Murder Most Foul - 17
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Sudhir and Swaroop Raj looked somewhat similar in appearance in their builds, height, weight, facial contours, the way they stood with a slight stoop etc. The only difference was that Sudhir wore spectacles while Swaroop Raj did not wear glasses.
Whenever Sudhir's photo was published in the newspapers he used to think "Can this be the route?" again and again but he used to postpone his thinking further.
He thought let me think further and collect all the plus points first before taking a decision.
He began listing the plus points: Swaroop Raj did not have any relations either in Mumbai or in his native place in UP or anywhere else.
So whenever he was arrested and was put in jail or he went into hiding nobody missed him! On the contrary his contacts were happy to see him missing as he was a terror!
In his narcotic jobs, he had to work as per instructions of Raj and could not take independent decisions. Hence the cuts available for the jobs were smaller compared to Raj's cuts.
But whenever a job came to him in Raj's absence, he could get a much larger cut and his contacts were willing to hand over the jobs to him!
In other words they had the confidence that he could do the job in the absence of Raj without any problem.
So it became important for Ganga Ram to dispose off Raj permanently so that he could earn handsomely. That was his motivation.
So he started searching for Raj's weak points.
No problem there: Country liquor and girls! If whiskey or rum was available he was ready to fall at your feet!
He was especially interested in girls like Maya and Rachna, but they were so scared of him that many times they ran away whenever he was around their place or asked them to spend the night with him.
So at such times he had no alternative but to carry on with some other similar looking girls!
So if he could somehow convince Maya or Rachna to satisfy Raj and also supply some good quality liquor like whiskey he could make some progress he thought, but how?
Then after some more hard thinking Ganga Ram was elated in recollecting that Raj did not know anything about wrestling!
Excited with this development he began to search for ways to use this knowledge to "finish off" Raj.
In his list of customers of drugs some film press reporters were also included and so Ganga Ram casually asked them about the Sudha and Sudhir details. From different reporters he could get some useful information like their mobile nos, the name of the company in Ahmedabad where Sudhir worked and some other useful information.
He wanted to actually have a look at Sudhir before making any plans and so asked one of the reporters where he could see him.
When the reporter asked him why, Ram smiled foolishly and said that he would try to lure him into drugs upon which the reporter said that there was no chance, but if he was foolish enough to try, he was lucky since Sudhir was in Mumbai on that day and that he was leaving for Ahmedabad by Gujarat Mail that night.
Elated he ran to his lousy room in a chawl near the Versova beach and had a quick bath. He put on his most decent looking clothes and went to the Mumbai Central railway station.
He purchased an unreserved ticket for Ahmedabad and found out with a little bit of difficulty the bogie and seat number of Suhir's booking in a first class compartment from the reservation charts displayed on the glass display board on the platform.
He got into the train as the train started moving and went into the first class compartment where Sudhir's seat was located and went near him.
After looking at him for a few seconds he pretended to look here and there and then finally asked Sudhir in a very hesitant manner in hindi in a very polite manner "Excuse me sir. Are you Mr. Sudhir?"
Sudhir looked at him with a frown and replied "Yes, what do you want?"
Again pretending that he was very hesitant he said in a very apologetic manner "I am a little puzzled sir. I am traveling in a second class compartment of this train for Ahmedabad".
"My boss gave me the reference of this seat number and and bogie number which was supposed to be the seat number of his friend. He gave me this sweet packet to be handed over to him in the train since both of us are traveling in the same train. But from the chart I found out that it is your seat number and not that of my boss's friend. I don't know what to do now".
He was holding what appeared to be a small box inside a plastic carry bag in his hand.
He had actually packed a few newspaper pages to the size of a normal half kilo sweet box as available in sweets shops and kept it in the plastic bag folding it properly so that from outward appearance it would appear like a sweet box only!
Since he was sure that Sudhir was not going to get the bag in his hand there was no way he would doubt that it was not a sweet box!
Sudhir said "I am sorry, I can't do anything in the matter. Ask the TTE and find out from him what is the actual seat and bogie number of your boss's friend".
Ram said "Yes, yes. Thank you very much, I am very sorry to have troubled you sir" and quickly moved away from the place.
When the train stopped at Borivli station he got down from the train and went back to his room at Versova. He was pleased.
Sudhir was very similar to Swaroop Raj in appearance except for his glasses! *****
To be continued...