- 17 Feb - 23 Feb, 2018
CONVICTED OF MURDER
- 30 Sep - 06 Oct, 2017
My name is Umer Ansari and I am a 25-year-old graduate. My story is about unexpected betrayal, thorough investigations and discovering the horrifying truths. This is a story of how I got trapped in a world of cops, criminals and lawyers.
If I were to summarise my story into a few sentences, it would go like this: I got betrayed by my friend who framed me for his own outrageous crime. Then with the help of an intelligent police officer, I discovered some unbelievable facts that had led to the heinous crime. The only question that remained unanswered was why I became a part of it.
Whenever the news is scandalous, the media is always there. A scandalous crime is usually the best gossip for all news channels. But it’s not the media’s fault. It’s the viewers. They enjoy such news and are always hoping for more. This is what attracts their eyes.
When I was framed into a crime that I did not commit, I became a controversy that everyone was interested in. And the news channel reporters were seeking my statements. My statements were their headlines.
Anyways, let me tell you a little more about myself. I live in Islamabad and have recently graduated from my university. I have done BBA in Finance and planning to apply for admission in MBA. I occasionally hang out with my friends, but not too often.
Travelling to special places of Pakistan, especially, around Swat and Murree has always been my dream, and I had planned a trip after my graduation with my friend Azhar Mughal, who was also a graduate like me. We had been friends for more than four years, yet we had never visited each other’s homes.
There are multiple types of crimes, and when you’re convicted of any, you become an interesting figure to the public. Your fame, if you are convicted of robbery, doesn’t last too long. Your fame if you are convicted of drug smuggling also doesn’t last too long. If you are convicted of immorality, your fame sadly lasts long. But if you are convicted of murder, your fame lasts forever.
First week of February
One morning, Azhar and I were driving towards his home in his father’s car. His parents were out of country and I was going to meet his elder sister for the first time. I was getting bored, while he was driving and it was then we had a conversation.
“Where are your parents again?”
“Germany,” he replied, “they left last week and they’ll stay there for six months.”
“Six months?” I got surprised. “Why so?”
“They have a good business opportunity there, so they’re establishing a company that would manufacture socks and hand gloves.”
“I see.” I got impressed. “Why didn’t you tell this to me before?”
“I didn’t want to… I mean, I’m not happy about this business plan.”
“My father told me clearly that he would leave this business for my sister Amna and my brother-in-law.”
I was stunned and a little disappointed for my friend. I remained silent as I didn’t know what to say.
“Amna must be waiting for us,” he spoke after a while.
I smiled courteously.
“The trip was good you know,” he added afterwards, “really memorable.”
“Yeah, no doubt.”
“I loved lake Saif-ul-Muluk.”
“So did I,” I told him.
We finally arrived outside his home. His house was on the building’s ground floor. I liked it a lot, as the small garden outside his house was really beautiful.
We stepped outside the car. He led me to his house and I followed. He took out his keys and said, “Wait here. I’ll call you inside in a minute.”
He went inside leaving the door slightly open. I turned and looked at his garden. For a minute I had been waiting for him to call me, until I heard a gunshot. I got startled. It was from inside his house.
That moment when I heard the gunshot, I made the biggest mistake. I went inside his house, slid the doorknob and entered.
The first thing that I heard while entering was the breaking of a window. With the sound of shattering glass, one could tell that it was broken by something as large as a person. As I walked towards the room from where I heard the noise, I stepped on a pistol, picked it up and looked at it for a while. I started walking further and while entering the room, I saw a woman of my age lying on the floor. She was shot dead as I could see the blood on her chest. I panicked seeing all this happening and was actually confused.
I looked outside the window and saw a white Hi-Roof. It was steady for a few seconds and then the driver drove it away.
“What the hell?” I uttered.
I looked back at the dead woman. I looked at her face and realised she must be Amna. I didn’t know what to do, so I thought of leaving the house immediately. I dropped the pistol and rushed towards the exit of the house. As I opened the door, a police van was standing outside. Two police officers were aiming their guns at me.
“Put your hands up!” I heard a voice.
I raised my hands up and said, “I haven’t done anything”
The cops came closer and within a few seconds they handcuffed me and took me inside their vehicle.
This was all happening so fast that I couldn’t figure out what might have happened.
Was I framed for murder? Probably yes.
Was this all Azhar’s setup? Might be.
Did my most trustworthy friend betray me? Could be possible.
While I was sitting inside the police van, one of the cops sitting next to me asked, “What did you just do?”
“I didn’t do anything,” I said desperately, “I saw a murdered woman inside so I rushed outside.”
“Do you belong here?”
“Then what were you doing there?”
“I was invited by my friend Azhar,” I explained, “who asked me to wait outside.”
“Is this your friend Azhar’s house?” he interrupted.
“Ok, what happened then?”
“I was standing outside as I heard a gunshot. Then I went inside to see what happened.”
He stopped me while I was speaking and looked outside. One of the cops had just stepped outside the house after investigating. He exclaimed, “This is a crime scene. A woman has been murdered.”
The cop who was sitting next to me stepped outside and shut the door.
I was very worried. I spoke politely to the van’s driver, “Excuse me sir, can you please do me a small favour?”
“What?” he answered rudely.
“Can you please dial a cell number for me?”
I actually wanted to know where Azhar had disappeared. Was it really him who had murdered his own sister and escaped through the window?
“Sir, please!” I pleaded, “It’s really important.”
“Who is this person you want to call?”
“He’s the person who lives here and his sister has been murdered.”
I don’t know how he was convinced, but he dialled the number for me as I dictated. The number was powered off. Now I realised that Azhar had framed me for his crime and it was really serious now.
Two hours later
I was locked inside a cell at the police station. I was extremely worried and helplessly curious. Also, I was silently furious. I could hear the cops outside talking about me using harsh language. But I was concentrating on what they were planning to do next. So I realised that they were shifting me to some other police station.
One of the police constable’s unlocked the cell and asked me to come outside. I moved slowly and as I came out of the cell, two cops stood up and forcefully dragged me.
The moment I stepped outside, two news reporters along with two cameramen rushed towards me and started asking me questions, “Sir, are you a killer?” enquired one.
Another asked, “Have you murdered a woman?”
The cops asked them to move aside but they were determined to get some answers from me. So I said, “Listen, listen… let me speak… I am not a murderer. My friend Azhar killed his own sister and escaped.”
“Why did your friend kill his sister?” one of the news reporters asked spontaneously.
“I don’t know,” I replied, “I’m really confused about that but I do know that he framed me for the murder.”
“Were you aware that your friend was about to do this?”
Before I could answer this question, the cops immediately dragged me towards the police van.
I was locked inside central jail’s cell for an entire day. I had no idea about what was going outside. I had become famous. The media went crazy regarding my case. The headlines of different news channels stated:
The suspect claims to be framed for the murder
A sister murdered by her brother, the suspect claims
A woman murdered, two suspects, one caught the other escaped
My photos were also being exposed by news channels. This murder case had become a serious issue and the news channel reporters were desperate to talk to me.
However, the newspaper headlines claimed:
A young adult caught near the crime scene
The suspect denies being involved in any criminal activity
The murdered woman’s alleged killer in police custody
I was unaware of all these news reports. What really concerned me at the moment were my parents. What must they be thinking? I should talk to them the moment I get a chance to.
In another corner of Islamabad, my paternal uncle Asif Ansari was sitting next to his computer. By profession he was a criminal lawyer. On YouTube, he was watching the video clip which has me giving a statement.
“I am not a murderer. My friend Azhar killed his own sister and escaped.”
He was replaying the video again and again. After he was convinced by what he wanted to know, he made a phone call.
“Hi, Asif,” the call was answered by a man. “How are you?”
“Arbaz, I need a favour from you.”
“Ok, what is it?”
“This murder case shown on different news channels...”
“About this woman, right?”
“Yes, Arbaz I need you to do the investigation of this case. Can you?”
“Being a DIG, I can, but I want to know why you want me to conduct the investigation?”
“The suspect is my nephew,” my uncle answered, “and I know he’s innocent.”
“Ok, I’ll see.”
“I’ll prepare his bail and once he is set free, I want you to stay with him for a while.”
“Alright I’ll see.”
Days later, I was asked by the jailer to leave the central jail. As I left the cell and started walking, I saw Uncle Asif standing outside. I went closer and shook hands with him,
“You good?” he asked me.
“Not really,” I answered.
“Oh… anyways, I have bailed you out for more than three weeks. So now you must first go and meet your Dad, he’s really worried for you.”
“Ok, thank you so much!”
“Inspector Arbaz...” he uttered.
“Inspector Arbaz, he’s a DIG and a good friend of mine. He’ll be investigating this case.”
“Uncle, believe me I have not murdered anyone. My friend Azhar has done this.”
“Don’t worry kid. I believe you.”
“I’m shocked you know. Since the day I have entered this jail, I couldn’t sleep trying to figure out why he would do that.”
“Ok, ok. We’ll work it out. Right now you must go home and meet your parents. After that you’ll meet Inspector Arbaz who will need each and every detail regarding the crime scene.”
Soon after, I finally met my parents who were now a bit relieved seeing their son safe. However, we all were really worried about the crime’s conviction that I hadn’t committed. I had been trying Azhar’s cell phone and as expected, it was switched off. His Facebook account was also deactivated. I was now sure that he had disappeared after killing his sister but the question was why. Why would anyone kill his own sister in such a ruthless manner?
I have to prove my innocence but whether or not I will able to do so, I will still find out the motive behind this heinous crime. I’m seeing my face on different news channels labelled as a criminal. The suspect is always a criminal according to the media and public. But I will talk to the media and expose the truth behind this murder mystery.
The other day, I heard my doorbell ring and went to answer it. It was Inspector Arbaz standing outside. I didn’t know him until I read his name on the uniform. He was tall and good looking. Something about his facial expressions proved that he was clever.
I courteously spoke to him, “Inspector Arbaz, please come inside.”
“Thank you,” he said as he entered.
I took him in the guest room and offered him to take a seat.
As he sat, I asked him, “Can I get you anything? Tea or water?”
“No, thanks, let’s discuss the crime scene.”
“Ok, just give me two minutes please,” I requested Inspector Arbaz to wait.
to be continued...