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Rahul Banerjee

Classics Thriller Others


Rahul Banerjee

Classics Thriller Others

The Murder of Nisha Singh

The Murder of Nisha Singh

22 mins 252 22 mins 252

“Wow! Nisha! You were brilliant.”

This was the first remark which Arjun Shekhawat, the ad director gave to Nisha. She just beamed with happiness and smiled broadly. Even her friends Jyoti, Nancy, Kabir, Ashok Ajay and John congratulated her on her brilliant performance. Nisha just thanked everyone profusely and felt elated at getting such remarks. As she only knew that how much struggle she had to put in to get her here. Being the only daughter of ex-army major Vikramjeet Singh and lawyer Sushila Singh, she was a pampered child. However, it was not that Nisha had got everything on a platter. Being six feet tall, a pretty face with deep eyes and sharp features, she was the most desirable girl in her school and college days; yet, she had to work hard for everything that she wanted. This was a motto that was instilled in her since her childhood by her strict dad. 

Academically also, she had been a brilliant child and was an architectural designer. To be more precise, there was a huge fight that had broken out between Nisha and her parents when she had expressed the desire to become a model. Her father major Vikramjeet Singh had said “why did you then waste our money if you wanted to go into the glamour world?” Nisha “this has been my childhood dream dad, and I promise you that if I am not able to make it in the modelling world, then I will do as you say.” Her mother had said nothing but it was evident that she was not happy with Nisha’s decision. After a lot of cajoling and persuasion, Nisha had finally managed to get her parents approval. Since that Nisha had moved out of her parents and started living on her own by giving tuitions to students of senior secondary school, career counselling to new job seekers, even she did front office jobs also. The most beautiful aspect of her struggle was that she took with a smile on her face and stronger resolve. Although she used to get odd modelling assignments on the side but nothing major. This was the first major assignment she had got with a reputed brand. Ashok Shekhawat, her long-time friend and her self-proclaimed lover was with her through this struggle. It was strange that Nisha just considered him as a friend. This used to peeve off Ashok very much. Moreover, they had a serious fight also regarding this.

Ashok “what’s wrong with you?” “Why can’t you love me?” “Is there someone else?” Nisha “I have never looked at you that way. Rather, you are my very good friend, and that’s all there is to it.”

When Ashok had persisted; Nisha had warned him “look Ashok, we are good friends and let’s keep it at that. If you still keep on harping on the same lines I would have to break off all connection with you.” From that Ashok had backed off and never again tried to convince her. They were still very good friends though.

Nancy came out of nowhere and jolted Nisha out of her reverie. Nancy “what’s up, where are you lost?” Nisha just looked at and smiled. Nancy “look all the guys want to celebrate this and they want you to throw us a party at the club.” Nisha at first was very reluctant but then bowed down to her friends’ pressure. While at the party in the evening when everyone was enjoying and congratulating Nisha for her achievement; there was someone who was quietly watching everything from the side-lines. When Nisha and Ashok were dancing on the dance floor, Ashok, intoxicated, once again tried to make advances towards Nisha.

Nisha “Ashok! Behave yourself. If you don’t stop this I am going to walk off this party right now.”

Ashok realized his mistake and apologised “I am sorry Nisha. Please don’t spoil your mood and enjoy the party.” He said this with a genuine apologetic expression and gave a soft smile as compensation.

Nisha just looked at him and said “it’s okay but please remember we are good friends and I don’t want to spoil that. I am not in a mood to fall into any relationship right now.”

Nisha went to the bar and ordered a drink for herself when she saw a man waving at her from a far off corner table. She was confused at first and looked around thinking that he might be waving to someone.

She also could not place him as he was sitting at a darkened table and raising his glass in a toast.  Nisha did not pay much attention and was about to join her friends; when she got a message from an unknown number “hey beautiful, you were amazing today” She was taken aback seeing this message and she looked here and there as to find the sender of this message. Her first suspicion was on the unknown guy who was still sitting at the same table and raising a toast to her. Nisha was now stiff with apprehension as she had been getting messages from an unknown source the last few days. All of them were objectionable by the way. She could not say anything about this to anybody because she was afraid that this might reach her parent ears. She was in a dilemma about telling this to Nancy, her best friend since kindergarten.

Nancy while dancing saw that Nisha was at the bar, looking uncomfortable and appeared stiff and apprehensive about something or someone. She approached Nisha and just enquired “Hey Nisha, what’s wrong?” Before Nisha could say anything Nancy said “let’s take a selfie” and clicked a picture of her and Nisha. When Nancy looked at the image she asked “who is this man raising a toast?” Nisha now really wanted to tell Nancy about this and blurted out everything. After hearing this Nancy “why didn’t you tell me before?”

Nisha “I was afraid that you would just make fun of me.”

Nancy “let’s go and talk to this man.”

Nisha “Nooooooooooooo……….!”

Nancy looked at her with surprise and then saw the fear in her eyes. 

Nancy then said “at least let’s tell the other guys so that they can go and talk to this person” Nisha “no, I can’t afford to let others know of this”

Nancy then tried another tack to soften up Nisha’s mood by saying “this must be some fan of yours and looking for an autograph”, with that they started giggling and went back to the party.

It was around 2:00 a.m. that the party ended and everyone was completely drunk. Nisha “its late guys and I have to get up early tomorrow as I have to my parents’ house.”

Nancy “you are completely sloshed, shall I drive you home?”

Nisha “no buddy, I’ll manage.”

Even Ashok and Jyoti offered to drive her back but she said “hey guys I am a big girl now!” She smiled and winked and went towards her car. While driving back home, she again got a message from the same unknown number “hey gorgeous I could have driven you back home and we could have enjoyed privately” Nisha was again in a panic-stricken mode, but somehow she managed to reach her home. Nisha lived in a farmhouse in one of the poshest areas of Delhi; Mehrauli. The farmhouse was one of the most beautiful farmhouses as compared with others. It had a swimming pool, a lush green forest of plants and trees, and yes, the most beautiful garden you could ever find in the whole of Delhi! It was filled with different kinds of flowers like roses, jasmines, sunflowers, violets, chrysanthemums etc. Nisha herself was also a bit of a gardener and she only overlooked the maintenance of the garden. In addition, there was a lot of vegetation also surrounding the farmhouse as it fell under the Delhi Greenbelt region. The only drawback was that the nearest farmhouse was at least a kilometre away.

As luck would have it Delhi was experiencing extreme rainfall during the whole day and especially, during the evening and night- time. Anyways, Nisha somehow reached her home and made her way to her bedroom. She just flopped down on the bed. It was around 3:00 a.m. that Nisha suddenly woke with a jolt and saw the windows flapping violently against the window sill. There were also heavy winds flowing so she thought it must have unlatched accidentally and so it was banging so loudly. As she went to the bathroom to clean up and get freshened up for a good sleep, she suddenly heard a clink of glass breaking from downstairs. As it happens in Bollywood movies, the lights of the locality had also gone off due to heavy rainfall and storms. So Nisha took her flashlight and went downstairs to check up. One thing I forgot to mention that it was a two-storey farmhouse and that made it unique from others.

As Nisha reached downstairs the whole living area and the hallway were completely ensconced in darkness, occasionally, she could see streaks of lightning in the still dark overcast sky. The first thing she noticed that the rear door of the farmhouse was wide open and it was also banging loudly against the doorframe. She thought that the maid must have forgotten to bolt the door properly and she will remind her of this in the morning. So she closed the door and turned back moving towards her bedroom. Suddenly, out of the darkness there she saw a shadow looming behind her. Naturally, she was surprised and a bit scared also! Anyone would be! Yet, she managed to turn around and look at the person who was standing behind her. The man was wearing a Smiley Mask and carrying a big shiny knife brandishing it towards Nisha!

Nisha, taken aback, and screamed  “who are you?”

“What do you want?”

But the killer just kept on advancing towards her. Nisha screamed “help………… help…….. Somebody help me!”

 Then she realised that no one would be able to hear her as the nearest neighbour was a kilometre away and it was raining too heavily. She changed her tack and slowly retreating backwards said “take whatever you want.”

Again the killer just advanced towards her. In panic and self–survival mode, Nisha started throwing things that came in her hands to ward off the attacker. Things like glasses, cushions, spoons, even she threw a jar full of water at the attacker. Hoping this might deter the attacker but this did not work and the killer just kept on advancing towards her. She knew that she could not escape from the house as the killer was blocking the way to the door. Suddenly, the killer in a surprising show of speed and strength crossed the distance between him and Nisha and grabbed her by the scruff of her neck, and started stabbing her ruthlessly. Nisha bravely tried to put up a fight but she died after the third stab. The killer then threw her limp body to one side and surprisingly took a picture of her dead body. With that, he calmly re-traced his steps back to where came from.

The next day, the maid Asha came in as usual at her time and let herself in with the extra key which Nisha had given her. The first thing she noticed that things were strewn around the whole house. She grew suspicious and started calling out her mistress’s name “Nisha ma’am…. Nisha ma’am, where are you?” Receiving no answer she reached the back entrance and saw that it was open. This further increased her doubts and she again called out to Nisha but there was no response. Finally, approaching the hall she found Nisha lying in a pool of blood and here also things were strewn around. Asha was so scared and almost fainted, but she somehow managed to call the police and her parents. The next morning saw both the police and Nisha’s parents arrive at the same time at Nisha’s residence. The moment when Nisha’s parents had heard the news; her mother had almost fainted, while her father, ex-major, Vikramjeet Singh was too stunned to answer and later on retreated into a strange kind of cocoon in which he sought some kind of solace.

The Police Officer –In –Charge, Inspector Abhimanyu Pratap Singh, was a colourful character. He was too much influenced by Bollywood and Hollywood crime movies. He was also known to quote famous dialogues from his favourite movies at odd times. However, he was an astute observer and very meticulous in his investigations. That is why he was very popular among both his seniors and juniors. He was also a much-wanted man in all parties and social gatherings because of these very qualities. 

The moment Nisha’s mother saw her only daughter’s body; she again literally fainted and had to be supported by her husband. The first thing inspector Abhimanyu did was ask “who saw the body first?”

Asha “I did sir?

 Inspector Abhimanyu “what time did you come to work?”

Asha “around 8:30 a.m.”

Inspector Abhimanyu “did you see anyone leaving this place?”

Asha “no sir.”

Abhimanyu then called for the forensics team and asked his constables to set up a perimeter around the crime scene. Meanwhile, Nisha’s friends had also been informed of this tragedy, and Nancy, her closest friend was too shocked to react. They had also come to Nisha’s house after hearing the news. All of them were naturally completely shocked, surprised and saddened.

Inspector Abhimanyu, meanwhile, had observed that there were two sets of footprints in the farmhouse. One set of footprints had been found near Nisha’s body, and in other parts of the house; while, the other set of footprints stopped just near the back door. This seemed surprising to inspector Abhimanyu. However, he could surmise that there might have been more than one killer.

Inspector Abhimanyu then started the process of interviewing the family members, friends and other people who knew Nisha. Inspector Abhimanyu started with her parents first.

Abhimanyu “can you tell me what kind of person Nisha was?” 

 Vikramjeet Singh, Nisha’s father “she was the sweetest person anyone could know of. She was my angel, my star.”

Abhimanyu could understand this but he had to do his duty. He then asked the same question to Sushila, her mother. 

Sushila “why would anyone ever even imagine to do such a kind of a ghastly thing on her?” “Yes, she did things her way but she was the most helpful, kind, compassionate, bubbly, cheerful person anyone has ever known”

 Again Abhimanyu could perfectly relate to what was going on with the parents at this very moment. He somehow managed to console them and turned his attention towards her friends.

His first person was Nancy, who was sobbing uncontrollably. Even the rest of her friends were also grieving. 

Abhimanyu “how long have you known Nisha?”

Nancy “since we were in kindergarten.” 

Abhimanyu “did Nisha have any lovers?”

 Nancy now was in dilemma. As she was the only person who knew about Ashok and Nisha’s conversations. Nancy took some time before answering.

Abhimanyu “you have not answered my question yet?”

Nancy “she did not have any romantic relationship with anyone.” “Ashok, our friend had tried to propose to her, but she rejected him on the spot. Since then they were only friends.”

Abhimanyu “how do you know this?”

Nancy “Nisha herself told me about these encounters with Ashok.”

 Abhimanyu “did Nisha have any competitors or rivals in her profession?”

Nancy “not that I know of, though, Jyoti is also a model.”

 Abhimanyu “who is Jyoti?”

Nancy “another one of our friends.” 

Abhimanyu next called Ashok. Abhimanyu “how long have you known Nisha?”

Ashok “since we were in college.”

Abhimanyu “is it true that you helped Nisha during her struggling days and you helped in getting her first assignment?”

Ashok “yes, I was always there with her all the way. I just helped her get in touch with the right people who could recognise her talent.”

Abhimanyu “were you ever in love with Nisha?”

Ashok was taken aback, but managed to keep calm and answered “unfortunately, she did not consider me worth her attention. She just wanted to be friends and that’s what we were.”

Abhimanyu took some time thinking before calling Jyoti. Abhimanyu “you and Nisha were close friends?”

Jyoti “not as close as Nancy, but yes we did hang out together.”

Abhimanyu “I have heard that you are also trying out to make it in the fashion world. Is it true that you and Nisha were competitors?”

Jyoti “yes, we were but in a healthy way.”

Abhimanyu then finished the rest of the day by interviewing the rest of Nisha’s friends and acquaintances and finally concluded the first day of investigation. However, he had certain doubts about her friends, which he mentioned to his head constable Rajbir Chauhan.

Abhimanyu “Rajbir, I have some doubts about Nisha’s friends except Nancy.”

Rajbir “what kind of doubts sir?”

Abhimanyu “that someone is lying about something.”

Rajbir “how can you be so sure of that?”

Abhimanyu “I don’t know my gut instinct. Then he quipped in his unique style “this is just the beginning. See what happens next."

A few days later, Abhimanyu got the news that his suspicion of two people as killers proved to be correct according to forensic reports. He then started his investigation on finding whether there any witnesses on that day. However, he could not find a single witness that day. Then he got the news that the police had found burnt pieces of shoes that matched the description of the shoe size at the crime scene. This made him think that the killer was too clever that he would burn the shoes of the crime, thus removing any evidence of the crime.

Meanwhile, Nancy, who was an investigative journalist, started investigating on her own. She started by meeting with other models who had worked with Nisha. On the other hand, Nisha’s father had completely retreated into a shell and used to grieve for his daughter the whole day. Sushila, Nisha’s mother, despite her best efforts, could not bring him out of this. So she asked for help from Nancy. Nancy was again saddened by seeing the miserable condition of Vikramjeet Singh. As she remembered that when she used to play with Nisha as a child, Vikramjeet Singh was a tall, robust man, who was full of life. Now, this same man had been reduced to a broken man, grieving, shell of a person. This sight further strengthened Nancy’s resolve to find her best friend’s killer and bring him to justice.

Abhimanyu was suddenly taken aback when he saw that Jyoti had got the assignment that Nisha was doing. So he again thought of interviewing Jyoti.

Abhimanyu “Hi Jyoti, how are you?”

Jyoti “hello inspector, I am fine, Thanks for asking, how are you?” “Are there any leads on Nisha’s murder?”

Abhimanyu “we are still looking at that and we have some clues. I wanted to ask you how you got Nisha’s assignment?”

Jyoti “the advertising company and brand company wanted a new face and they called me in to fill Nisha’s place.”

This further created doubts in Abhimanyu’s mind and he asked for 24-hour surveillance to be put on all of Nisha’s friends. This was also how he came to know of Nancy’s independent investigation, so he went to warn her to back off.

Abhimanyu “Nancy, you are putting hurdles in official police business by conducting an independent investigation.”

Nancy “I am doing my investigation to find out the truth, and I have made it my mission to find her killer. Moreover, you have no authority to stop me from doing so, this is an independent country.”

Abhimanyu “I can arrest you on charges of obstruction of justice.”

Nancy just scoffed at his remark and asked Abhimanyu to leave. He had to leave because he had no evidence to prove this.

The surveillance also showed that Ashok has been lately visiting shady night- clubs and visiting someone in darkened areas. Abhimanyu then called Ashok again for questioning.

Abhimanyu “Hello, Mr Ashok, how are you doing?”

Ashok “I am fine. How are you? Why am I again being called here?”

Abhimanyu “just a routine enquiry. Can you tell us what were you doing in this nightclub at this time of the night?”

Ashok “are you having me followed? I was just meeting a friend.”

Abhimanyu “yes, we have put all of you under surveillance on suspicion. By the way, you haven’t told us the complete truth about you and Nisha”

Ashok “what more do you want to know. I have told you everything.”

Abhimanyu “is it?” Then you haven’t told us about the encounter you had with Nisha on the night of the party.”

 Ashok was completely taken aback when he realised that the police knew about their little conversation on that fateful night. However, regaining composure, he somehow managed to remain calm.

Abhimanyu “we have nothing else at the time being, so you are free to leave.”

Ashok was relieved and was about to make a move towards the exit when Abhimanyu said “Mr Ashok, remember, however clever a person thinks he is; the more foolish he is proved to be by his actions.” Ashok just gave a weak smile and left.

Rajbir “why did you let him go Sir?”

Abhimanyu “because we don’t have anything against him to hold him. Furthermore,  he knows this and he could have used this against us if we had held him.”

Meanwhile, Nancy had managed to find out about the man in the photo on her phone on the night of the party. She had deliberately not informed the police or given them any details about this episode of that tragic night. Now, she had got some leads on this man and she called Ashok to ask if he could accompany him in her quest to find him.

Nancy “Hi Ashok, I have got some information regarding Nisha’s death.”

Ashok “what kind of information?”

Nancy “can we meet someplace and discuss?”

Ashok and Nancy met at the same club and it is here that Nancy showed him the photograph.

She further said that this man in the photograph goes by the name of Munna. Ashok was completely panic-stricken and his facial expression mirrored what was going on in his mind.

Nancy “what’s wrong” You look like someone who has seen a ghost.”

Ashok “it’s nothing. I just remembered that I have something important to attend to.”

With that, he left in a hurry which was surprising to Nancy. But this time she was determined to go to any lengths to fulfil her promise. She also decided to give this image to the police.

Ashok meanwhile was having a panic attack. He immediately called an unknown number and let it ring three times and disconnected. Five minutes later, Ashok’s phone rang up. Ashok was so much lost in reverie that he could not hear the first rings. It was only after the fifth or sixth incessant ring that he was jolted out and managed to answer the call.

Unknown “why did you call me?”

Ashok “one of my friends Nancy is onto you?”

Unknown “how do you know this?”

Ashok “because she showed me your photo which she has on her phone. She has also said that she is going to give this to the police.”

Unknown “what do you want me to do?”

Ashok “take care of her.”

Nancy was unaware of this and was planning to go to the place where her source had told her that this man would be available. As she was about to unlock her car, someone put a wire garrotte on her neck behind her back and started applying pressure. By the time Nancy realized what was happening the wire was biting into her flesh drawing blood. She was not able to neither scream nor resist. The killer kept on applying pressure on her until her body went limp. The killer also slashed her throat to be sure that she was dead. He then went meticulously through her phone and after finding his image, deleted it. He was cocky enough to destroy the phone also and left with a smile on his face.

When Abhimanyu found out about Nancy’s murder, he was completely taken aback. The media on the other hand was screaming police inefficiency. Most of the major tabloids had glaring headlines “Serial Killer on the loose. Police have no clue.” The senior authorities were getting a lot of pressure, and they were putting pressure on Abhimanyu to get results.

 The first thing Abhimanyu did was to get Nancy’s destroyed phone to his people at the technical services and cyber division. His motive for doing so was to find out what was so important in the phone that it had been damaged so much. Also, it warranted Nancy’s loss of life. His suspicion proved him right and in a few days, he got the news that there was this image of a guy called Munna on her phone. He was elated and gave a press conference with this latest development. He also called Jyoti and Ashok for further enquiries.

Abhimanyu “do you know this man Jyoti?”

Jyoti “I have never seen him in my life. By the way who killed Nancy? And why was she killed?”

Abhimanyu “this is what we are trying to find out.”

 Abhimanyu then asked the same question also to Ashok.

Ashok “no, I have seen this man. Inspector, now two of my friends are dead, and you are wasting your time by questioning us?”

Abhimanyu “only time will whether we are wasting our time or inching closer to the truth.”

Ashok had nothing to say to this. He was though trembling inside and felt as if he is going to die then and there. Somehow he had managed to show no signs of the turmoil that he was going through. Now, the police had been invigorated into action and they were aggressively pursuing this case. As a result, Munna had all reasons to be scared and he made a mistake for which he had to pay with his life. He called Ashok.

Munna “Ashok sir, the police are onto me.”

Ashok “I know that. Let me think.”

Munna “if the police catch me, I am going to squeal everything to the police.”

Ashok “don’t panic. Meet me today behind my residence and I will give you some money, and you give me whatever evidence you have.”

Munna “okay, I will meet you by 8:30 p.m. tonight.”

After Munna had concluded his conversation and was coming out of his hideout, the police team that was searching him called out to him. Munna knew he could not outrun the police so he surrendered to the police. During his interrogation, he confessed everything to Inspector Abhimanyu.

Abhimanyu “tell us everything from the beginning”

Munna “it was Ashok sir, who had hired me to harass Nisha since the time she got her first modelling assignment.”

Abhimanyu “why?”

Munna “because of his ego. He had felt insulted and wanted to take revenge on Nisha for rejecting him not once but so many times.”

Abhimanyu “so what happened that night?”

Munna “I followed Nisha to her home and called Ashok sir from there. He told me that he would reward me handsomely for the job and asked me to leave. However, I decided to stay back and see what transpired in Nisha’s house.”

Abhimanyu “so you did not kill Nisha?”

Munna “of course not. I know who did it.”

Abhimanyu “who was it?”

Munna “it was Ashok sir himself. It was also Ashok sir who informed me that Nancy had my photograph in her phone and was looking for me.”

Abhimanyu enraged “you killed Nancy?”

Munna “yes.”

Abhimanyu was filled with rage and was about to personally manhandle Munna when he said that he has evidence of Ashok killing Nisha.

Abhimanyu “what evidence are you talking about?”

Munna “I have a recording of him stabbing Nisha on that night.”

Abhimanyu was now glad that he was confident of the assumption he had made about two killers. Munna also further confessed that Ashok had called him tonight at around 8:30 behind his residence to give him some money. In exchange, he wanted all the evidence against him to be turned over to him. Abhimanyu was having a difficult time trying to control his emotions. Snuffing out an innocent life just for ego-gratification was something he could not digest. Based on Munna’s testimony and evidence, the police went to arrest Ashok.

Ashok “you have no proof of whatever you are saying.”

Abhimanyu “Mr Ashok, we have Munna in custody and he has confessed to everything. He even has handed us the evidence he had against you.”

Ashok knew that there was no escape still he tried to resist. When Abhimanyu brought Munna in front of Ashok, he knew the game was over for him. So he bowed down and confessed to everything.

Abhimanyu “based on Munna’s confession and evidence and also by your confession, I hereby arrest you on the charges of murdering Nisha. Also, on charges of being an accomplice to the murder of Nancy and trying to escape the law.”

When the police had taken away Ashok, Abhimanyu looked up and said “Nancy, this is for you and Nisha. Justice has been served.” With that, he left with his team.

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