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It had been a few days since the incident had occurred. Life in the Dutta household was slowly limping back to normalcy. Roohi was much better and she had resumed going to school. Naina’s loss had left a void in the Dutta family’s home. It was hard to fill in her shoes. Tara had taken a few weeks off until she could set things back to like earlier. She must have called God only knows how many agencies for a full time maid but had no luck. Some were down right too expensive, some dumb! Some even down right snobs and some who could not handle the sight of children. She was getting tired of the kind of people she met every day. Her office work suffered but then it was her home which was her priority.
When Naina was around, she had taken care of just about everything. Right from preparing breakfast for the family to getting Roohi ready and seeing her off to school. Things were so very different now. Roohi was no longer a kid. She had her own problems as well. Tara and Roohi had never spoken about it. Things had gone so very out of hand that Roohi was now a lot closer to Shekhar than her. He knew all her likes, dislikes, her friends and foes. Everything. Tara was having a tough time being a mother. The road from a career woman to a mom was a long one and it had a lot of learning to be done along. If only she had paid a lot more attention to her home earlier.
On the other hand, Java was getting restless with every passing day. He had not had any kind of a break through even though he had run every detail of the case and the interrogations done through his mind several times over. He was going crazy. He had dispatched off teams to all the corners possible to check the antecedents of Jenny and Cyrus. Jenny had been to several places before coming down to Mumbai. The last known location that she had mentioned was Delhi. What would a Malayali born down south do in a land so very up north? Then he remembered, that she had mentioned being brought up in the Gulf. So very typical.
Cyrus was the thorn that kept hurting him. Why would a law student, born and brought up in Delhi, leave the place and come down to Mumbai. That too in the middle of a term. Something here was not right. If he had probably once said that he had been interested in acting but had been forced in to studying law by his parents, he would have bought it once. But he had said nothing of that sort. He in fact had no reason to be here and provided no reason either. Even the ones that he did, were not concrete.
A furrow formed over his brow. He had been thinking too much. He itched it in desperation and called out for another Sulaimani Chai. This was his staple diet since last few days. The boys were well aware when their boss would ask for chai so they always stood by in stand by taking turns. The usually calm demeanor had been replaced by an easily agitated and short tempered one.
He called for the evidences and photographs of the site to be brought to him. The file had never seen the dark room where all the records went after a case was closed. This case did not appear to be closing fast. On one hand, both Roohi and Tara had mentioned about Naina wearing Tara’s clothes and a fight happening around it. But this was no reason for anyone to kill Naina. Forensic reports had shown Naina to be a virgin. He could not have pointed to Shekhar for probably having violated her and then killing her because she got pregnant. In this case, pregnancy appeared too far-fetched a thought. The package had been returned unopened to the sender he smirked.
He looked through the photographs at the crime scene and the evidence collected. He had grown so accustomed to those that he lazily flipped through them. That’s when his eyes fell on the forensic report about the presence of a skin in Naina’s nails. She had tried defending herself, did she? Should he get the skin samples identified? He thought for the better. He called the forensic team over the phone and asked them to pick up samples from each of the suspects bodies to test. He called the suspects individually and asked them to co-operate. Suspects are known to turn hostile. After a little haggling, all complied. Thank fully, nobody gave him any more gyan on their rights.
Just then, his team who had been dispatched to probe Jenny had returned. She was clean in this matter. However, local police stations in Bengal where she had said to have frequented often reported several cases of trespassing. The matters had been serious. Most of the reports being filed by the Forest Department for having entered the Sunderbans without permission. Although she had not killed any animal, this was still considered a serious offence. He was willing to dismiss this case as that of being haughty by age.
Checks on Cyrus had instead not been smooth. He seemed to have pulled all strings to ensure that it would be difficult for him to place a check. His Law background had seemed to be helping him. However, he had now finally crossed that step and had an official search warrant against him. Cyrus could do nothing now. He would personally go down and investigate and search.
Shekhar and Tara had appeared fairly harmless right from the start, although he had once thought about Shekhar having a major role to play. Their interrogations had shown no success. Their antecedent checks had been completed fairly smoothly and fast enough. They had nothing to hide. Even if he did not want to, he had to spare them. He had absolutely no evidence to keep them under the suspect list but he could not leave them yet.
Java had a clear inkling. There was a missing link and that had to be found. It was really not possible that a murder could happen and there be no clue left behind. However smart a thief would be, he would leave behind some clue. Some evidence. He just had to look for it – in the right place and on the right person. He had to go back to the crime scene. He had to look around. He was not sure how accommodating the Dutta folks would be, but it was all a part of his job.
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