Shot Dead – Episode 6

 

RECAP:

Industrialist Shravan Ram’s wife Sudha is dead. Detective Chatur Nath is given the case. As Shravan’s family is his prime suspect, he investigates his family members first. While investigating the watchman, his suspicion on Mythili , Shravan’s sister increases. He goes to Sudha’s house again in looking for much-needed evidence.

 

Episode 6

Chatur spotted a shallow pit not more than 5 inches deep amid the bushes. It was covered with organic wastes such as vegetable peels and dried leftover food. But Chatur, being as observant as he was would not miss to notice what was concealed beneath this. An object was shining in the broad daylight. He knelt to take a closer look. There was a knife, which had a thin layer of dried blood, reddish brown in colour, covering the edge of it. Chatur picked it up carefully using his handkerchief and handed it over to one of the constables to be sent for forensic analysis.

He wanted to check if the DNA in the blood matched Sudha’s. He was pretty sure that it would. He also wanted to check if there were any fingerprints in the knife. “If there are, then its checkmate”, he thought. Chatur’s mind was screaming “Give me more!” If a waste pit could give him a huge breakthrough, so should a any other place.

Then, almost involuntarily, he went into Sudha’s room. He had not cared much about it in his earlier visit because there had not been any crime scene evidence found here. And even Chatur’s eyes had spotted nothing.

“Even my eyes have become over-confident. Be clever Chatur, not complacent”, he told himself.His mind was flooded with thoughts just like how Sudha’s room was filled with books.

Almost the entire room was filled with novels of all kinds: crime, science fiction, romance and what not. “It will not be surprising even if the murderer had killed for stealing these books. The murderer could have made a lot of money. What a novel idea it would be!” Chatur thought and smiled to himself.

Being absent minded, he lost his balance over the rug and slipped. Thankfully, there was the book shelf within the reach and he grabbed on to it for balance, knocking down a few books on the other side of the shelf. Chatur walked around. There were two books on the ground. One was closed and the other was opened and upside down. He sighed and picked them up. That’s when he got his next clue.

“Got anything for us, Chatur?” the commissioner asked in his usual baritone.

“Yes, I got something for you sir. And it’s ….”

“May I come in sir?” Someone interrupted.

“Yes, come in”, said the commissioner.

“The post-mortem report is ready sir” a constable said and handed it over to the commissioner. He saluted and left the office. The commissioner’s attention shifted to the report.

“ The murder and the cut have occurred more or less at the same time. And hold on a second, it could be suicide after all.”

“Why do you say that sir?” Chatur was visibly shocked.

“The report says that Sudha had taken an overdose of anti-depressant drugs, usually prescribed to control anxiety and depression. These drugs, when taken in amounts larger than the suggested amount, can cause hallucinations which may lead to suicide. So, this may be sufficient to close the case”.

“You officers are always keen on closing a case. Why can’t you open up to a world of possibilities?” Chatur said. He added: “I suggest you don’t jump to conclusions till the fingerprint result comes from the forensics lab”.

“What?”

Chatur then told him about the knife he had found in the pit.

“Oh this is interesting. So, this is what you were about to say earlier?”

“Yes, and I have another thing to show you. I have a strong hunch that that will help us solve the case.”

The commissioner became excited. “What is it?” his eagerness was showing.

Chatur showed him a photo. It was a photo of Sudha, who looked a bit younger, along with a tall, handsome man.

“Who is this guy, Chatur?”

“I don’t know yet, sir. And we also don’t know how he’s related to Sudha”.

“How did you get this, young man?” “Young men never run out of ideas”, Chatur remarked .

Chatur told him how he found out the photo from the book ‘Echoes of the past’ which had fallen down when he skidded.The commissioner nodded.

“I am intrigued about this”, he said.

“What’s our next move?”

“Shravan.”

When Chatur went on to meet Shravan, he was not at his office. Chatur was redirected to another place where supposedly a party was being hosted .

“A party? Again?” Chatur thought. When he reached the place – Chembian Enterprises – the sun was dying. The moon had already started peeking. All the men in that building were in suits and seemed to have some work – they were either carrying files or going to take files. The receptionist told him to take stairs for the party. After climbing six floors, he reached the terrace. He looked around for any sign of Shravan. It wasn’t difficult as there he was in the limelight, drunk and in a sound argument with another man. Few seconds later, Chatur found out that they were arguing about Sudha.

 

You can read the previous and the next  episodes by clicking on the respective links :

Episode 5

Episode 7

 

Shot dead – is an exclusive bilingual crime novel series, jointly written by Swathi Mohan and Anirudh Ramesh (English) and Arun Balaji, Kishore and K.Pavithra (Tamil).