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Chapter 11 : Police Investigations Draw A Blank
“Anyway, what do you say about the plan?” inspector Kulkarni asked the people around him.
There was no reply from anybody. Everybody was looking at each other for some guidance.
Kulkarni said, “No problem. There is no hurry. Take your time and think over it. But while talking to others talk very cautiously, since such matters may involve a lot of emotions. It is a very sensitive subject”.
“Let us remember that 90% of the people, whether hindus or muslims, are law abiding persons. Only a very few people are criminal minded persons. Such persons spoil the good people also, due to their poor backgrounds or due to various grouses. So if we undertake a positive plan like the one outlined to you now, there is bound to be a positive result. It requires cooperation from both the communities with proper give and take”.
Sensing that the people did not feel convinced by his detailed explanations about Habib’s being held in the police station itself, he called a constable to bring Habib to their place. The constable went up to the first floor and after a few minutes returned back with Habib.
Habib’s parents stood up crying and hugged him immediately. Kulkarni, after allowing all of them to exhibit their emotions, asked Habib to sit along with him and asked him to narrate his experience of the past 3 months.
Habib more or less corroborated what the inspector told them all during the past few hours or so. He also told them that he was very apprehensive in the beginning and did not trust the police, or their so called plans. But after a few days, he felt that the pilot plan was a good plan and worth experimenting with sincerity, by both the hindus and the muslims, so that both the communities could understand each other better.
He also told them that the police took care of him very well and that he now understood at what pressure the police force is working to solve the various problems of the country. He said further that it is the responsibility of the people to fully support the police in solving the problems of crime occurrences and the ways to prevent them from happening.
With such explanations coming from him, his parents and the others from his community, began to get convinced to some extent about the pilot plan, and told the inspector that they would start discussing with the other members of their community to move the matter further as outlined by Kulkarni.
Having completed the discussions Kulkarni told Habib to go back to the club on the first floor.
When Kulkarni indicated that the meeting was over, Shinde again asked
him when he would inform him about Vijaya. Kulkarni promised him that the police would do the utmost to find out the whereabouts of Vijaya and solve her problem soon.
All of them took leave of the inspector in different moods. Habib’s family members were in a sort of daze about the information provided to them by the inspector.
But Vijaya’s family members were deeply concerned and a bit angry at the problem of her disappearance being unsolved. They feared that perhaps they would never see her again. Such was their despair due to the loss of so much time since her disappearance.
Three or four days later, Kulkarni called Vijaya’s family members along with their lawyer to inform them that they had made elaborate investigations into the information given by Smita about some boy following Vijaya from Meena madam’s house. The investigation turned out to be an anti climax according to Kulkarni!
He learned that there was a drama competition in Meena madam’s son’s college the following week after the day’s visit of Vijaya to madam’s house.
For the drama, some friends of her son were rehearsing the scenes in her house. On the day of Vijaya’s visit, Meena madam’s son had gone out to some nearby shop with a couple of friends for some purchases and only one friend was present in her house. He was practising the dialogues for his portion of the drama, which Vijaya had heard and misunderstood the situation and got scared unnecessarily!
But Kulkarni did not leave it at that. He repeatedly asked all the persons concerned with the college, like professors and the other students about it. All of them confirmed the situation about the drama.
The drama competition took place 1 week after Vijaya’s visit to madam’s house and the drama was enacted with the said dialogue - meaning what Vijaya had heard during her visit to madam’s house. It was all due to her misunderstanding and nothing else.
But Vijaya’s parents were not at all satisfied with that explanation.
They asked him “Then who was the person who followed her from madam’s house? Was he also a student of the college? If he was a student of the college, what was his motive for following her? If he was not a student of the college and somebody else, who was it?”
Kulkarni said that the police has not found out about that aspect of the matter and the investigations were going on about it.
Kulkarni said that after all Smita had informed him about somebody following Vijaya only 3 or 4 days back, when all of them had met him and so he asked them to be a little more patient.
It left Shinde’s family members very much angry and disappointed.
(To be continued)