Shot Dead – Episode 12





Industrialist Shravan Ram’s wife Sudha is murdered. The case is given to detective Chatur Nath. He starts with investigating her family. He finds the awaited clues around her house after searching. He then learns Sudha and Shravan’s other side from their friends. After that, he goes on to meet Sudha’s ex Srinivas whose wife reveals more shocking information. Now, Chatur is closer to the murderer.

Episode 12:

The girls were playing outside their house as usual with a magnet. He walked towards them. There was no one around. On seeing Chatur, the girls wondered where his motorcycle was. But, they didn’t run inside to fetch their mother.

“Where is your mother?” he asked.

“She has gone out” they replied.

“What are you doing with the magnet?”

“We are playing.”One of them said.

“They attract. See?” another said and demonstrated. Chatur acted as if he was amazed.

“Can I have it?”

The girls looked at each other and shook their head. “We had two magnets but lost one. So we won’t give this to anyone”

“Where did you lose the other one?”

“We don’t know. We kept one in our kitchen and another one in our father’s shirt pocket. Because, if they are kept together, they kept attracting each other. But then we lost one. Our mother said that it had jumped from our father’s pocket and run away.”

“Because the room stinks” another girl said pinching her nose and giggled.

Chatur laughed. “I am a policeman aren’t I? I’ll find it for you. Can you tell me how your magnet looks like?”

“It will be black and has  an ‘S’ on it”

“What? ‘S’?”

“We wrote our first letter on our magnets to differentiate them easily. My name is Shivapriya. So I wrote ‘S’. I even drew a small flower”

“Who are they?” another girl asked, pointing to something behind him. Chatur found out that her name was Kavipriya.

Chatur turned back to see the auto driver and two other policemen he had brought along.

“They are my friends. Now, see. I’ll do some magic and bring back your magnet” he said a few funny words and pulled out a magnet from his pocket. The girls gasped in amazement and checked the magnet. It had a lean, white ‘S’ mark and a small messy doodle which they called flower.

“Yay” they jumped up and down. Chatur kept talking with the children till Nandhini arrived.

“What is happening here?” Nandhini seemed to be angry. Chatur sent the children away.

“I am arresting your husband Vinayak for murdering Sudha” Chatur said.

“We have arrested Vinayak Ram with the clues. He still has to open his mouth about his hand in the murder.” Chatur was summoned to the commissioner office. Shravan and Nadhini were also present to defend Vinayak.

“What clues, sir?” Nandhini cried. “Sir, he is lying. He didn’t tell me any reason till now. He broke into my home and took away our things without consent. My husband is innocent.”

“Patience Mrs Nandhini. Chatur, explain yourself” the commissioner said.

“Sir, may I have some water? My mouth is dry due to Mrs. Nandhini’s astonishing hospitality” Chatur said coolly and he drank the water kept on the commissioner’s table. Shravan glared. “Sir, when I reached Madras from Bangalore, I suspected the auto driver for going to Shravan’s area which hardly had any houses. When I was investigating, I found this in the auto.” Chatur said and showed it.

“A magnet? What’s the big…?” Shravan asked but Chatur cut in, “It is a big deal. This is the magnet which Nandhini’s daughters had kept in Vinayak’s shirt pocket but went missing. The kids themselves said all this and we have recorded it. The driver confirmed that Vinayak was the one who hired his auto to drop him near Sudha’s house on the 23rd”

“Just with that…”

“Wait Mr Shravan” the commissioner said, “Chatur, you continue.” Chatur winked at Shravan who kicked the air in disappointment.

“The kids also said that Mrs Nandhini had gone out to the police station to complain about her missing gold chain. Is this yours?” Chatur asked taking a thin gold chain from his file along with a receipt. “Your husband had sold it in the pawn shop. The receipt is the proof.” He handed the receipt over to the commissioner, who nodded as he read it. “He had got Rs 4000 for the chain. I don’t know how he spent it. But it must have helped in this murder somehow.”

Nandhini cried. Chatur stopped to give her some moment. But Shravan didn’t. He kept on asking how it would connect Vinayak with the murder.

Chatur continued, “Most importantly, I had noticed the blood stain on Vinayak’s shirt on the very first day. Mrs Nandhini told some other reason but I had a forensic test with the blood stain and it matched with Sudha’s. I have the report for that too” he said, taking out that report from his file. “I waited for all these proofs and only then I arrested Vinayak. So I had brought only the shirt from their house. Any more questions?”

Nandhini sobbed in the end of her saree. Shravan was somewhat convinced but he stood in between avenging Sudha’s murder and defending Vinayak.

“My brother had no motive to kill Sudha” Shravan said suddenly.

“We have to find the motive yet. If your brother opens his mouth, it will be easy”

Chatur reached his home by noon. The case didn’t end till he found the motive. When he entered the house, Gayathri was nowhere to be seen. He searched everywhere around the house; she wasn’t there. Panicked, he went to his neighbour’s house.

“Gayathri suddenly had pain. My wife has taken her to the hospital” the neighbour said.

Chatur drove to the hospital. He met the neighbour’s wife at the reception.

“Sir! They are asking for sign…”

“I’ll take care. Thank you” his voice was shaky. The nurse came with a few papers for him to sign. He didn’t waste time reading it. His heart was pounding heavily on hearing her screams. He wanted to be with her. But the doctors didn’t let him. He strolled up and down the corridors for a few minutes. At last, the nurse came out and said, “Mr Chatur Nath, it is a baby girl. Congratulations.”

Two days passed. Chatur spent all his time with his wife and his child. The case was no longer in his mind.

“Let the police work for their salary” Chatur thought.

“Sir, Can you go out? She has to feed the child” the nurse shooed him out. He went on to read the newspaper in the reception. As soon as he opened the newspaper, he read:

Industrialist Shravan Ram’s wife Sudha was killed by his brother Vinayak Ram who told the police yesterday that Sudha cheated him in business and got all his property.
“I had always wanted to start a business. Sudha tricked me into getting into one. Since Nandhini didn’t like Sudha, I kept it as secret. For a couple of months, the business was profitable. But then I lost all my property. Just a month back, I found out that Sudha was behind my loss. She had everything under her name. Because of the loss, I had lost my respect. I went to threaten her and to get back my property…
she showed me the pistol and said I had no proof… Then… I…”
He coughed continuously. Then he began spitting blood and was taken to the hospital. Police says he had consumed drugs on the day of murder and had fallen sick since then.’

Chatur sighed that the case ended finally and got up to check on his wife.

The child was asleep. He told Gayathri about Vinayak’s confession.

“He consumed drugs? That’s why he killed her. I don’t think he would have killed her otherwise” Gayathri said. “Anyways, now I have my husband with me. Forget the case” she said, resting her head on his shoulder. He nodded and kissed her.

You can read the eleventh episode by clicking on the  link below:
Episode 11

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).