- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
CRIMES AT CORNERS
- 16 Dec - 22 Dec, 2017
Inside the police station, Rehan was standing motionlessly, staring at Shayan, the mobile snatcher. Shayan stared back furiously. Rehan approached the lock-up but Inspector Affan stopped him.
“It’s him,” Rehan said to Inspector Affan, pointing his finger towards Shayan.
“Just wait here,” the inspector said calmly.
“Sir, listen to me please,” Rehan resisted, “he is my cousin’s killer, and I know it.”
“Just keep quiet and wait here.”
“Sir, I saw the episode. He is the killer, I’m telling you!”
“You can’t decide that!” the inspector raised his voice, “it’s my job to decide who the real killer is!”
Rehan looked at him with astonishment.
“Now, don’t move,” warned the inspector, “or I’ll throw you out of here.”
Rehan remained silent, showing his anger.
Inspector Affan walked towards his desk and picked up a file. Rehan looked at Shayan for a moment and saw that he was smiling.
“I know it’s you,” said Rehan, getting provoked, “I won’t spare you when you’re out of here.”
“These cops can’t do anything to me,” Shayan responed, “so what are you compared to them?”
“Shut up!” Inspector Affan yelled, “both of you!”
He came towards Rehan holding the file and said, “These five men are our prime suspects. Each one of them has a reason to be convicted. You must have only seen this mobile snatcher’s episode, which is why he is a suspect, according to you. But I have seen the episodes of all of these men and they all seem equally responsible to me.”
“Who are these four then?”
“You see, two of them work as illegal gun suppliers. One is just an ordinary, unemployed guy who threatened to murder Yasir and the last one is a fake doctor who never threatened Yasir but we found a pair of scissors in his office that were similar to the murderer’s weapon. You will find the instrument in the episode as well.”
“Can I have their pictures?” requested Rehan.
“Sure,” Inspector Affan said, taking out a picture from the file.
In the picture, the five suspects were standing closely together. Their faces were clearly visible. Rehan shook hands with the police inspector and left.
The same evening, Kevin Rollins, a long-haired man wearing sun glasses stood outside the police station. He was looking at the cops entering and exiting the scene and wondered: Who must have done this? Yasir was a very cunning guy, how is it that he didn’t leave a clue behind?
He turned around and walked towards his motorbike. Putting on his helmet he thought. I’m going to find the killer. And I know his death won’t be that simple.
Meanwhile, Rehan was helplessly going through videos on YouTube at Maria’s place. Maria entered the room and said, “Rehan! Seriously, you need to take a break.”
Rehan didn’t respond and kept browsing.
“Rehan, are you listening?” Maria raised her voice.
“Maria, you won’t understand this. This is very important for me.”
“Doing this won’t help you in any way.”
“So what do you want me to do?” he snapped, irritatingly. “Do you want me to just wait for these lazy police officers to do their job?”
“You can’t call them lazy. They shortlisted the suspects way before you did, no offense.”
Rehan remained silent and looked back at the laptop.
“You are jumping to conclusions,” she said gently.
“I know, but I just can’t help it.”
“If I may suggest something, you should give yourself a day’s rest.”
Rehan remained silent for a few seconds and then said, “Ok, I’ll rest but I need a favour from you.”
He picked up the photograph of the suspects that was kept aside and handed it to her, saying, “I want you to find the episodes of these guys. Can you do that?”
“Sure,” she agreed.
“Two of them can be found in the same episode. While the other two…”
“I know, I know,” she interrupted looking at the picture, “you told me earlier today.”
“In the meantime, why don’t you give some time to yourself?”
“Yes, I will go out and get something to refresh myself.”
Rehan left, picking up his wallet and cell phone.
An hour later, Inspector Affan was at his desk in the police station, looking at the case file. While he was reading the notes, he thought: One of our suspects is still missing... the SHO. But unfortunately, we can’t drag him like the rest of these suspects.
He kept the file on the desk and gave his mind some rest.
The head constable came by and said, “Sir, Mr Raza is here to see you.”
“The producer of Crimes at Corners.”
“Oh, right. Send him in.”
A few seconds later, Mr Raza stood in front of Inspector Affan, lowered his voice and said, “Sir, the media partners and sponsors are asking about Yasir. They don’t even know he’s dead. What should I say to them?”
“Well, if you don’t want the news of this murder to go public, you’ll have to hide it from them.”
“I know, but how?”
“Tell them he has left the country unannounced.”
Mr Raza thought about it for a while and then agreed.
“Alright, that sounds good. Please update me on the case.”
Mr Raza turned and left the police station. Inspector Affan first looked at him with suspicion but soon ignored his doubts.
Meanwhile, Rehan was having dinner at a restaurant. He was done with the food and as soon as he finished his drink, he looked at the people around him. Some looked like they were friends while other tables were filled with couples and families. Everyone seemed happy. He gazed at them and thought: Why can’t I be happy like them?
Guys who appeared of his age were laughing and sharing jokes with their friends. This cheered him up a little and he wondered: Once I’m done with this case I will put everything behind me and enjoy my life like them.
He stayed there for a while and passed his time watching other people enjoy.
The next morning, Maria came out of her room to find Rehan sleeping upside down on the couch of her living room. She chuckled, looking at the way he was sleeping and clapped her hands twice. But Rehan didn’t respond. “Wake up, Rehan!” she shouted.
Rehan responded by murmuring a few unclear words.
“Get up, Rehan!” she said, gradually raising her voice.
“Wake me up after half an hour,” he said changing his position.
“Ok,” said Maria, “but I’ve already found all the episodes you asked for,” she said teasingly.
“What?” exclaimed Rehan, immediately waking up with his eyes wide open.
“I said, I found the episodes of the suspects.”
“Really?” he said standing up. “That’s brilliant.”
“I’ll prepare breakfast for you.”
Within the next hour, Rehan quickly took a bath, put on new clothes and had breakfast. He was now all ready to watch the episodes. He connected the laptop to TV and began selecting the episode. But then his cell phone began to ring. He answered the call. “Hello?”
“Is this Rehan Riaz?”
“Yes, who am I speaking to?”
“I’m Jahanzeb Wasey. I’m the video editor of the team of Crimes at Corners. Professor Yasir had spoken to me about you.”
“You mean regarding the job?”
“Yes, but I need to tell you some important things about Yasir. Tell me, when can we meet?”
“Uh… whenever you want.”
“Can you come to our office around two?”
“I don’t know the exact location but I’ll be there if you text me the address.”
“No problem, I’ll send you the address, but be there on time.”
Rehan disconnected the call, left the laptop on the table and while he was all set to leave the house, Maria stopped him and asked, “Where are you going?”
“They are calling me at their office,” Rehan responded.
“Someone from the team of Crimes at Corners.”
Rehan heard his cell phone beep. He had received a text message from the same number.
“They’ve sent me the address,” he said while looking at the message.
“But tell me, what are they calling you for?”
“I’m not going there now. They’ve called me at two. I’m just going to get some money from the ATM.”
“You’ve still not answered my question,” Maria said, getting annoyed.
“A guy named Jahanzeb said he wants to tell me something about my cousin Yasir. So it’s fine, I had to go and meet the team anyway.”
“Ok, what about the episodes then?”
“We’ll watch them together after I return.”
“Whatever,” she said, getting a bit fed up.
Rehan left to get the money.
It was 2:30pm, Rehan was seated next to Jahanzeb at the office of Crimes at Corners.
Jahanzeb started to speak.
“Ok, now let me tell you why I have called you here. Your cousin Yasir was very much interested in mesmerism and hypnotism. He wanted to learn both these practices by any means. Did you know about that?”
“No, he never told me any of this,” Rehan answered in astonishment.
“Well, he was very fond of it and was desperate to learn. Anyway, one day we received a call about a place that practiced fake mesmerism. We were asked to reveal that in our show.”
“What happened then?”
“Yasir instructed us not to proceed.”
“Why not?” Rehan asked getting surprised.
“Because Yasir wanted to visit the place alone. Anyway, he left us behind and went there on his own.”
“I see… then what happened?”
“Next day, he seemed fine. But a few days later, he started acting weird and uttered strange words that made no sense.”
“Other than this, he was also getting fits and would start shaking.”
“What was happening exactly?” Rehan asked, getting confused.
“And the strangest thing of all, he wasn’t recognising us. By that, I mean he was calling us by wrong names. He was confusing me with somebody else.”
“Oh God! How long did this last?”
“Just for a day. And his fits would last no longer than a minute. They repeated after every hour but only for a minute or two. The next minute, he would gain consciousness and realise that he was acting strange.”
“Do you think this has something to do with the murder?”
“I can’t say that for sure,” Jahanzeb commented, “but I do think this happened because he wanted to learn mesmerism.”
“Oh God! This case is getting so complicated.”
“Well, that’s all. Anyway, do you need a cup of coffee or anything?”
“No, thanks, I have to go and watch some episodes of the show.”
Rehan stood up and walked towards the door. But before leaving, he turned around and asked Jahanzeb, “Did he mention anybody’s name from the mesmerism house?”
“Yes, he talked about a guy named Kevin Rollins.”
Rehan returned home at 5 o’clock. His mind was occupied by many thoughts. He had no clue where to begin investigating. The only solution that came to his mind was to leave the case to the police. But he was not willing to do that which is why he went to his room and switched on the laptop.
Maria entered his room and asked, “Tell me, what happened there?”
“I don’t know. This case is just getting more complicated.”
“One of the show’s team members told me that Yasir was affected by mesmerism the other day.”
“So? What does that have to do with his murder?”
“I think it is connected somehow.”
She didn’t know what to say, so she tried again, “What else happened there?”
“Are they offering you a job?”
“I didn’t talk about that.”
He played the video on YouTube and then switched on the TV.
The following could be seen in the episode’s precap: Professor Yasir was standing at an unknown street and was talking to the viewers, holding his mic.
“People of Pakistan, today we’re going to see how some people are illegally supplying guns and weapons.”
In the next moment, Yasir pretended to be an ordinary customer. He was standing inside a store next to a shopkeeper in black shalwar kameez.
“I don’t have a license,” said Yasir.
“No problem, just pay extra and you can have the gun,” replied the shopkeeper.
A few minutes later, Yasir was standing outside the shop from a distance; he was showing a handgun to his viewers and said: “This gun that you see now belongs to me. And the interesting part, I don’t even have a license or any authority to own it. And yet I am its owner.”
The next scene showed a police officer talking to Yasir.
“If there are more gun suppliers like this then we must take immediate action,” said the police officer. “We’ll question him right now and might shut down his shop.”
The precap ended.
“I’m watching this episode,” Yasir said.
to be continued...