1 p.m. Police Station, Sector 48, Noida Day 2
It had been an eventful morning, but SHO Sharma was deeply thankful that this was one murder in which his police station was mercifully spared media bashing. He could see the vans of the news channels parked outside the thana, but they were keeping to themselves.
A crime had been committed, the murderer had surrendered. All the police had to do was to tie up the loose ends and close the file. He thanked providence and suppressed his gut feeling that something was dreadfully wrong in this case. He felt uneasy about the gruesome nature of the murder and the innocent face of the murderer. SHO Sharma was a pragmatic man, unless something came up, as far as he was concerned, the case was solved.
Inspector Pandey came in looking very disturbed
Sahib, voh Arora murder case
Sahib Budhe ko hosh aa gaya hospital jaate jaate. He told every one including the media that he killed his wife.
Bhenchod!!! Kahe se maara?
“Jack-rod se” replied Pandey. Jack-rod bhi mila hai ghar se, and we also found a wicket stick, both having human blood on them
Jee sahib, Nagpal ke hammer par koi janwar ka khoon hai
Sharma lost his temper. He almost ran to the lock-up. Mohan Nagpal was sitting staring at the wall, totally unaffected by his surroundings.
“Abbey harami, mazak samajh rakha hai police ko?” he shouted at the boy. “Film ki kahani likh raha hai saale?”
“Sahib, media” said Pandey warningly
Sharma controlled himself with great difficulty, turned and walked back to his office. He looked at Pandey and barked “Report, I want a full report. Is Nagpal ki poori janam kundli nikalo. Budhe ki bhi. Saala circus bana rakha hai”
Alpana was running, her breath coming in gasps. The sand of the desert felt like shards of glass as they cut her feet up. She ignored the pain and fled the slavers who seemed to be gaining on her. Somehow she had managed to break free of the ropes they had tied her with. She could see the horses and camels that were tied to some palm trees just half a kilometer away. If only she reached them in time, and got astride one of them, she could ride away to safety. She did not dare waste time looking back. She had to get away from them. She reached the grove, ignoring the pain in her bleeding feet, her hand reached for the dagger she always carried in the waist-band of her lehenga …………
“Oh my goodness” she thought as she woke up with a start. This was 20th century India, not the pre-independence 16th Century where her dreams had placed her. She normally wore trousers or jeans, and on formal occasions a salwar suit or sari. She had never worn a lehenga. She smiled and shook her head ruefully as she drank some water placed on the side table next to her bed, reminding herself to never read thrillers in the night. They gave her weird dreams. She swung off the bed to go to the bathroom, and screamed in pain as she stood up. Her lovely pedicured feet were bleeding. They looked as though some-one had made shallow cuts on them with a blade or something.
Alpana Singh was the beautiful, 27 years old pampered wife of a 48 years old Minister. At the sound of her screams every one in the household gathered around the room. Her husband immediately sent for the family doctor, and posted a guard outside her room. He knew the local Superintendent of Police well and played tennis with him twice a week. He rang up the S.P. on his cell phone and complained about the unseen intruder who had attacked his wife.