- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
Convicted Of Murder
Part - II
- 07 Oct - 13 Oct, 2017
In two minutes I left the room and informed my mother about him. Then I went to the kitchen and poured cold water for him in a glass. I took the water for him and sat face to face with him in the guest room.
“Okay, now tell me everything,” he instructed, “give me every detail about what you saw, what happened and how did you react.”
“Okay…” I said taking a deep breath, “First of all, let me tell you that Azhar and I have been friends for years. Now that day, we were headed towards his home and he told me that his sister was there waiting for us.”
“Waiting?” inspector Arbaz asked me.
I paused and recalled what had happened that day.
“I can’t remember exactly… but it was something like that. She was already there.”
“What’s her name again?”
“Okay, go on.”
“So as we reached there,” I continued, “Azhar asked me to wait outside and I did. While I was waiting, I heard a gunshot and entered the house in curiosity.”
“Wait here, you entered the house. The door was not locked?”
“No, it wasn’t.”
“Alright, what happened then?”
“While I was inside, I heard a glass break.”
“A glass?” he reconfirmed. “What kind of a glass?”
“A window glass.”
“Then I started walking towards that room until I found the murder weapon.”
“Yes, but what happened later is much interesting. As I went towards the room where the dead body was lying, I glanced outside the window and saw a white Hi-Roof”
“Really? So what happened?”
“Someone drove it away.”
“I see. How did you react? You panicked, right?”
“I didn’t know what to do; I tried to run away but got caught instead.”
“Okay, now one thing is clear,” he said to me, “this was an entrapment by your friend or someone in a higher position.”
“How can you say that?”
“Do you know why and how cops reached the place on the perfect moment?”
“Twenty minutes before you were caught, there was an anonymous phone call. The cops were informed that a woman was about to get murdered at that specific place.”
“Oh God!” I got surprised, “but Azhar was with me 20 minutes before the murder.”
“That’s not the point, anyone could have made the call. This was all a setup. The door being unlocked for you to enter inside, the killer escaping through the window and the anonymous phone call, all point towards one thing.”
“That I am being framed?”
I sat hopelessly for a while and then asked Inspector Arbaz, “Now what?”
“Now, I’m going to meet their neighbours and start investigating. The killer shall be caught,” he said and stood up to leave.
“Okay, I’ll leave now. We’ll meet on Wednesday next week.”
Inspector Arbaz was deeply concerned with the case and was determined to find out the truth. He was in charge of the investigation so he handled everything in his own way. He used to spend his mornings and afternoons around the house where the incident took place.
He was in touch with some neighbours and asked them to inform about anything unusual happening around. The neighbours were mostly Azhar’s friends and they refused to believe that Azhar could do something so outrageous. However, they did complain about not being allowed to see Amna’s face.
As Inspector Arbaz was analysing the pictures and other evidences found inside the house, he discovered something that was about to make this case even more complicated and problematic for me.
On Wednesday, he made a phone call and asked me to reach at a specific location. As we finally met somewhere close to the mechanic’s shop, he said, “Umer, are you
“No, I’m not,” I answered in a worried tone.
“Look, you have to be completely honest with me if you want me to help you in this case.”
“What exactly happened, Sir? Why do you think I’m hiding something?”
“Your handprints are found on the murder weapon.”
“Oh my God!” I whispered in confusion.
“Tell me the truth, Umer” he instructed with dominance.
“Okay, let me tell you this again. I think I told you this before but I’ll repeat anyway. As I walked towards the room after hearing the window break, I found the murder weapon and picked it up.”
“You picked it up? Why?”
“I don’t know,” I tried to explain, “maybe I was afraid as I had heard a gunshot earlier. It was just for self protection.”
“Look, this is getting even more complicated. Your hands are on the murder weapon and now they have strong evidence to convict you.”
“They? You mean Azhar’s family? They are in Germany. That’s what Azhar told me.”
He stopped me there, thinking about something.
“His family is out of Pakistan?”
“Yes, that’s what he told me.”
“Then why didn’t their neighbours tell me that? Anyway, the point is that you are in a very difficult situation here and the only way to prove your innocence is to find the real culprit and interrogate him.”
He was right. The situation was getting tense and I had no way out.
An hour later, we were having tea at a café and my cell phone began to ring. It was an unknown number, so I showed it to Inspector Arbaz. He asked me to turn on the loudspeaker, so I did.
“Hello?” I spoke.
“Is this Umer Ansari?” an unknown guy asked.
“Who am I speaking to?” I asked politely.
“Are you Umer Ansari or not?” the caller asked angrily.
Inspector Arbaz nodded his head asking me to reply.
“Yes, I am” I spoke.
“I won’t spare you! You killer, you cruel murderer, I won’t spare your life!”
“Who are you?” I asked angrily.
“I’m the husband of your victim. You killed my wife and now I will kill you, you understand?”
I got a little shocked realising Amna had a husband. Then I recalled that Azhar had told me briefly about him.
“Listen to me please,” I spoke gently, “I am not a killer. I haven’t killed anyone. I had nothing against your wife,”
“Don’t fool me. Azhar asked you to do this. I know that.”
Inspector Arbaz got a little more attentive on his words.
“Ask him why Azhar wanted to have his sister killed,” he whispered to me in low voice.
“Can you tell me why Azhar wanted to kill Amna?” I asked.
“My name is Shehzad Ghazi,” he said, while disregarding my question, “I am a fearless person. Remember that I won’t wait for cops to do their job, I will take the law into my own hands and bring justice to my wife.”
Inspector Arbaz asked me to disconnect the call and I did.
After few seconds, Inspector Arbaz said, “Now I need to see this person immediately. It is only through him that we can find out why Amna was murdered.”
“You’re right,” I agreed. “But he’s threatening me.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll confront him alone.”
Next morning, Inspector Arbaz was rushing towards Azhar’s house. Outside the house, he saw a small group of neighbours protesting. Cameramen and news reporters were also there. So he decided to handle the situation smartly by talking to the news reporters.
While he was walking towards them, the cameraman and a news reporter came towards him and asked, “Inspector, how far has the investigation reached?”
“First tell me what this protest is about?” he asked looking at the women standing.
“These are Amna’s friends and they want justice. Sir, who do you think has murdered the innocent woman?”
“Look, let me clarify” he answered in a voice loud enough for the protesters to hear, “the boy Umer is not the killer. He had nothing against her, in fact, he hardly knew her.”
“How can you be so sure about that?” another news reporter asked.
“I have interrogated him. He was trapped by the real killer.”
“Who is the real killer? Azhar Mughal?”
“Yes, most probably.”
“The cop is lying!” one of the protestants yelled out.
“Yeah!” the other protesters yelled out in Azhar’s defence.
“Listen, let the police do their job,” Inspector Arbaz answered firmly. “I want you all to clear this place right now.”
He walked away saying this. The news reporters were trying to ask some other questions but he ignored them and went straight inside the house.
That evening, Inspector Arbaz called me and I answered his call immediately.
“Yes?” I spoke desperately.
“There’s a problem”
“What is it?”
“Their neighbours are going to testify against you in the court.”
“Testify against me? Can they do that?”
“Two friends of Azhar are saying that they will give a statement of seeing you entering inside the house and then hearing a gunshot.”
“That’s not what happened,” I spoke firmly, “they are lying.”
“I know, but they will give a false statement, because unfortunately, your handprints are on the murder weapon.”
I remained silent getting deeply upset.
“Okay, don’t worry.” he spoke, “I’ll find something that can help our case. But in the meantime, you need to keep this confidential.”
“Keep what confidential?”
“That we both are meeting secretly. No one should know that.”
“Sure, I’ll take care of it.”
The same evening, Inspector Arbaz was roaming around inside the victim’s house. He opened a drawer and found a photocopy of the victim’s CNIC inside it. Her name was mentioned Amna Mughal. He kept the photocopy inside his pocket and looked for more clues. He found a framed photograph. Inside the picture, Amna had taken a romantic selfie with a guy of her age. He looked at the guy’s face carefully and guessed, “Shehzad?”
Minutes later, he came outside holding the photograph. He looked around and saw two boys walking together. He went towards them and called them out.
Next evening, Inspector Arbaz visited me. While we both were seated face to face, he said, “I have found the motive.”
“Really?” I asked astonishingly.
“Yesterday, I spoke to two boys of their neighbourhood and they told me a really interesting story.”
“Interesting story? About what?”
“About the siblings. You know this story is an interesting turn in our case. This can help us win.”
“Really? What is it?” I got excited.
“First of all, while I was in their house, I found Amna’s selfie with Shehzad.”
“Shehzad? Wait, have you met Shehzad already?”
“I haven’t met him yet. Their neighbours told me that the guy in the photo is Shehzad.”
“Anyway, what happened several months back, was tragic. Tragic for Azhar. Shehzad was a bad guy who harassed girls in the neighbourhood. Azhar knew about this and one day, they both had an ugly fight”
“A fight? About what?”
“Azhar asked him, actually warned him, to not walk around his house, which resulted in an argument and eventually, a fight.”
“Interesting,” I uttered.
“Then, Shehzad challenged him that he would woo his sister Amna by all means. Azhar didn’t take it seriously and ignored his challenge. All of this happened two and a half years ago”
“Okay, then what?”
“Then Shehzad secretly wooed her like he used to woo other girls but he changed. He found love because of Amna. So he decided to reconcile with Azhar and be a part of their family after marrying her.”
“So did they reconcile?”
“Six to seven months ago, when Azhar found this out, he fought with Shehzad again in public.”
“In public?” I got a bit confused. “You mean around neighbours?”
“Yes. They fought but as Amna arrived, she defended Shehzad. She insulted Azhar in front of their neighbours. He felt really humiliated.”
“I see. So they got married then?”
“Yes, but there is more. After the marriage, Azhar tried to break them apart. He tried to convince Amna and his parents but instead he was humiliated in return. Once again in front of all the neighbours there was a quarrel and Azhar was insulted by his sister yet again.”
He stopped speaking. There was a silence for a moment. I felt really bad for Azhar, after all he was my friend. But I changed my thoughts immediately.
“So we have our motive,” Inspector Arbaz added.
I remained silent and recalled something that had happened days ago. My mind clicked and I said, “No sir, this is not our motive. There’s something I haven’t told you yet.”
“Really? What is it?”
“Few minutes before the incident, Azhar and I were in his car. He told me something that left him really upset. His parents who are in Germany right now were planning to leave their entire business for Amna and Shehzad.”
“That’s perfect!” he delightfully said, “we have our real motive now. I was thinking about it you know. What if money was involved behind this? And you cleared it now. Anyway, what did he say, tell me again.”
“I don’t remember his exact words, but he told me that their parents had left to establish their business in Germany, something to do with socks and gloves, which they would leave for Amna and Shehzad.”
“Okay, it’s possible.”
I smiled realising we were getting close to the truth.
“Okay, I’ll leave now.” he said and stood up. “I have some urgent work. But I’ll work on this case. I also have to meet Shehzad and find out clues.”
to be continued...