fan for the entire room. He awaited the arrival of the cops who had arrested him. He could feel the sweat trickling down his back as he sat in the hot, humid and squalid cell, nervously drumming his fingers on the table in front of him.
Momentarily, the cell door opened and Commissioner P V Anand and Inspector Arjun walked in holding a yellow-colored file with Rajath's name written on top of it. The two officers sat opposite him and opened the file on the table.
'The case against you is watertight,' Anand said. 'Our team has searched your house and they found this laptop and case study reports. And,' he placed a few printed photographs on the table and pushed it towards him. 'What are these pictures?'
'I don't know,' Rajath responded in an affirmative tone looking at Anand and Arjun.
'What is your connection with Dr.MadhuSudhan? Why did you give him five crore rupees?' Anand asked, leaning forward, placing both his elbows on the table.
'It was just a donation to build a new building for the Mental Institute.'
'I see but my question is why did you give it to Dr.MadhuSudhan? There's a special account kept for donating funds?'
'He is the superintendent of the hospital. He told me he will deposit it in the funds account. I am not sure whether he has done it or not?'
'Well the ACB officials have a different story. They say you bribed him five crore rupees and was even confirmed by Dr.MadhuSudhan. Please open up before us else, we need to conduct a press meet and reveal everything in front of them.'
Rajath looked down for a second. He understood it was a trick to change his statement. His father has already warned him before about the police tricks.
'MadhuSudhan has lied. It was a donation for constructing the building,' Rajath repeated.
'Mr.Rajath, on October 10th, you met Dr.MadhuSudhan at one of the abandoned buildings at Erragadda Mental Institute. Didn't you?' Anand changed the topic.
'Dr.MadhuSudhan is my friend and I don't understand why you people-'
'Have you met him or not? Just say yes or no,' Anand persisted.
'So what did you discuss?'
'We discussed the total amount required to complete constructing the new building.'
'Is there anyone with you apart from MadhuSudhan?'
'No, just MadhuSudhan and me.'
'What is this photograph?' Arjun pitched in and showed him the photograph of Rajath and Dr.MadhuSudhan.
Sweat instantly surfaced on his forehead and it was reflecting the light above him.
'Do you know who has taken this photograph?' Arjun asked.
'Who has taken it?'
'It's Suresh. See Mr.Rajath, on November 30, Suresh came to your office. We found the laptop which belongs to HBN-7 News Channel and the company confirmed it is their laptop. Please don't act smart.'
'How many times I need to say I didn't kill him,' Rajath replied and lied down on the table banging hard on the table with his fist.
'It's okay! It's okay! Seems like you didn't have your lunch. We will meet again later,' Anand and Arjun rose up from their seats and walked out of the cell.
'Sir, he is just playing the drama. I don't think politeness is going to work upon him.'
'We can't use force Arjun. Tomorrow is Sunday and the court will not be working. We need to present him before the magistrate on Monday without any wounds. Anyways the court will send him to our custody as we have all the proofs against him. Let's see for how long he will play the drama.'
Arjun nodded. 'What about Dr.MadhuSudhan? Until yesterday we thought it was either Dr.MadhuSudhan or Rajath who might have killed Suresh. But today we have evidence against Rajath. If Rajath has killed Suresh, then why MadhuSudhan escaped from custody?'
'It is still an enigma for us. What is the progress?'
'Sir, the vehicle was last spotted at Shamshabad and thereafter we don't know where it went. There are more than hundreds of villages in between.'
'Arjun, we have to catch MadhuSudhan at any cost.'
'Had Imtiaz sent you the list of all the rowdy-sheeters and gangs?'
'Yes, he did. But there are around twenty-five files. Can you come to my office? We both can have a look into it.'
'Sure Sir!' Arjun said.
A constable came towards them. 'Sir, Rajath's lawyer Harish Goud wants to meet you? He is waiting for you in the meeting room.'
'Arjun, go and talk to him. I will be waiting for you in the car. The charge sheet has already been filed and the case is still under investigation. Ask him to file for it in the court,' Anand said. 'Once after you are back let's get back to our office.'
'Ok Sir!' Arjun said and followed the constable to the meeting room. Inside the meeting room there is only one person present with the black coat.
'Mr.Arjun, I am Harish Goud. Lawyer of Rajath,' Harish presented his credentials and shook hands with Arjun. 'Please do take this memo.'
'Memo? For what?' Arjun said, taking the memo into his hands.
'I attached a few documents certified by psychiatrist Dr. Veerendranath. Rajath is suffering from anxiety attacks and you are not supposed to use any force upon him in the name of investigation while he is in custody. The same has been written on it.'
'Don't worry Mr.Harish. We will not be using any kind of force upon Rajath.'
'Can I meet my client now? Just for five minutes.'
'I am sorry sir, the meeting time is over. You can only meet him tomorrow.'
'No issues, I shall meet him tomorrow then.'
Arjun and Harish together walked out of the meeting room. Harish walked towards his car and fled from the premises while Arjun cut towards the corridor sorting the documents in order. After arranging the documents properly he climbed into the vehicle in which Anand is seated and left for the office.
The sun began its downward movement and the sky started getting darker. Seated on his black Italian leather sofa along with his lawyer Harish Goud.
'Mr.Dhyaneshwar, are you sure you gave me the full account? As you know, one should never lie or hide anything from a lawyer. I need the true facts of the case and if you do not state the true facts or hide any facts then it can affect the case,' Harish said.
'I am not hiding anything,' replied Dhyaneshwar.
'Thanks for telling that Rajath is suffering from 'anxiety attacks'. It made our work easy and after listening to this entire series of events, I feel there is only one way possible.'
'Please tell me what can be done?'
'First things first, Rajath should not accept that he has killed Suresh.'
'He will not accept it at any cost. I already prepared him about the way in which he needs to answer the questions of the police and the tactics they use. But my concern is what if they beat him?'
'They can't beat him. I already submitted a memo addressing the commissioner. Section 49 in the code of criminal procedure says the person arrested shall not be subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape.'
'What about bail?'
'In general in attempt to murder/murder cases, accused is kept in jail till the charge sheet is filed in the court or till such time investigation is complete. The anticipatory bail is not going to work in this case.'
'But there will be some way to bring him out.'
'There is only one way possible,' Harish said with a grunting sigh. 'Have someone surrender to the police and claim that he killed Suresh and persuade the commissioner to get it accepted and closed.'
'P V Anand is difficult to be influenced. I know him well.'
'Why don't you contact your friend Uday the minister of Industries.'
'Uday is no longer a minister. He resigned from the ministry and also from the party.'
'He may not be a minister but still he has his friends continuing in the ministry. This is the only chance we have. He has direct access to the incumbent ministers and if he can help in putting pressure on the commissioner it's going to be simple. Else, no one can save Rajath from going to jail.'
'I don't understand why this Andhra and Telangana dispute has started? I will try calling him again,' Dhyaneshwar took out his mobile and dialled his friend Uday.
'Hello Dhyaneshwar, how are you?' said Uday.
'I am not at all good! See Rajath has been arrested and I want him to be released as soon as possible. I don't know what you are going to do, I want him to be released.'
'You already know I am no longer a minister now and again you are asking for my help.'
'Tell me how much money do you need? I will send as much as you want. Don't forget the amount I have spent on you for the 2004 and 2009 elections. I gave you fifty crores for the ministry. Can't you take one risk for me?' Dhyaneshwar yelled.
'Ok-Ok I will do something but please don't take my name out. But this definitely involves a lot of money. Do one thing send me ten crores. I will manage to get the work done with it. Rajath will be released soon. I give you my word.'
'Thank you, I will send the amount tonight. Please do take care of it,' Dhyaneshwar disconnected the call
'What did he say?' Harish asked anxiously.
'He told me that he will manage. I am confident in him.'
'Sir, a politician is known to break the promises. Are you sure he will do it?'
'He will because the elections are coming near and he needs funds. You just prepare the necessary things to prove Rajath is innocent.'
The lawyer left. Dhyaneshwar then walked into the kitchen. The maid was preparing the dinner and Akshara seated at the dining table with her back towards him lost in her own thoughts.
'Akshara,' Dhyaneshwar interrupted her.
She turned back facing him but didn't speak anything. Her eyes looked red and it appeared to him as if she was deeply saddened with Rajath's arrest. He didn't know that she was instrumental in getting Rajath arrested.
'I know what's going on in your mind. Don't be afraid. Rajath will be back soon!' he said in an assuring tone and walked into his bedroom without even asking her what she felt. He went into the washroom attached to his bedroom, took his shower, slipped into night pyjamas and laid flatly on his bed. A while later his maid walked in and placed the dinner on the table beside his bed. He asked her to take it away as he didn't feel like eating anything.
'How did Arjun got to know about Raghavedra's murder?' His thoughts got struck at this one point. After many years someone took out the name of his former partner. As he recollected his last meeting with Raghavendra his blood started running cold.
To be continued...