- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
Convicted Of Murder
- 14 Oct - 20 Oct, 2017
Cops were standing outside Azhar’s house.
Inspector Arbaz asked one of the neighbours, “Where does Shehzad live?”
“He must be around,” the boy replied looking around, “I saw him few minutes back.”
“Do you have his cell number?” Inspector Arbaz asked the boy.
“No, but I’ll let you know if I see him.”
Inspector Arbaz ordered a police constable to find Shehzad and follow him everywhere.”
“Okay, sir,” the police constable nodded.
Then Inspector Arbaz walked towards the head constable and whispered, “We need to cut open the body.”
“Cut open? Why?” the head constable asked.
“I need to see the bullet that landed inside her heart.”
“Okay, I’ll send the request,” said the uneasy head constable.
Meanwhile, Shehzad was walking towards his car and boy from the neighbourhood saw him and informed the police constable, “Look, there he is.”
The police constable immediately sat in his vehicle and turned on the engine as he had to follow Shehzad.
Two days later, I was at home watching TV. My cell phone began to ring and I answered, “Hello?”
“Umer, where are you?” a familiar angry voice said.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me Shehzad. Where are you?”
“What do you want from me?” I asked him, feeling apprehensive.
“I want to know why you killed that poor innocent girl.”
“Listen to me Shehzad…”
“Amna was everything to me,” he interrupted. “She was my life. Why did you kill her? What did you have against her?”
“Shehzad, my condolences are with you. But believe me, I did not kill her. She was my best friend’s sister. I had no reason to…” I tried explaining
“Look Umer, I never wanted to do any harm to anyone. But you have forced me into becoming an animal. So I have no other option but to bring her justice by finding you out and…”
I disconnected the call angrily. I kept on thinking for a while and then called up Inspector Arbaz. He responded after a few calls.
“Sir, I’m being threatened by Shehzad.”
“Don’t worry Umer, there’s good news for you.”
“What is it?”
“I’ll tell you when we meet,” he insisted.
“Come on, tell me please. Have you found Azhar?” I asked him.
“Just wait till tomorrow. I’ll come by,” he said and disconnected the call.
Inspector Arbaz left me curious and I was kind of delighted, for something exciting was about to come up.
Next afternoon, Inspector Arbaz and I were in my guest room. He brought along medical reports and said, “So Mr Umer, I have good news for you. The murder weapon we found is no longer an evidence against you.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that the bullet I found inside Amna’s body was not fired from the pistol that has your handprints.”
“Oh, but how did you find that out?”
“An autopsy was done to get the bullet. Other than that, I have done a very thorough investigation, which has also been proved by a team of gun experts confirming that the pistol that we found inside the house wasn’t used to fire that bullet.”
“So does this mean Azhar used some other gun to shoot her?”
I felt really happy.
“So now…” he continued, “we don’t have to worry about the evidence that was making you the convict. Secondly, the real issue here is that there are plenty of neighbours who are willing to testify against you.”
“But they are all liars, aren’t they?”
“We can’t do anything about that” he said in disappointment.
His cell phone began to ring and he received the call.
“Sir, I have two interesting reports for you,” the constable told.
“Okay, what is it?”
“Sir, I can’t tell you on phone. We need to meet. Where are you right now?”
“Okay, I’ll text you the address”
He disconnected the call and gave me the cell phone to type my residential address.
Several minutes had passed. As I heard my door knock, I stood up and went to answer the gate. It was the constable as expected. I let him enter inside and then lead him towards the guest room.
As Inspector Arbaz saw him, he asked, “So Ahsan, what happened?”
“Sir first of all…”
“Sit down, please,” I interrupted.
He sat and started to speak.
“Sir, there’s a mysterious hideout. I’ve seen this guy Shehzad going there. I mean he visits that dark room every day and then after locking it with chains he leaves very quietly.”
“Really?” Inspector Arbaz asked him in surprised.
“Sir, we should go and check there.”
“Yes, definitely. What about the second report?”
“Oh God! Sir, you won’t believe it but I’ve seen there’s a girl who is living as Amna Mughal.”
“What do you mean?” Mr Arbaz seemed confused.
“Sir, what I’m trying to say is that the girl has probably stolen Amna’s identity.”
He took out his cell phone and showed the girl’s photo to Mr Arbaz.
“So what?” I interrupted, “a lot of women are named Amna. She could be someone else completely.”
“No sir, I saw her stepping out of someone’s car. She went inside her bungalow. Someone called her name and my attention diverted towards her. ‘The Mughals’ was written outside her bungalow. I rung the bell and asked about her identity. She didn’t prove it by cards or documents; instead, she told me that she was Shehzad’s wife. I was surprised to hear that and was quite sure that she had stolen the victim’s identity. I asked her to call Shehzad but she excused and closed the door.”
Inspector Arbaz stood up and looked really serious.
“This is it!” he exclaimed, “... this woman is the answer to our mystery. I’m sure she knows about the killer. Now as you mentioned she made an excuse and closed the door after being asked to call Shehzad, proves her fake identity and she is also involved behind the murder conspiracy.”
“So what are we going to do now?” asked the head constable.
“We’ll interrogate her, of course”
“Hold on,” I interrupted them, “... there’s one thing I’m still confused about, where did you find her? Where was she living?”
“She was few houses away from Shehzad’s house,” he answered, “I knew about Shehzad’s house, as I was following him. So I went for a little walk around until I heard her name being called out.”
“Well you’ve done a good job,” Inspector Arbaz appreciated his subrodinate. “Anyways, we must leave now, as we got a lot of work to do tomorrow morning.”
The case was getting serious.
Who was this woman? Why had she stolen the victim’s identity? Was she behind the conspiracy? I wondered.
The answers can only be found from interrogating her.
Two days later, I met my close friend Aqib at his place. I needed to distract myself from what was going on in my life. My friend was a very jolly person. So there was no other way to refresh my mind and laughing out loud seemed to be a good option.
“There’s sad news for you my friend,” he said to me politely.
“What happened?” I ask him.
“It’s not about me, it’s about you.”
“Come on!” I said, getting annoyed, “I came here to have fun with you.”
“I don’t mind that,” he said scrolling through his Facebook newsfeed, “but you should see this.”
He showed me a Facebook page titled:
Umer Ansari Should Be Hanged
My picture outside the victim’s house was the page’s display picture. The page had more than a 100 likes and more than 80 followers.
I felt depressed after seeing this.
“I’m really sorry for this,” my friend felt bad for me.
I was upset but thought that this won’t last any longer since Inspector Arbaz was now close to the criminal.
“Facebook doesn’t matter,” I uttered. “These people will dislike me, protest against me and abuse me. But after getting tired, they’ll give up and unfollow such pages,” I told Aqib.
“Yes, I agree.”
Few minutes later, my friend and I were talking in his room. And that day, he was trying his best to make me laugh and forget about the Facebook page. But deep inside, he was regretting it.
First week of March
I was at home watching TV as usual and while surfing through news channels, I was glad to see that the news regarding the case against me had now faded and was of no interest to public anymore. News channels were now focusing on political issues and people were more interested in that.
Meanwhile, I received Inspector Arbaz’s call. It had been a week since I had spoken to him, so I eagerly answered.
“Hi, Umer. How are you?” Inspector Arbaz asked.
“I’m good,” his way of speaking seemed strange to me, “so what happened? Did you interrogate the girl?”
“The case has almost been resolved. There are few things left unanswered but the killer has been found.”
“The killer? You mean you’ve found Azhar?”
“Oh, really!” I got excited, “is he under your custody?”
“Yes, he is.”
“What about the girl?” I asked him.
“She’s not the issue. She’s innocent. Anyway, you have to come tomorrow at my place.”
“Good bye,” he said and disconnected the call.
I felt really curious now. The suspense was building up in my mind and I couldn’t distract my mind from it. But the good news was that Azhar was caught now.
Next evening, it was getting darker. I got off my bike and parked it outside Inspector Arbaz’s house. As I was walking towards his house, I felt afraid and eager at the same time. I was eager to see the criminal who had framed me. I didn’t have the courage to fight him or say anything bad but I was glad that he was under Inspector Arbaz’s custody.
I ringed the doorbell, but my heart was beating really fast. The constable opened the door and asked me to enter inside saying, “Go to the room on your left.”
I started walking towards that room but I stopped as soon as I reached the room. Inspcetor Arbaz was on a different sofa and Azhar was sitting on another sofa. His hands were not cuffed but there was a mark on his forehead. It was a scar probably. I was quite surprised to see this
“Sir, what is this?” I asked Mr Arbaz.
“Sit down, Umer,” he spoke calmly.
“But, sir! What is going on?”
“Umer!” he raised his voice staying calm. “Sit down.”
I sat getting a bit frightened.
“Now, listen to me Umer,” Inspector Arbaz continued, “Azhar did not kill Amna. He is not our criminal.”
I remained silent getting stunned, while he continued explaining, “What happened was…”
“Let me tell him,” Azhar interrupted him, while looking at me, “I did not kill the girl and secondly, you must know that the woman who…”
“Tell him what happened inside your house” Inspector Arbaz interrupted Azhar.
“Okay,” Azhar continued, “as I entered inside the house and asked you to wait outside. I saw an unknown girl standing in Amna’s room. I asked her who was she and next thing that happened was that she got shot from someone standing behind me. I turned around to see and it was Shehzad.”
I got really confused and shocked after what I was told.
“Shehzad shot that girl,” he continued, “and then jumped off the window breaking its glass. I followed him through the broken window. As I jumped outside the house, I saw a white hi-roof. Then something hit my forehead from the left and was really bad.”
“You understand now Umer,” Inspector Arbaz started to speak, “he was abducted by Shehzad’s team and dragged inside the hi-roof.”
“Wait, sir” I stopped Inspector Arbaz while he spoke to me, “you believe him? How can you be so sure that his story is true?”
“Remember what the constable told me the other day. He said that he was suspicious about some hideout, where Shehzad used to go secretly.”
“Yes, I do remember that,” I responded.
“I went there the very next day and without letting Shehzad know about it, I entered inside that space. The cops helped me break the lock. There, I found him – your friend Azhar – tied with ropes.”
Oh my God! These were the words in my mind. Now I believed him.
“So now what?” I said after a while.
“We have two breaking news now. Azhar is not the killer. And his sister Amna was not the victim.”
“So who was murdered then?” I asked.
“I had never seen that girl before,” Azhar answered.
“You know it’s our mistake,” Inspector Arbaz said expressing his regret. “It’s the cops’ mistake. We didn’t show the dead woman’s face to the neighbours. The cops immediately took away her body for investigation. They should have at least shown the photos to
“I can explain why that happened,” the constable spoke as he entered the room, “let me clarify why this misunderstanding took place. There were two neighbours who were trying to enter inside the house while the police was doing their job. They looked at the dead body and told us that the dead woman was actually Amna”
to be continued...