• 21 Jul - 27 Jul, 2018
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

Were there any suspects according to you?” the police inspector asked Babar.

Babar took another sip of water then replied, “The only suspect in my mind was that caretaker, whom the victim fought with earlier. But the other caretakers and the kids were witnesses to the fact that he was somewhere else while the murder took place.”

“The kids as well?”

“Yes, some of the kids.”

“So, you didn’t suspect Mr Jahangir at that time?” the inspector asked, resting his chin on both of his hands.

“No, I didn’t. I mean, I should have but my mind was already occupied enough.”

“Occupied with what?”

“You know, I was stressed and all. You see, throughout my stay at the orphanage, I was just hoping for the time to pass then get myself out of that place as soon as possible.”

“Why? Wanting to avoid the responsibility or wanting to escape?”

“Wanting to escape,” Babar replied looking him in the eye.

The police inspector looked aside and chuckled. Babar didn’t talk unless he was asked to. The inspector asked, “So, you were kind of like trapped in there?”

“Not kind of. I was actually trapped.”

“So, what if Mr Shahzaib did all this on purpose? I mean, what if he knew about all that was going to happen? What if, he called you intentionally to save himself from the upcoming troubles and put them over you?”

Babar got quite surprised and gave his words a thought. He however, avoided the negative thoughts then spoke, “No, that’s not what he did. I know him and I trust him. He can’t do such a thing, please.”

“Alright… what happened next then?”

Babar began his story again:


“Next morning, after the dead body was taken to the hospital through an ambulance, I saw one of the care takers who had left last night to catch the killer. I went towards him and asked, “So what happened, did you guys find any clue?”

“Worse than that actually.”

“What do you mean?”

“We didn’t manage to find any clue but what we discovered outside was, that the news regarding these mysterious murders has spread throughout the streets.”

“Oh my God. No!”

“I’m sorry but it’s the truth. We can’t do anything about it now.”

I held my forehead with both my hands, feeling worried and tense.

“Also, there’s a word in the streets,” he continued, “that the owner of the orphanage is involved in these murders…”

I looked at him. He was staring at me.

“Don’t look at me,” I spoke angrily. “I’m not the owner of this place!”

“Yes, I’m aware of that. I’m not pointing you out.”

I sighed and looked aside. I was lost in thoughts for a moment until he distracted me and asked, “So what should we do now?”

“Wait, let me think,” I said raising my hand and then spoke when an idea occurred to me. “Alright, here’s what we’ll do. We’re going to inform the cops about these murders and in the meantime, I’ll contact Mr Shahzaib.”

“Wait,” he seemed astonished, “you haven’t informed Mr Shahzaib yet?”

“I have been trying to contact him since last night but he’s neither responding, nor returning my calls.”

“Oh, so try contacting him through an unknown number.”

“I did that too but it’s no use. I know him; he won’t take responsibility for this. I’ll have to handle this myself. The only thing scaring me, is that the killer might be on to kill one of the kids that belong here and it would really cause a lot of trouble for us.”

“You’re right, that’s likely to happen.”

As I looked around, other caretakers had also gathered and they were listening to our conversation. Among them, the boy Taha was also present. I looked at him and could only see fear in his eyes. A young kid who had witnessed a murder in this age was likely to be traumatised by it.


While Babar was telling his story, the police inspector’s cell phone began to ring. He answered the call, “Yes?”

Then he remained silent while the caller was speaking. He appeared delighted after whatever he heard, then asked, “Are you sure about this?”

He listened carefully while the caller was answering his question.

“Where are you speaking from?” the police inspector asked. “The laboratory?”

After a pause, he spoke, “Alright, alright thank you.”

He stood up. Babar looked up at him and asked, “Where are you going? Is everything okay?”

“Yes, everything’s fine. Just give me a moment please.”

The police inspector exited the room and went towards the head constable and asked, “Did they come to collect Jahangir’s finger prints?”

“Yes they did sir,” the constable replied getting curious.


“About an hour ago. Why?”

“Okay, good.”

The inspector walked towards the lock up cell and looked at Jahangir who was locked inside.

“Mr Jahangir,” he called him out.

Jahangir looked at him and delightfully stood up. He came towards the bars of the cell and spoke, “Sir, they’ve kept me here for quite long. And they haven’t provided anything to drink. Please do something about it, please…”

“Mr. Jahangir, I just received a call from the forensics laboratory. And guess what they told me… ”

to be continued...