The last few statements of Arnab were very short. Parag, Vijay and Bishnu were sitting in the conference room and the small tape was on. The statement says:
“…..I am a good friend of Suchitra, the unmarried daughter of Sabyasachi and intended to marry her soon. I had no enemy in the household of Sabyasachi and had no idea why suddenly I fell sick. I ate exactly the same all the other invitees ate the other day….”.
Bishnu was scratching his slightly bald head – “See, the accident seems to be random. But murder attempt cannot be random, it must have some motive”.
Parag replied – “I agree Bishnu-da, but can you describe the yesterday’s events a bit clearly. I am still in the dark”.
Bishnu cleared his throat – “See, yesterday was the seventieth birthday of Sabyasachi Bannerjee, the retired judge who is now living in a mansion near Anandapur. All of his family members and some friends were present in that dinner party. The foods were served as usual and everybody enjoyed it. Just after the dinner, Sabyasachi got a business call and he went upstairs to attend it. In the meantime, everybody started enjoying the wine. After around ten minutes, Sabyasachi returned and started drinking. Just at that moment, Arnab started coughing and had a severe convulsion and vomiting. After realizing the seriousness, they called a doctor and he immediately transferred him to the nearby nursing home. His condition deteriorated since and according to the last news, he is in coma”.
Parag thought for a bit – “Any information about the family and people in the party?”
– “Yah. Sabyasachi had two sons and a daughter. His elder son is Subir, next is Sudhir. The only daughter is Suchitra, all of them were in the party. Arnab was invited there as a lover and would be husband of Suchitra. Moreover, Monica, the wife of Sabyasachi and another old friend Kritwika were present. The house has a few helpers working there, Lily, Pratima and cook Habib.”
Up to lunch things were as usual in the police station. Just around two o’clock, a phone call came through to the land line of officer in-charge, Bishnu Barat. The talk lasts for five minutes and then he called Vijay and Parag – “Loom boys, that guy, Arnab who was in the nursing home is no more. We have to consider it as homicide. Let us go the Sabyasachi’s house now and start our duty, ok?”
They came out and started driving towards Anandpur, “Bannerjee Villa” in ten minutes.
The police team reached “Bannerjee Villa” in another half an hour. Family members were present at the house. Parag, Bishnu and Vijay started the interrogation with a tape recorder on the table. First person to enter the room was Sabyasachi, then his sons, wife and house helpers. It took around four hours to finish the interrogation, all taped in two cassettes. After they finished, they had a small chitchat in the office room of Sabyasachi.
Parag and Bishnu entered into a big rectangular room. Sabyasachi was sitting in his chair near to a big wooden cabinet table. He said with a smiling face – “Come, come, have your sit. You had a long day, share some snacks with me”.
Parag looked around. It is obviously the sitting cum office room for Sabyasachi, at least five big cabinets full of bound law books, both civil and criminal placed beside the walls. The big table in front of Sabyasachi has a few cover files, writing pads and some pens and pencils on it. There is a big flat screen television mounted on the wall just opposite to the table. There is a full size sofa cum bed at a corner of the room and at least four chairs just opposite to the table. Parag understood that Sabyasachi might still be doing some consultancy works professionally.
Bishnu started some small chat with Sabyasachi, Parag was thinking. As they settled in their seat, Habib came with a tray containing some hot patty and coffee. Parag noticed that the big wall clock in the room was showing five o’clock. Almost the whole day they spent in the interrogation and Parag felt hungry. He and Bishnu started their conversation and food together.
Parag took a bite and said – “Mr. Bannerjee, can I ask you how did you get Habib as your cook? We have heard that he is convicted criminal…”.
Sabyasachi coughed a bit, took a sip in the coffee cup and then said – “I did what I thought fair”.
– “What does that mean?”
– “When I was a judge in Goa high court, I gave him a twenty year jail term. When he finished his term he had nowhere to go, so I offered him what he does best, cooking”.
– “Oh, that means you gave him jail term and later you gave him his profession back. That is fairness to you?”
– “Yes. It is an individual decision”.
“Fine, fine …”, Parag took a big bite of the patty and after a nice sip of coffee, he said – “So, how did you get Lily? She looks rather sophisticated for a house maid”.
– “See, I always take my house maids from a company. They offered the ladies after a thorough background check. If something happens like petty theft, I simply complain to that company, that’s all. But one thing, she is actually housekeeper or governess here, not maid. She helps me in my mails and small office works besides managing the household. She definitely needed some basic education.”
– “I see. Is it same for Pratima?”
– “Same. But from another company, nearer to my house, I would say local. I have heard that She is from a good family but unfortunately her father died very early, so she had to start working.”
– “What is your honest opinion about your sons? Can they actually harm Arnab? I am sure you will admit that both of them actually hated Arnab.”
Sabyasachi smiled a bit – “I must admit that You did your job well. Yes, my sons never liked Arnab, but that is for their own reasons. I am sure you know that well. Subir, my eldest son, is not a physically violent but a clever and shrewd guy. And Sudhir … hmm, he has some problems. He is alcoholic and ill tempered but doing things with a lot of planning, hmm … I guess that is beyond him. But I have to admit that he does not have regular income and surely he is frustrated!”.
Parag waited a bit, waited for the statement of Sabyasachi to sink a bit and then said – “I have heard through interrogation that you had a strong disagreement with your younger son, Sudhir. What was it all about?”.
– “Look, those are too personal to tell. But I am sure you have heard something. In general, I can say it is property related, typical Hindu family problem and of course he was against Suchitra marrying Arnab”.
– “Do you have problem with his life style or profession?”
– “Hell yes. I never liked his study of arts, he studied it against my will. I was against his daily boozing habits. He had cocaine addiction in his college days, somehow got rid of it. Myself and Sudhir had difference in opinion in all aspects of life”.
– “What sort of wine you like?”
– “I prefer red wine. But Monica and Subir like white bubbly. I think Arnab also liked red wine”.
– “We heard that there is a strict rule that wine will be served in a specific manner. What was it?”
Sabyasachi laughed a bit – “Your interrogation is really thorough. That is actually nothing. I made clear to everybody that I preferred to be present when wine would be served. And it will be in sequential order … first Monica, then me, then anybody sitting next to me and so on…just to show a little bit of respect, you see. Monica and my seat is always side by side in the dining table”.
“Wonderful”, Parag shook his head, then asked again – “Why did you like Arnab? Apart from reasonably rich, it seems that he did not posses any special quality?”
– “I agree. See, he was trying sincerely to do well in his profession but lacked skill. His father was a very good investment banker and their family posses a well managed consultancy firm. Perhaps you know that he invested some of my money and lost it in share market. Most importantly, I wanted my daughter to be in safe hands, at least economically…. if you understand what I mean”.
“Got it”, Parag stood up – “So, you don’t suspect anybody in your family then?”
Sabyasachi relaxed in his chair after a long time, looked blankly towards Parag and said – “I can’t really accuse anybody without any proof being a past judge and I must admit I don’t have any proof. But certainly it seems it is insider job …”.
Parag almost finished his interrogation, he stopped and looked towards Bishnu. Bishnu started some small talk with Sabyasachi. Parag was sitting and watching Sabyasachi and the room. He noticed a very old diary on the table. Just by reflex he put his hand on the diary and looked towards Sabyasachi. Sabyasachi nodded, Parag started looking the diary. It was a collection of old news paper cuttings pasted on the pages. Almost all the cuttings are of Sabyasachi in different stages of his working life, as a judge, as lawyer etc. It started from his college days and gone up to his advanced age. Some cuttings are highlighted, some are just pasted, Parag flicked a few pages and looked to the pictures attentively but did not find any special trend or suspicious thing. After a few minutes, he lost his interest in the diary and left it on the table. By that time, Bishnu finished his conversation.
Parag and Bishnu walked out of the main building and strolled slowly towards the police car standing just outside the main gate. By that time, forensics team already departed with all the materials collected from the building and from different rooms. Just at the entrance, Parag stood a bit and walked back to the security person standing at the gate. He spoke softly for a few minutes with him and then slowly walked back to the car. The car started moving slowly to the main road.
It was in the conference room, Parag was reading the postmortem report, Bishnu and Vijay was sitting with tea cups and other printed papers related to this case. The post mortem report says:
“The death of Arnab Ray is unnatural. Clear indication of poison has been found. The poison has been administered through the food but specifically cannot be said with which food, but possibly with wine as the symptom started just after taking one or two sips from the glass. The effects of poison is rather fast as the toxicity was very strong. More tests are presently being carried out to ascertain the nature of the poison, but initial tests suggests it is in the family of acotinum”.
Vijay was talking with his typical tea cup in his left hand – “Then, if somebody from the house did this, can it be Sudhir?”
Parag had his coffee cup, he replied – “We have to wait for the forensic report, but loosely some hints suggests it could be Sudhir”.
Bishnu was talking in landline, he finished the talk and said – “By the way, forensic report will come after two o’clock, today. Can we discuss a bit about the case? … my first question is: why Sudhir? Is it because he was bitter about Arnab or he went to kitchen in the evening?”
– “Sure. Now, we have the full interrogation tape. We heard it twice today. I must admit, there are many questions. I said about Sudhir because he is alcoholic, needed money. Also, he went to the kitchen that evening to meet Pratima. Why? Naturally, questions will be raised. Sudhir used to supply homeopathic medicine for Sabyasachi, at the same time he had a very bad relationship with Arnab for his proximity to Suchitra. People do terrible things when they are alcoholic and angry. Isn’t it?”
Parag stopped a bit, smiled and said – “See, it is too early now. I am not sure that he is the killer. But everybody said he was bitter about Arnab. Also he passed something to Pratima, what was it? It might be the poison, who knows? These things need to be clarified. I think I will go back to talk to those guys later”.
Vijay remarked – “We have to see how desperate Sudhir was. I mean people might get angry but doesn’t kill just like that”.
Bishnu supported – “Exactly, but things do not look good for Sudhir”.
Parag took another sip and said – “But it is not only anger. Other angels are also there. Sudhir does not have a good income, he desperately needs his father’s property, I mean his share. Sabyasachi was giving double share to Arnab and Suchitra, what about that motive?”
– “I would say, that is a strong motive. Only his share might go more than a few crores in current market”.
Bishnu had a big yawn and said – “Ok, wait a few hours, let the forensics report come, then we can take a decision. Let us do our regular job now.”
Parag looked towards Bishnu – “Bishnu-da, I need a thorough back ground check for everybody in the house and also other guests that night….there jobs, past activities, banking, friend circle etc. I also want their telephone transcript for the last six months.
Bishnu smiled – “I am already working on it. Sent one urgent email to Lalbazar about the demand today morning. I am pretty sure they have alerted cyber crime branch and other branches. Telephone companies are being informed.”
– “I need one guy to watch that building 24 hours, I mean “Bannerjee Vila”. Can we do it?”
– “You bet”.
They are all waiting, waiting for long and waiting eagerly. The forensic report came a bit late, after three o’clock. But what a letdown …! It is as clear as water or say purple. It is aconite, found in a small bottle of paint. From where? Where else, from the roof top bed room cum studio of Sudhir. Parag stood up immediately – “Vijay, we must make a move. Let’s go…”.
Bishnu interjected – “Is it anything definite, Parag?”
Parag was in a hurry, he replied – “See, I am not sure. Unless he is very stupid, he will not keep the bottle in his room. Also, just a poison bottle in Sudhir’s room is not everything. We have to prove he mixed it himself or used somebody else to mix it. We need to find his motive, that is the most important. Now, I better go and talk to him”.
In a few minutes with small tape recorder and pen and pad, both Parag and Vijay jumps into a police car. On the way Parag called Sudhir by his cell phone.
Parag knocked the door – “Sudhir-babu …”.
After a while, door opened, Sudhir came out with a kurta and pyjama – “Oh, Mr. Chatterjee, come in, I was expecting you …come Vijay”.
They entered into the room, it was a big room but maintained very badly. Bed is at the corner of the room and is completely in disarray. Bed sheet is creased here and there, some spots of tea or coffee is easily visible. Three chairs are placed here and there in the room, one big old wooden almirah is placed near the wall. It is not maintained well, patches of discoloring can be seen. Near the window, there is a big table with lots of small bottles containing colors for paintings. There is a big canvas near the wall on a wooden mount. Evidently Sudhir was working on that painting. Obviously it is not really an art work, it is poster of a product type thing which we see on the roadside as advertisements of industrial products or for a movie. Parag looked around the room for a few minutes, Sudhir brought two plastic chairs for Vijay and Parag to sit.
Parag started with a paper in his hand – “Sudhir, I have to say that the forensics report is bad for you. The aconite bottle has been found from the materials taken from your room”.
Sudhir was standing in front of Parag and Vijay near a chair, his face color immediately changed initially a bit reddish and immediately started to become pale. He could not stand anymore, slowly he sat down on the chair, looking towards Parag – “What does that mean?”
Parag cleared his throat to be less aggressive – “Look, this is no way any finality of the case. I am, as the officer in-charge, will give you a chance to explain”.
Sudhir just sat for a minute, still. Then said in a low voice – “I have absolutely no idea. I even don’t know which bottle was it”.
Parag brought a file with him. He took a few printed paper in his hand – “Have a look …”. He gave Sudhir a few papers of colored photos. He looked a bit confused but had a long look and said – “I generally have lots of bottle of powder or concentrated color, some solutions and spirit. I make my own color for painting. This one may be one such bottle”.
Parag looked towards the table, still quite a few finished and half finished bottles are there, they all look similar. He said softly – “Can you identify this bottle?”
– “Not specifically. A few such bottles with chemicals or spirit were always there on my table. May be one of them …”.
– “Do you think anybody planted that bottle?”
– “Not sure but people always come and go inside my room. I never lock my room”.
– “Why? Is it not your own room?”
– “Yes. But nobody in my family has any interest in art. Also, I don’t have any costly materials except my art instruments in this room. So why bother …”.
– “Do you suspect anybody?”
– “Honestly nobody likes me in my family. I had a big fight with my dad, I had fight with Arnab and Suchitra. Living in this house is hell. My brother does not like me either, they are all against my painting, for them that is a very undignified job. What can I say?”
– “Do you think you are framed by somebody?”
– “Not too sure, but who will frame me and why? If that is the case then somebody hated Arnab even more than myself, isn’t it?”
Parag also appreciated this view. If somebody framed Sudhir just to escape jail term, then he or she hated Arnab so deeply that they had to kill him. The other view point: that someone killed Arnab just to frame Sudhir so that he goes to jail … is virtually impossible.
Parag kept silent for a bit, he looked thoughtful. Vijay was looking around in the room. After a few minutes, Parag said – “Look Sudhir, the situation is a bit odd. There must be some people who enters into your room, like say the cleaners etc. Was there anybody from outside? For example, how do you contact your employers to ask something? Even, how do they check your progress of work?”
Sudhir thought for a bit – “See, I am working for two to three companies for a few years. I do have good raport with them. But in such cases, they rarely send some guys to discuss about our work … we generally talk by phone. By the way, just as you mentioned, recently I had a visitor, I mean a lady from a company, later they denied that when I called them. Completely forgot the incident…”.
– “Recently means what, in the last one or two days? A lady?”
– “Oh yes, two to three days before the death of Arnab. The lady came to enquire about the progress of the work, also supplied some paints which are difficult to get.”
– “Is it normal that companies send their people to enquire….I mean a lady in this art business?”
Sudhir thought for a while with curled eye brows, then said in a confused voice – “Not really. As I said, either we talk by phone or meet them in their office”.
– “I see, so this is a bit abnormal, can I say that?”
– “I would say so”.
– “Can you describe the incident?”
– “Sure. Actually I got a call in the morning that day, the lady asked for a time to visit and assessment of my work for a famous corporate. She also suggested to bring some special paints that is imported. I agreed and asked her around eleven in the morning”.
– “Which day?”
– “I think two days before the sad incident”.
– “Describe me the full incident of visit”.
– “She came a bit late on that day, just before twelve. She just had a look at my work, suggested something, gave me some bottles of paints. I guess that’s it, the discussion was over in half an hour. She left then”.
– “How did she come here? By company car or ….?”
– “No. It is a bit surprise, I had to call OLA cab for her return. I guess she came also by cab”.
– “Anything you feel odd? Was she conversant with art?”
– “Not that much. I guess she was from the management, did not know much about paintings. For me a bit odd was that she was wearing a gloves in her hand, considering it was not winter at all. But she said that she did not like any spilling of paints in her hand and her skin was sensitive to chemicals which of course sometimes may happen”.
– “How did she look like?”
– “Hmm … I guess good. She wore full sleeve garments, but her face was fair, of course with heavy make-up. She had a long hair but her head and part of the face was covered with a colored handkerchief … rather fashionable.”
– “That’s interesting. Have you got her mobile number?”
“Yes”, Sudhir offered a small piece of paper with a number written on it. Parag immediately called that number and got the answer “that number is not in service”. Parag took the piece of paper and took the company name the lady represented. Parag thought for a bit, then said – “I will go now. But Sudhir, I would remind you that you are a suspect. Actually the only suspect at this moment. So don’t leave Kolkata at this moment of time, inform police in the case of any travel. Is it ok?”
Sudhir shook his head, Parag and Vijay left Sudhir’s room and walked down the corridor and went swiftly to Sabyasachi’s office.
Sudhir and Vijay talked about half an hour with Sabyasachi and left for the police station.
It was a Thursday morning, around eleven o’clock. Parag, Bishnu and Vijay sat in the small conference room to discuss about the background reports that had come. Sabyasachi was an influential man, so Lalbazar police station officers and cyber cell people helped inspector Bishnu a lot in getting the background reports urgently. At this moment, all three officers had bunch of papers in their hand on which they are investing their deep concentration.
After a few minutes, Bishnu changed his sitting posture, looked to his colleagues and said – “ahmm, hello guys, how do you feel? Can we start?”
Parag and Vijay looked towards Bishnu and shook their head.
– “Let’s start one by one. What about Sabyasachi? How do you feel?”
Parag scratched his forehead a bit, thought for a while and said – “Yah, I have read his profile. I think he is a typical Bengali man with professional success. He is forceful, I would say dominating personality, still has connection with upper class people and very proud for that.”
– “What about his chances of killing Arnab?”
– “It is difficult to consider him as a suspect, of course we cannot rule him out completely. But what could be the motive? Arnab was his ‘would be’ son-in-law, and he was more or less ok with that. It is more like he was rather happy that Suchitra got a hubby like him. Isn’t it?”
Vijay was eating his pre-lunch snacks, he said – “I think it is more likely the other guys in the family who are actually against the marriage”.
Bishnu accepted – “Yes, it is true. But Arnab actually lost some money of Sabyasachi, isn’t it? May be some hidden anger …!”
Parag shook his head – “Possible, can’t rule that out. Though how he could arrange poison would be the key to explore that angle”.
– “Absolutely. Actually we are exploring some more links of Sabyasachi, let’s see. Did you see the background profile of his eldest son, Subir?”
– “Oh yah, very interesting. He told us during interrogation that he was basically an administrative guy. But actually he studied Chemistry, joined the medical firm ‘Cadila’ and now working as a manager. He was not fully open the other day”.
“That means he is actually close to chemicals. Might arrange some dangerous chemicals as well …”, Vijay said looking towards Parag.
– “True, that is why I said his profile was interesting. We need more information”.
Bishnu scratched his head a bit and said – “Look, Subir got his job through Sabyasachi. One senior manager of Cadila was known to Sabyasachi, he arranged an easy entry for Subir, though that guy retired now. So, we can safely assume that Subir has enough freedom in the office to grab small amount of chemicals as well”.
Parag put a mark on the paper – “That’s a good point. Also, we need to understand how the poison entered the house. If it was Subir then I guess that he did not bring it with him but passed in some other way…using somebody else”.
– “I also agree. Moreover, according to Pratima or Lily, he did not enter into the kitchen. So how did he mix the poison in the wine glass? Of course, Pratima or Lily may lie as well”
-“ He has got motives too. He did not like Arnab get a big chunk of the property, especially he himself was a rich man, isn’t it?”
– “Very true, possibilities are many. The fact that Subir can put his hand on poison is very serious, we must track him. who is next?”
“May be Suchitra? Can we leave her?” , Vijay joined.
– “No but we have to find her motive. Will this act give her any benefit?”, Bishnu questioned.
At this time, helper entered the room through the closed door with coffee cups. Everybody took their cup, Parag took a sip and said – “Suchitra seems to be more well off when Arnab is alive. Think carefully, with Arnab she gets more share of her dad’s property. Also after marriage she will join the family of Arnab, so why she will kill Arnab? She has no benefit from it”.
– “So, shall we strike her out?”
– “I guess we just keep a tab on her for next two week, that’s it.”
– “Next is probably Sudhir, we already had some discussion on him”.
– “yes, he is our main man. He had long term dispute with Arnab, he was dead against Arnab marrying Suchitra, he was dead against Arnab getting extra property. Only thing, he is an artist, how could he possibly manage to get poison? That is not easy for him.”
– “Also, he went to kitchen to meet Pratima. Why? Is it to hand over poison?”.
Parag kept quite a bit, then said – “We have to be careful here. If that is true then Pratima is also an accomplice, right? So, we need to prove it, also we need a confession that she put poison herself. Finally, we had a hint that Sudhir had a soft corner for Pratima, how deep we don’t know but something is there. Also, if it is Pratima then whether she put something in the wine glass knowing it as poison or without knowing it….just assuming it as homeopathic medicine”
– “God, that makes thing complicated. Just getting the poison bottle is not enough”.
– “No, no, as I said earlier. If they put good lawyer for Sudhir he will definitely raised a simple question: anybody in the house can plant the bottle in his bedroom. We have to prove that he had put the poison himself or with the help of somebody. But he had a strong motive…”.
– “So put a 24h surveillance, right?”
– “Sure, I also need all telephone surveillance as well for everybody in that building. Bishnu-da, can you do that?”
– “No problem, need some phone calls to Lalbazar. Also I am in the process of getting telephone conversation transcripts for the last ten days”.
– “Oh, that’s brilliant, who is next?”
– “I would say, Monica…”
Vijay was sipping coffee, said in a casual voice – “But how come she be involved…?”.
Parag smiled a bit – “No, no, just for the sake of completeness. Monica said that she was not close to any of the family members. So I guess she did not like Arnab either. But what about the angle of property? She would also like to get more, is it not?”
– “Yes, but how would get poison?”
– “Good point, that will be difficult for her. But say, through some connection? I am sure she is socially highly connected.”
Bishnu looked to Parag – “Extremely well connected. My initial report suggests that she has a big friend circle in Kolkata. She is a regular visitor of social events”.
Vijay said – “Also, it sounds odd, but how about a connection with Subir? I mean, if they colluded together to bring poison to the kitchen, then? Also, Monica visited kitchen on that night, arranged the serving of wine after dinner…”
Parag looked impressed – “No question, good idea and a possibility. But need proof. Actually we need to get more info about what happened in the kitchen that night. Somebody knows something more than what they said …. but who is that person?”
Bishnu knocked his finger on the table twice and said – “You mean Pratima and Lily, isn’t it? Habib was mostly busy in Kebabs and other main dishes. By the way, did you read the profile of Habib?”
Parag nodded – “Yes, surprising, very surprising. He served twenty years in jail for murder and still got a job in a judge’s house. Bishnu-da, I need to know about that case, is it possible to get details?”
– “Things are being arranged, just give me a couple of days, need to search the archive of old cases. Let’s talk about Pratima and Lily, what is your assessment?”.
– “Pratima seems to be a simple lady, had some financial problem so came in this profession. She might have some connection with Sudhir but importantly she handled the serving of wines to the guests. So she had a possibility of mixing poison, if Sudhir is the real guy. Remember Sudhir went twice in the kitchen. Now the question is, why?”
– “Somebody said he had interests in cooking but that might be a lie. Now what about Lily?”
– “To me, Lily is much more sophisticated a lady to work in this household, but again, nobody knows the odd situations she might have faced in life. She looked intelligent and capable of doing something, but what could be the motive?”
– “May be she did not work alone, can it be?”
– “Possible, but then another question comes up: with whom had she worked? Also, that person with whom Lily worked together must have some anger against Arnab, is it not?”
Bishnu made a frustrating sound – “Hmmm, things get complicated. But, say two persons in the same family can work together. For example, Monica and Subir or Subir and Lily, what about that? Lily or Monica has access to kitchen, Subir can provide poison, is it a rational theory?”.
Parag took a last sip and said – “Bishnu-da, absolutely brilliant. We must think about all the possibilities and consider everybody as suspect. We need to watch everybody in that house, keep tabs on both home and mobile telephone. See, it is a murder and a murder always has some motive. We must wait and watch, we are bound to get some link to work on”.
Next two days, Parag remained very busy in his office, mostly on the telephone and writing emails to his colleagues and contacts in Lalbazar. In the meantime some more information came about the background checks, banking activities and telephone transcripts of the family members of Sabyasachi. From Bishnu’s room, all the papers are passed to Parag and Vijay, two investigating officers. One day lunch time, after lunch, Parag came to Bishnu’s room – “Bishnu-da, I need to visit Kumar Dutta, the friend of Sabyasachi in his residence. I believe you understand why, whatever reports we receive about him is rather sketchy and it seems we need to look into his residence. Also I need to visit Lily as well, just for a check.”
Bishnu agreed – “I agree. Just go ahead, you and Vijay are the two investigating officers. Good luck.”
Parag took his usual gadgets, informed Vijay and both of them went out with the police car. They returned the same day around quarter to six, almost four hours later. He went straight to Bishnu’s room – “Bishnu-da, the visit was interesting, I will tell you later. Now, I want some information about a news report very urgently….”.
Parag took out a small diary, his secret one, copied a date and news paper name on a blank paper and said – “Boss, send somebody to either national library or possibly to the publisher of this news paper and find out the reports published on this date. It is really urgent …”.
Bishnu nodded and took the piece of paper from Parag.
The next day passed without any special events. But late in the day, around five o’clock a phone call came to Parag. He received the call, talked a bit, then hung up. Bishnu was sitting just besides, he said – “What, Parag, any new development?”
– “Lily left the job today morning. Sabyasachi accepted her resignation”.
– “We will see. But I don’t want to be late, let arrange a meeting tomorrow in Sabyasachi’s house with all his family members. Bishnu-da, will you kindly call Sabyasachi and arrange that? If it is possible, say just after lunch, around two o’clock….!”
Vijay was sitting and eating some nuts, without understanding he looked on. Bishnu called directly to Sabyasachi and talked for five minutes, then stopped to talk to Parag – “Hey, shall we call Kumar Dutta as well?”
Parag was taking some nuts, replied – “Sure, he was also invited in the party, so…”.
Bishnu talked for some more minutes. Then they took the liberty to stop for the day. Vijay and Parag left the police station for an evening stroll in a big super market.
Next day at around two o’clock, all the players assembled in the same room where some days ago one special part of a theatre had been played out. All the Bannerjee family clan, Sabyasachi, Monica, Subir, Sudhir, Suchitra were sitting in one side of a big dining table. Mr. Kumar Dutta with a green Punjabi and while kurta with his typical dark glasses was sitting a bit separately but on the same side of the Bannerjee clan. The cooks and helpers Habib and Pratima was standing near the door. All the police personnel like Parag, Bishnu and Vijay was sitting on the other side of the table, some other police officers were standing just outside the room in the corridor. Snacks and coffee were served and already was enjoying the food, just at that point Parag made a long sip in his cup, put his right hand on a blue file in front of him and stood up.
Parag cleared his throat and started – “I am sorry to all of you but I had to convene this meeting. There was a bad incident that happened a few days ago and there must be some closure to that”.
Sabyasachi was lietening silently, he said – “You mean, you have found out the culprit?”
Parag smiled – “See, now a days, instead of catching a person by some magic, nowadays we recreate the crime scene. I mean we reconstruct all the crime incidents step by step, like a jigsaw puzzle and if the theory becomes flawless, we get our man. It of course comes after some iterations, some assumptions….”.
– “Very nice, ….eager to listen”.
Parag made another sip and continued – “We all know that the victim is Arnab. Now we need to identify the motiv. Why he was murdered….! We talked to everybody in this family and made some back ground check. Initially, we found several target persons who were in some way or other angry to Arnab.”
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