• 09 Dec - 15 Dec, 2017
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

The title of the show Crimes at Corners appeared on the YouTube video clip.

Yasir is seen talking to some people on the screen who were residents of the particular location. He positioned the mic towards an aged man who said:

“Behind this street, lives a guy who is a mobile snatcher. He’s been living here for more than five years.”

“So, he’s been snatching mobiles for more than five years now?” enquired Yasir.

“Probably,” said the man.

“Have you ever seen him snatching cell phones?”

“Yes, twice.”

“Really?” asked Yasir, feeling intrigued. “Where?”

“There’s a small yard round this street. Several people use this route as a shortcut.”

“You’ve actually seen him with your own eyes?”

A guy standing next to them interrupts their conversation: “Yes, I have seen him.”

Yasir turned the mic towards the man and encouraged him to speak: “His name is Shayan. He usually snatches mobile phones from that spot,” he said pointing at the road, “I’ve seen him plenty of times.”

“How does he do it? Does he have a gun?”

“Yes, he has a pistol.”

“Ok, thank you,” Yasir said, pulling back the mic, “thank you, both of you.”

The scene changes. Professor Yasir is walking towards an old, shady-looking hotel. The man he had met on the streets was now accompanying him and pointing towards the secluded end of the hotel. Yasir confirmed the spot from the man and asked him to leave; he was going to confront the criminal. Yasir walked towards a dark skinned man.

From the camera angle, it was evident that only the cameraman was with Yasir now. The other people in the hotel began staring at Yasir. He, however, was oblivious to their looks as he moved towards the criminal and signalled a handshake, he said:

“Hello? Can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Who are you?” said the criminal, looking suspiciously at Yasir and the camera.

“Can we talk, please?”

“What do you want?” asked the criminal, aggressively.

“I want to talk to you,” replied Yasir, in a calm, yet firm tone.

“What is this? Are you shooting a video or something?” asked the criminal.

“I’m filming a documentary,” lied Yasir, “I need your interview. I won’t expose your face, I promise. I’ll have it blurred.”

“What kind of documentary?” the criminal asked, getting angry.

“Are you a mobile snatcher?” enquired Yasir.

“Get out of here!”

“Answer! Are you a mobile snatcher?”

“Yes, I am, now get lost!”

Yasir’s face appeared on the screen who was still smiling and appeared calm.

“Come on man, let’s talk. Tell me about your remarkable profession,” he asked.

The criminal remained silent and thought for a while. He then pulled himself together and said. “Ok. Go ahead and ask whatever you want. Just make it quick and then get out.”

“What is your name?”


“Mr Shayan, how do you snatch mobile phones on the road? Do you use a gun?”

“Listen, I don’t know who you are,” Shayan said cunningly, “but I’m not answering these questions for free. I want some money.”

“Oh, of course. You’re taking out time from your busy schedule, after all. You’ll get whatever you ask for. Tell me, how much money do you want?”

“First, ask them to leave.”

Yasir turned around to see. A crowd of people had gathered at the hotel. He asked politely: “Come on people, please leave. This is a private interview.”

The scene changes again. Yasir is now interviewing the criminal privately.

“At how many places have you snatched mobile phones?”

“An infinite number of places in this city.”

“Really?” Yasir asked, pretending to be surprised, “can you name a few?”

“I don’t remember, exactly.”

Just to provoke him, Yasir said, “Oh, you don’t remember? I don’t know why, but I’m getting the feeling that you are a fraud.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ve been told by people that you are a criminal who snatches cell phones and you are telling me that you don’t remember the name of a single place. That doesn’t sound like a real thief.”

“Hello mister,” Shayan stood up angrily, “I have snatched mobile phones in multiple locations of this city. If I started naming places, it would take me an entire day just to list them down. You don’t know who you are talking to!”

“Oh, come on, calm down,” Yasir said, sounding friendlier than usual.

Shayan sat down staring at him furiously.

“Your eyes seem very dangerous, Mr Shayan,” Yasir said, complimenting him.

“Don’t waste my time. Ask what you want, pay me and then get lost!”

“Yes, of course,” Yasir smiled, “so tell me, have you ever been caught? Have you ever been encountered by the police?”

“Yes, plenty of times.”

“And what happened then?”

“Nothing, I offered them money and they let me go.”

“Wow,” Yasir taunted. “Anyway, tell me, what if I wanted to become a mobile snatcher like you, where would I start?”

The criminal chuckled, holding his moustache.

“Don’t even think about it,” he said to Yasir.

“Really? It’s that bad?”

“It’s not bad.”

“Then why shouldn’t I think about it?” asked Yasir, spontaneously.

“I’m not saying it’s bad.”

“Then, what’s the problem?”

“Let me complete my sentence first,” said Shayan, getting a bit angry. “What I meant to say was, it’s not as easy as you think. Mobile snatching and wallet snatching is not like some video game you play on TV.”

“It’s not like a video game?” Yasir questioned, “then what is it like? A movie? A cartoon?”

“You don’t understand,” the criminal answered getting irritated.

“Then make me understand.”

Shayan remained silent and looked away.

“Ok, anyway,” Yasir continued, changing the subject, “tell me, who do you live with.”

“…I live alone,” the criminal answered after a brief pause.

“Alone? Where are your parents?”

“I don’t want to answer that.”

Eager to get him to speak, Yasir said,

“I’ve made a promise to you. I won’t expose your face, neither will I…”

“…If you dare reveal my identity or do anything of the sort,” the criminal interrupted, “then, trust me I’ll make you vanish like you never existed.”

Rehan paused the video and looked at Maria.

“It’s him,” he said referring to Shayan as the killer, “it’s definitely him.”

“Let’s see, play the video again.”

Rehan resumed the video.

In the video, Yasir asked,“Why don’t you live with your parents?”

“I have my reasons. I don’t have to share them with you.”

“Alright then, tell me, have you ever been arrested by the police?”


“What happened then?” Yasir asked curiously.

“I have a very strong political support,” he replied with arrogance, “no police station can keep me captive for more than two or three hours.”


“Yes, just one phone call and I’m out.”

“I see.”

Yasir stood up and made a call. As the call was answered, Yasir uttered just one sentence:

“Come in please. He’s all yours.”

Yasir disconnected the call. Shayan looked alarmed and asked, raising his voice: “What was that? Who did you call?”

Before Yasir could say anything, two police officers came inside the hotel and approached the criminal. Shayan stood up, looking furious as though he was about to hit Yasir. But before he could, the cops had grabbed him.

The scene changes. Yasir appears gleeful, he says:

“Ladies and gentleman, congratulations! Another criminal has been put behind bars. Justice once again has prevailed in Pakistan.”

“You think they can stop me?!” the criminal yelled at Yasir.

“Officers, now do as I had instructed,” said Yasir.

“Yes,” replied one of the officers.

“You have to keep his cell phone in your custody and do not let him make a single phone call.”

The criminal laughed out and said

“Do you think I’m not aware of my rights?”

“Anyway, people of Pakistan,” Yasir said looking back at the camera, “our mission has been a success. We are now taking the criminal to the police station.”

Yasir began walking away from the spot.

The criminal yelled out a warning:

“I’ll be bailed out soon! And I swear, I’ll kill you with my own hands!”

“Yeah, we’ll see about that,” Yasir said, looking uninterested as he continued walking.

Rehan stopped the video and said to Maria:

“I need to see this guy, right now.”

“Look Rehan, I don’t think you should hurry. There are plenty of other episodes and according to the team of Crimes at Corners, there are several people who gave him such threats.”

“I don’t care! The real issue is that the news of Yasir’s murder is not being taken seriously. The police and the producers are hiding it from the public. The show has been shut down and they are not taking the investigation seriously.”

“What if they are? I mean, what if they are keeping the investigation a secret from you.”

“I’m a part of this investigation,” Rehan declared, “they cannot keep it hidden from me.”

“Rehan… take a deep breath. Please don’t get too emotional.”

“Look, it’s not just about him being my cousin. I just can’t remain calm anymore. If the cops are not taking the investigation seriously, then fine, I won’t force them. But I can’t just sit here; I need to find the culprit. I must take matters into my own hands,” saying this, Rehan leaves the room. Maria appears worried.

Rehan is sitting on a sofa when his cell phone begins to ring. The screen shows an unknown number. He answers the call: “Hello?”

“Mr Rehan, I’m the investigating officer of Yasir Javed’s case.”

“Yes, how can I help you?”

“You have to report to our police station tomorrow. We have five major suspects in our custody; we need your statement tomorrow.”

“Really? That’s great.”

“Please report here before 2 o, clock.”

“Alright, but wait,” Rehan said hastily, “just tell me one thing, is Shayan the mobile snatcher under your custody too?”

“Umm… yes he is.”

“Alright, thank you, I’ll be there.”

The call disconnects.

Rehan stood up, getting excited and went straight to Maria’s room.

Rehan enters Maria’s room and says, “We have some good news, you won’t believe it!”

“Really? What is it?”

“Shayan has been caught. He is under police custody.”

“That’s great!”

“I know… I’m going there tomorrow morning and I’ll have to give my statement.”

“Statement? About what?”

“I don’t know exactly but I’ve been called and I have to be there.”

“Ok, Rehan but please be careful.”

“I know,” Rehan answered casually.

“And dear, please don’t lose your temper.”

“I hope so.”

Rehan starts pacing around the room.

“What if he’s not the murderer?” Maria asks him.


“I’m talking about Shayan.”

“Well then, we have four other suspects. Anyone of them must be involved.”

“Four suspects?”

“Yes… they have five suspects under their custody which means, one of them is definitely the killer.”


They talked for a while and then Rehan leaves the room.

Next morning, Rehan woke up by the sound of the alarm on his cell phone. The first thing that came to his mind was the suspects that were under police custody. Without wasting any time, he got up immediately and started getting ready.

An hour later, he was all dressed up and was ready to leave. He picked up his cell phone and went outside.

Several minutes later, he was in a taxi that was taking him to the police station. He was trying to call the investigating police officer who had called him yesterday but his mobile was powered off.

He tried calling him again after a few minutes. This time, the number was not powered off but instead, the line was engaged. Rehan wondered why the investigating officer would do something like this. Half an hour later, he reached outside the police station. He paid the driver his fare and went inside and saw the prison cell. Five men were standing inside the same lock-up. The first face he recognised was of Shayan, the mobile snatcher.

to be continued...