Inspector Nokul Hegde of Homicide Squad was in his Police vehicle with Sub Inspector Mubarak at his side.
It was late, around 12.45 a.m., the winter night was at its coldest but surprisingly the environment was absolutely clear- the dark night was dotted with stars – glittering like little diamonds set in black velvet casing.
This was a routine night patrol although the Inspector was more concerned about the police bandobast around the large mansion of the Industrialist- Hukumant Singh and his brother Samprant Singh. They had reported death threats fearing that one of their business rivals – Anangar Gupta – with known criminal background – would try to eliminate them.
With a special direction from the Police Commissioner, the Inspector felt that he would have to look around the mansion- himself.
After a careful reconnaissance of the large estate he told his Sub Inspector,” Everything seems to be OK but one cannot be more careful. Report to me if you see anything suspicious!”
At home, the Inspector was about to retire to bed when Mubarak called, his voice was perturbed.
“Sir, bad news!! Mr. Samprant has been found dead few minutes ago, mauled by some animal in his bedroom ….one of our constables guarding the gate no 2 saw a large dog enter from the side fence, it went in so fast in the shadows – we couldn’t understand that something was wrong! … “, he paused.
Inspector was listening silently, “Explain clearly!”
“Sir,” Sub Inspector continued, “…after the entry of that animal- about 3 to 4 minutes later we heard a scream and rushed to the house to find Mr Samprant lying on his bed, his throat ripped apart by that dog- it was seen jumping out of the bedroom window by another constable. “
Half an hour later the Inspector was in the mansion examining the body and the surrounding areas. One of the windows of the bedroom was open and it was clear that this was the entry-exit point of that animal.
He spoke to the constables but couldn’t learn more.
Hukumant was visibly shaken and not in any position to speak except that he saw nothing. The mansion had no other family member at that time except the servants.
Next morning, the Inspector was in a contemplative mood with Sub Inspector Mubarak sitting before him.
Mubarak was saying, “Why should a dog kill? Has that animal been trained by some person to kill? Who can that be? Or is it a chance event?” He looked at the Inspector enquiringly.
The Inspector frowned, “We will continue with our protection of Mr Hukumant but will be extra vigilant… I will speak to the Commissioner.”
He continued, “Find out about Anangar Gupta’s whereabouts last night and that of his family members. Do they have a dog? Report to me in the afternoon.”
Later Mubarak was reporting,” Sir, Anangar was in his house throughout last evening and night- didn’t go out at all. He has only one son- Rupendra, about 23 years of age, a no-good fellow- he is in the hospital for the last ten days. At present the wife is in USA. No other family member is in the city.”
The Inspector nodded absentmindedly, “Like I said-increase the vigilance around the mansion.”
Nothing happened during later days. With each passing day, the police alertness was getting slack. No further clue could be found. No progress was made.
That night it was drizzling slightly. Nokul Hegde after a strenuous day had returned home earlier than usual. He had plans to retire to bed shortly.
It was about 9.15 p.m.- his mobile rang- it was Mubarak. He was upset. “Sir, another attack of that dog has happened just minutes earlier. This time it is Mr Hukumant- we don’t know how it entered the building but as soon as we saw it coming out- we shot at it – couldn’t stop it- the animal jumped out of the side garden gate and ran on the slip road into the darkness. It is raining so we couldn’t see it properly; it must have disappeared in the adjoining woods”.
Nokul Hegde was furious. Evidently there had been lassitude on part of the police! He reached the spot in haste.
It was 9.50 p.m. and the rain had stopped by then. There was no street light on the slip road- however- with powerful police torches the place was fairly lit up.
He bent down inspecting the road- the paw marks of the dog on the wet road were evident – strangely they were much larger than usual. The drops of blood showed that the animal was wounded by the police bullet – most probably in one of its legs.
He walked on examining, but very curiously the marks suddenly disappeared! What happened? He swept his torch around- searching. There was no sign but strangely human foot marks had appeared – naked feet- turning right into the vegetation. No further marks were visible thereafter since thick carpet of fallen leaves had started. But one could see few drops of blood even on some of those leaves.
Sub Inspector looked at the Inspector in wonderment!
Next day morning Nokul Hegde came to his office and called for Mubarak, “This animal doesn’t seem to be a dog! It could be the same which we think had killed Samprant Singh… it may be a trained pet of some person who wants the Singh brothers dead. Now it has been injured- let’s find it fast. The logical way is to start searching from the premise of Anangar Gupta. Get the search warrants.”
He thought for a moment adding, “Also get the blood drop sample of that dog tested.”
That afternoon both the Inspector and the Sub Inspector made a search of Anangar’s house.
He was furious and threatened them, “Inspector this is downright insulting and I will file a complaint against you … I will make your life damned difficult…” He gritted his teeth and made threatening moves.
Unperturbed they conducted the search but nothing came out.
Later, they were back in the Police station. The Inspector was in deep thoughts – disappointments were part of his profession but perseverance was the key word. He browsed through the internet looking for some vital information on killer dogs.
After about an hour he called his Sub Inspector, “Let us meet Anangar’s Gupta’s son Rupendra in the City Hospital. We may get some clue. “
On the way Mubarak said, “Sir, I have an information- the owner of the City Hospital is a close friend of Anangar for many years; it is possible that he is a business partner- don’t know if it has any link in this case.”
Both were in the hospital room. Rupendra was on the bed, fully covered with a white sheet. There was no doctor or attendant as directed by the Inspector.
He was a large ugly man, dark skinned and had an unusually heavy voice. He was unshaven; thick facial and unkempt hair on his head gave him a grotesque appearance.
Upon the Inspector asking about his knowledge of the attacks on the Singh family, he appeared totally ignorant, “How can I know about those incidents when for last more than a month I have been hospitalized – moreover I have nothing to do with them. Have some sense, Inspector!”
The Inspector ignored him and went into graphic details about the killings, the animal and its leg injury by the police bullet.
He watched with narrowed eyes as Rupendra was showing impatience; not interested; his anger rising.
The Inspector leaned forward, “Now what have you to say?”
“I said I know nothing!! Get the hell out of here!!”
But he persisted, his face turning stern, “You are not co-operating with law… you will be in trouble…. tell me what is your health problem?” His voice rose dramatically.
“General weakness …” Rupendra retorted.
“That’s all then.” The Inspector quietened down, got up and started walking towards the door with Mubarak following.
Abruptly he turned back,” The nurse tells me that you have a leg injury, can I see your legs?” Swiftly he extended his arm to pull the white sheet.
At that instant Rupendra threw out the Inspector’s arm violently, “No… No… you can’t do that …. you son of a Bas…d”.
The Inspector glanced at Mubarak who with lightning speed pulled out the sheet…revealing a heavily bandaged right leg with traces of blood seeping out.
What followed was unexpected; Rupendra gave a deafening scream… which turned into the sound of an animal… a WOLF howling. Before their amazed eyes a transformation had started … his face was turning into animal like …his eyes were becoming narrow… hard and vicious …his ears pointed…. hair was appearing… on his arms …nails extending….
Both came out of the hospital room with alacrity; other constables held the door from the outside. Soon the door was locked.
The case then began to unravel!
Next day morning the Inspector was talking to his Sub Inspector; before him were the blood reports of the animal and that of Rupendra.
“The first thing which stuck me odd was that a wild animal was turning into a killer without any reason. And what was this animal, not a dog- but dog like, something more vicious and large which could be a wolf. The paw marks indicated that! I got this checked! Now, why should a wolf be roaming around in a city and seen at the same place twice at different time – killing two persons of the same house?”
He paused and continued, “This may seem totally unusual but when one thinks of killer wolves- transformation of humans into those animals and reverting to humans- comes to mind. This is known for ages. Could be tales of horrors but one cannot totally disbelieve them. The disappearing of wolf paws mark on the wet ground and appearance of human foot marks- that night- made me seriously think about this possibility.”
He got up.” If it is a transformed killer wolf which is originally a human who wants the death of the Singh brothers, then- who can that be? First name comes to our mind is that of their nemesis – Anangar Gupta! His house search yielded no clues. He is man who moves in public and we have heard nothing about any such problem associated with him.”
“Then I thought to check on his son, Rupendra- of whom not much is known although we know he is a delinquent. He is lodged in a hospital for a very long time. This hospital is conveniently owned by his father’s business partner- perhaps shielding him if he is involved in any criminal activity.”
He came back on his chair and crossed his legs. “The lucky break was – police had injured the animal with a bullet and it seemed that if there was a human involved then the injury would show on his leg too. We saw the injury on Rupendra’s leg. It could be proved to be a bullet injury.”
He picked up the two blood reports,” The blood of that injured wolf and Rupendra are matching which may also prove that they are the same.”
He smiled, “It helped that by our provocation we could witness the wolf transformation of Rupendra…. otherwise it would be difficult for anybody to believe us. Of course, the prosecution will have to convince the Judge. This would be the first of such case in the Indian criminal history!!”
Sub Inspector Mubarak stood up and saluted the Inspector.
23rd April 2017
AUTHOR’S NOTE; Although this is a fiction, in many parts of the world, through ages even from prehistoric times there had been incidents and persons who believed in such transformation of humans into werewolves and back to humans. On many occasions, criminal acts were carried out.