- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
CRIMES AT CORNERS
- 30 Dec - 05 Jan, 2018
A crime scene was marked with a yellow strip. Inspector Affan was lying dead next to his desk. The police constables had crowded the place and were keeping an eye on everyone. The head constable, who seemed somewhat distracted, received a phone call. He answered in a low voice, “Yes?”
“Is the situation under control?” the caller asked.
“Yes it is, and please don’t call me again,” he replied, disconnecting the line in a rush.
Meanwhile, at Maria’s home, Rehan was panicking. He was trying to call someone but the number was powered off. Looking at his tensed state, Maria asked, “Is everything alright, Rehan?”
Rehan couldn’t respond at the moment. He seemed worried and was eager to find out what had happened.
“Rehan!” said Maria, slightly raising her voice to get his attention. “Is everything ok?”
Rehan, disturbed, turned to her and answered, “Something has happened. I think Inspector Affan is…”
He stopped speaking as his phone was still clutched to his ear. His call was disconnected again. Maria asked curiously, “Inspector Affan is what?”
“I think he’s been shot,” he replied.
“Shot? You mean someone has shot him dead?”
“I heard something like that. It was a gunshot,” Rehan confided.
“Oh my God!” Maria said, suddenly feeling anxious, “That’s terrible.”
“I’ve been trying his number but his cell phone is switched off.”
“What if he’s still alive? I mean, maybe he has been injured and is on his way to the hospital.”
“No, Maria. Someone answered his cell phone earlier and told me that he has been murdered.”
“Who told you that?”
“I don’t know who it was,” Rehan answered, giving it a thought, “But, he was very calm while talking to me.”
“If he seemed calm then maybe he was expecting something like this to happen.”
“You’re right,” he agreed, “And perhaps, he is involved in this somehow.”
“Definitely,” answered Maria.
There was a moment of silence. They both gave it a thought.
“What should be done now?” asked Maria, breaking the silence.
“I don’t know. This guy, who is either the killer or someone from the police station, has switched off the Inspector’s cell phone.”
Maria didn’t reply as she was still trying to figure out things.
“I think I should go and see,” said Rehan as he stood up.
“Wait, Rehan. I think the Inspector’s killer is the same person who killed Yasir.”
“Think about it,” she explained logically, “He’s the only person who would want to stop Yasir’s investigation by killing Inspector Affan. He obviously didn’t want Inspector Affan to find out who Yasir’s murderer is.”
“Oh my God! You’re absolutely right,” said Rehan in a worried voice.
“And I think the killer is somewhere near the crime scene now,” he said, walking towards the house’s exit.
“Are you going there?” Maria asked, following him.
“I have to, what if the killer escapes?”
“Ok, but please be careful.”
“In the meantime,” said Rehan, “Why don’t you watch the episode of the fake doctor who was exposed. And while you do that, please keep an eye out for a pair of scissors in the episode.”
“Mr Yasir was stabbed to death with a large scissor like instrument and I was told a similar instrument was found in the fake doctor’s office. So please, do watch the episode carefully.”
“Ok, I got it.”
Outside the police station, the head constable was looking at the ambulance which was just about to leave. He couldn’t help but smile as he remembered something.
“Sir!” said one of the constables, distracting him. “SHO has just called.”
“Tell him I’m not here.”
“But sir, he’s been calling for a long time.”
Changing his mind, the head constable said, “Alright, give the phone to me.”
At a distance from the police station, Rehan was travelling in a rickshaw. He kept staring at his cell phone. Suddenly, he looked up at the driver and said, “Please drive quickly.”
Back inside the police station, the head constable disconnected the call after talking to the SHO. He then looked at the spot where Inspector Affan was murdered. He whispered, “Finally, we’ll have a new Inspector. This one used to make me miserable.”
Rehan was about to reach the police station so he began to take out money from his wallet. After a few minutes, he finally arrived at his destination. After paying the driver, he immediately rushed to the gate.
Inside, the head constable took out a bundle of cash from the drawer and began counting it. He seemed to get some satisfaction from counting the money again and again. As he started putting the money in his pocket, he saw Rehan rushing inside. Rehan had seen him, holding the cash.
“What happened here?” inquired Rehan, furiously. “Where is Inspector Affan?”
“Calm down, kid,” he said. “Take a deep breath.”
“Sir! Tell me what happened to Inspector Affan!”
The head constable didn’t respond but simply smiled, looking away.
“Haven’t I already told you what’s happened?” he reconfirmed.
“Yes,” answered Rehan, as he started to approach him. “You told me he was murdered. Tell me, what happened? Who killed him?”
“Kid… first of all, you should know that I don’t let civilians speak to me in this manner. The only reason I’m letting you enter the police station is because we’re working on your cousin’s investigation.”
“Sir, I’m not here to fight,” Rehan said politely. “I just want to know what happened.”
“Inspector Affan was shot dead by a killer.”
Rehan looked at the money in the head constable’s hand. The constable was no longer making eye contact with him, thus making him suspicious.
“We are closing now,” the head constable said, turning around and walked outside stealthily, “Come tomorrow.”
Rehan saw him taking out his cell phone and reading a text message.
If he is involved in the murder then the killer’s number would definitely be stored in his cell phone’s call log, he wondered.
Fortunately for Rehan, the head constable had walked towards a group of constables for a secret discussion before leaving his cell phone on his desk, unlocked. Being an opportunist, Rehan rushed to pick up the head constable’s cell phone and ran outside without making any noise. He had finally gotten his hands on a clue that could lead him to the killer.
Maria was watching the Crimes at Corners’ episode on YouTube.
In the video, Professor Yasir was standing inside a worn out office and talked to his viewers in a sarcastic tone, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am standing here. inside a so-called-clinic. We’re here to speak to our doctor, who is an E.N.T. specialist.”
He turned towards the doctor who was sitting next to his desk. The fake doctor’s face appeared on the screen and Yasir started talking, “Hello Doctor, how are you?”
“I’m fine,” he replied calmly.
“What’s your name?”
“So Mr Wajeeh, tell us about your occupation.”
“I am an E.N.T. specialist.”
“We all know that,” Yasir said cleverly, “Tell us something about your procedures. How do you treat your patients?”
“The way they should be.”
“Let’s say, for instance, I have a sore throat, how would you treat me?”
“I shall give you medicines and tell you when to take them.”
“Can you show me which medicines?”
“They are locked inside a cabinet.”
“So? Open the cabinet.”
“Patients suffering from different diseases come here,” said Wajeeh, trying to change the subject, “But being an honest individual, I try and treat only those who are…”
“Show me the tablets,” Yasir interrupted.
“I will, but I…”
“I need to see them, now,” said Yasir in an urgent voice.
“The thing is, I’ve lost the keys of the cabinet.”
“Find it, then,” Yasir said, sitting comfortably in his chair, “We can wait for you while you look for them.”
The fake doctor stood up and started moving things around on his desk. It clearly seemed as though he was pretending to look for something because he was in front of the camera.”
“Do you have a degree?” Yasir asked with a smirk on his face.
“Then show it to me.”
“That is also stored inside the same cabinet.”
“Oh really,” Yasir remarked slyly, “All your secrets are kept inside it.”
Yasir stood up and said, “Mr Wajeeh, show me that mysterious cabinet. Where is it?”
“There,” said the fake doctor, pointing towards an old cabinet.
Yasir turned around and started to get near it.
The cabinet appeared on the screen and Yasir’s sarcastic voice could be heard, “People of Pakistan, here is the mysterious cabinet that we’ve heard so much about, but its keys are lost. We hope Mr Wajeeh can find the keys and show us the treasure hidden inside.”
In a different scene: Yasir was holding some keys attached to a red keychain. He was showing it to the viewers and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we waited for quite long, but the keys have finally been found. They were inside the upper drawer and were placed right in front.”
“Sir, these are not the keys,” lied the fake doctor.
“Let’s see then.”
Yasir walked towards the cabinet and inserted the first key in the lock.
“Sir, I’m telling you,” Wajeeh said trying to stop him, “These are not the keys you are looking for.”
Seconds later, Yasir finally opened the cabinet and said with excitement, “Ah, the door of the mysterious cabinet has finally been unlocked.”
He looked inside, took out two bottles of capsules and placed them on the desk. “Mr Wajeeh,” said Yasir in a serious tone, “You have lied to us.”
“Sir I was…”
“Listen to me,” Yasir interrupted, “You’ve lied, ok? You told us that you didn’t have the keys but I was able to open the cabinet in one go. Now, just be honest if you don’t want to waste my time.”
The tablets appeared on the screen.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Yasir narrated, “You can clearly see that these capsules are fake. People like this ‘doctor’ only care about money.”
“Mr Yasir, the man has arrived,” said a voice in the background.
Yasir looked up and said, “Oh he’s here, send him in.”
“Sir, let me explain,” said Wajeeh, trying to persuade Yasir.
“Let me talk to this man first,” said Yasir.
An ordinary man appeared on the screen. He was wearing shalwar kameez and shook hands with Yasir.
“Hello, how are you?” Yasir asked him.
“What did you want to tell us about this clinic?”
“Sir, Wajeeh is a huge fraud. He fools people to earn money. This guy has made a lot of money from this clinic.”
“Get out!” Wajeeh yelled, pointing at the man. “Get out of my shop!”
“Don’t raise your voice,” said Yasir calmly to Wajeeh.
“Sir, this guy is lying about me. I don’t want to see him in my shop.”
“Why are you calling your clinic a shop?” Yasir said cleverly, “This clearly means that you’re trying to run a business and make money out of it.”
Yasir had now turned to the guy wearing shalwar kameez and said, “You may leave. I’ll talk to you later.”
The scene had changed. Yasir was now looking inside the cabinet. It was filled with a number of large green coloured large scissors. Different coloured scissors were also stored in the upper section.
Yasir turned and said to the fake doctor, “Look, you’ve lied enough. Be honest and tell us the truth. Are you a real doctor?”
“Yup,” he said, avoiding eye contact.
“You said your degree was inside but it’s not here.”
“Sir, maybe it got lost but I’ll find it for you.”
“No, Mr Wajeeh, don’t lie. You said that those weren’t the keys but they were. You also said the degree was stored inside but it wasn’t. Please stop it.”
The doorbell rang. Maria immediately stopped the video and kept the laptop aside. She stood up and left to answer the door. It was Rehan. She was relieved.
Rehan entered, taking a deep breath. He went towards the couch and sat on it, breathing heavily.
“What happened, dear?” Maria asked. “Is everything alright?”
“I just stole…” he could hardly speak so he stopped.
“Stole what?” she asked curiously.
“I stole the head constable’s cell phone.”
“Cell phone? Why?”
“Because, he is involved...”
“Involved in the murder?” she confirmed. “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” he replied with confidence. “I saw him counting what looked like bribe.
“Anyway, I stole his cell phone, because the killer would definitely call him on the same number sooner or later.”
“Maybe, you’re right.”
“…Can you get me a glass of water?” he requested after a while.
“Sure, but I’m still concerned about one thing.”
“And that is?”
“You stole a cell phone from the police station. Wouldn’t that be problematic?”
“Yes it would be. It definitely would be.”
“And besides, if the number is switched on, the cops can track you down.”
“I will only answer calls until I find the killer and then I’ll switch it off and throw it away.”
“Let’s hope it’s safe,” she replied, getting worried.
to be continued...