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Chapter 7 : Police Questioning
Shinde asked the inspector Kulkarni,“Have you found out who were all Habib Rehman's friends and whether they had a hand in such activities?”
Kulkarni said, “We had met several of his friends in his college and other circles like his family, relatives, work related contacts, social contacts etc and questioned them all. We came to the conclusion that there was no such plan in Habib’s mind and so you can rule him out as a suspect for Vijaya’s disappearance”.
Angered by such a reply, but restraining himself with some difficulty, Shinde asked Kulkarni, “Then who could have caused her disappearance and where is she now?”
Kulkarni said, “After several rounds of questioning various persons starting from her college friends, lecturers, professors, non teaching staff, principal and carrying out the investigations, we came to a dead end and that’s why her disappearance is puzzling”.
He continued, “We had also questioned the people living in your building and some others in your neighbourhood and based on the information given by them, as also carrying out the investigations on the basis of those information, we have not been able to trace her movements.
We had questioned her boss Mr. Walawalkar, his wife Meena madam and their staff members also a number of times. We have so far drawn a blank from that angle also”.
“In her office she had some close friends, whom also we had questioned at length, but still nothing much could be found out. Now we would like to ask her friend Smita and her parents also some more questions to find out whether they had omitted to give any information”.
He asked a constable standing at the entrance of the room to call Smita and her parents, who were waiting outside in the compound of the police station, to come inside.
After a few moments they came inside hesitantly. After they were seated, Kulkarni again asked them various questions regarding Vijaya’s activities till the date of her disappearance and asked them to tell him whether they had forgotten any facts.
They started discussing the matter in a hushed manner among themselves for some time. After a few minutes' pause, Smita told Kulkarni very hesitantly and with nervousness, “I had omitted one detail the last time due to fear sir” and rolled her eyes with nervousness.
Shinde, Sharma and Kulkarni looked at her in surprise and concern. Kulkarni asked her “What is that? Please tell me without any fear. I will see to it that nothing will happen to you for telling me whatever you had omitted in the past”.
In the past Smita and her mother had discussed among themselves what Vijaya had told Smita about a man following her a few days after the incident. Initially, when the incident had happened, she had told Smita, on her questioning Vijaya, whether anybody had followed her on a motorcycle, since she along with her mother had seen that person waiting on the road and watching Vijaya entering their building and taking off afterwards. Vijaya had told Smita that she did not know whether anybody had followed her.
But after a couple of days, Vijaya had told her what had happened when she had gone to Meena madam’s house on that day, and why she had become panic stricken, after hearing somebody talking on his mobile phone in the adjacent room, telling someone else that he would send a briefcase containing 2 crore rupees and that he would arrange to send a further 3 crore later on etc, and rushed back immediately, but she did not know about anybody following her. She had become terrified, because she thought that the speaker was indulging in some terribly criminal activity and that she did not want to be seen in his presence.
She got terrified that if she was found there she would be charged as involved in any criminal activity that the other person was planning. That’s why she did not tell Smita in the beginning when she questioned her about somebody following her. But later on, she told Smita about it and in turn Smita told her parents about it.
Smita and her mother on hearing this incident had also become terrified and decided to keep quiet about it, thinking that if they mentioned about the incident to anybody else or to the police, it would be dangerous for them.
That’s why they did not mention anything about this incident to the police, when they questioned them in the past, they told Kulkarni now.
Kulkarni was very much upset and gave a piece of his mind for this behaviour on their part. He told them that if they had told him about it earlier itself it would have enabled the police to continue their investigation in that angle also and try to trace the possible suspects.
Now he asked her several questions pertaining to this incident, but Smita and her mother did not give much more information about it, since they did not have anything more to say on it than what they had already given to the police.
(To be continued) Back to Chapter 6
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