Whodunnit: Fictional Relief of Frustration – Part III

Part III: Continued from Part II:

Recap:
Two auto-rickshaw drivers are mysteriously killed on the road over a period of two days. They both were driving at crowded places when they were killed & lost control over their respective vehicles. The passenger of the first auto-rickshaw, Maanvi Sharma, potentially provided a clue of a bike driver being the suspect. The investigating police sub-inspector D. K. Gowda has received the postmortem reports of both the driver’s bodies & they corroborate Gowda’s thought that both the killings are related & done by the same person.

Early morning the next day, a constable walked over to Gowda’s desk and handed over an envelope to him. It was addressed to the Adugodi police station and had arrived by post. Gowda turned it over to see the post-office’s seal on it. It read “Koramangala Post Office” and was posted the day before yesterday, that is – on the day of the second murder. He slit open the envelope and pulled out a paper which some pieces of paper stuck on it. The pieces seemed to form a message created by using printed words cut and pasted in a sequence to form the sentences, and read:

The two auto drivers were killed because they were rash drivers and had almost got me hurt or killed on the road. I was barely saved, others may not be so lucky, so I killed them to save the others. I do not want to hurt or cause worry to any passengers and I will do my best not to hurt them. As passengers, they should act responsibly and stop the auto drivers from rash driving and/or breaking traffic rules. Henceforth any rash auto drivers I encounter, will be shot dead… INSTANTLY. Enough is enough! All auto drivers should strictly follow the traffic rules, obey the signals, show respect to other drivers on the road and drive safely; IF THEY WANT TO STAY ALIVE!

Gowda noticed that the words were cut out from newspaper or magazine articles and cleanly glued on a plain paper in the correct sequence to form the sentences with appropriate punctuation marks. The sentences seemed grammatically accurate, opening up the possibility of an educated & professional person ‘writing’ it!

He thought, “Its quite likely that the bike rider that Maanvi’s reported could’ve killed these two. The reason fits now, though a petty one, but his frustration on auto-rickshaw drivers seems to be on the last stage, not allowing him to ignore/forgive!”

Alongwith the motive behind the killings clarified, the person also seemed to be inspired from Kamal Haasan’s movie “Indian“, where a veteran freedom fighter (Senapati) takes upon a task to ‘clean’ the corrupt government departments by murdering all the corrupt government employees found harassing the public.

Gowda thought, “What will he or she do next? There are close to a lakh auto-rickshaws in Bangalore. A majority of them, rather all of them, break the traffic rules day in and day out. The killer doesn’t even wait for any explanation or reasoning and just shoots down an offending auto-rickshaw driver. He or she seems to be an extremely frustrated person, possibly had some very bad experience with auto-rickshaw drivers. He or she seems to be a regular traveller between Adugodi & Koramangala, quite likely working at Koramangala, as the murders were done in the morning when typically people are on their way to the office. We need to patrol that road thoroughly and even caution *all* the auto-rickshaw drivers in Bangalore about this. What is the best way for me to do that?…”

As if in answer to his question, a few crime reporters rushed in and thronged Gowda’s desk. They started asking him for more information about the two auto-driver murders. Gowda told them that the investigation was in progress and that he had just received an anonymous note from the killer. He told them that both murders were linked and done by the same person, as per the note. On insistence from the reporters, he showed them the note from the killer.

The next day, all the newspapers carried this story on their front page with pictures of the killer’s note to the police and with the regular sentimental masala about the murdered auto-rickshaw drivers’ families & their conditions.

The auto-rickshaw drivers in Bangalore started to panic, with many of them not plying their vehicles that day. Later during that day, the Chief Minister visited the families of the auto-drivers and promised them a cash compensation of Rs.1 Lakh each from the government. He also faced the other auto-rickshaw drivers’ ire over the murders.

The auto-rickshaw drivers’ union representatives also confronted the chief minister, and threatened the CM with an auto-rickshaw strike on the next day, if the killer wasn’t caught. They blamed the inability of the police to secure “innocent citizens” in broad daylight.

The CM tried to pacify their anger, saying the police are investigating the case on priority and that they were tracing the clues to the killer. He said, the killer will soon be caught and put behind bars.

He also asked them to communicate to all the auto-rickshaw driver unions & all their members to maintain their calm and not to break any traffic rules. They should all avoid provoking the killer, until he or she is traced & nabbed by the police.

A couple of days later, with three more auto-rickshaw drivers shot dead – the situation wasn’t in Gowda’s (or rather anyone’s) control. The auto-rickshaw driver unions had called for a second day strike today to oppose the murders, and there were very few auto-rickshaws plying today. Those auto-rickshaws on the road, were driving very carefully – taking care not to offend any other drivers. They had suddenly turned very polite and stopped quarrelling with any other drivers & passengers.

Gowda’s station got an urgent message from their central communication department reporting an accident involving two cabs (taxis) on the old airport road.

Gowda thought, “Oh my god! Now what? Cab drivers?? They *are* the rudest lot on the roads!”

(End of Part III)
Go to Part IV

Whodunnit: Fictional Relief of Frustration – Part II

Part II: Continued from Part I:

Recap:
An auto-rickshaw driver is shot dead by a mysterious killer near the Adugodi signal, while he was driving his passenger, Maanvi Sharma, to the Forum Mall. Though there’s a bad accident after the driver loses control, Maanvi escapes without any major injuries & informs the investigating police sub-inspector D. K. Gowda about an altercation between the auto-rickshaw driver & a bike rider a little while before the accident. She said she thought that the bike rider in a dark gray jacket & a small brown bag on his shoulders could have shot the driver.

PSI D.K. Gowda hung up the call and jotted down the first description of the potential suspect received from Maanvi, though he couldn’t digest the thought that the bike rider could shoot down the auto-driver for such a petty reason. However, he couldn’t ignore any leads & any clues to a potential suspect. With the bike rider in the back of his mind, he left the police station to go to the accident spot to further enquire with the shopkeepers & residents in that area.

After about an hour and after speaking to atleast a dozen shopkeepers & a couple of residents, he concluded that none of the shopkeepers or residents saw anything untoward until the accident occurred. They also did not notice any peculiar person on the road-side. Being a busy road as well as a busy market place, all this sounded pretty weird, but it really seemed like no one saw what actually happened. For someone to shoot a person – while both of them are moving, and with such accuracy to hit the head – he had to be a professional shooter. It was unlikely for such a professional shooter to shoot down a simple auto-rickshaw driver, while riding a bike. So it was quite possible that the shot was fired by someone standing on the road-side. It was also possible that the shot was fired to kill someone else at the location at that time, while it mistakenly hit the driver.

The loud ringtone of his cell phone interrupted his flow of thought – there was a call from his station. He picked up the call, it was one of his constables from the station. He spoke with the constable for less than a minute, and rushed back into his jeep. He asked his driver constable to rush to the Koramangala Water Tank, about 2.5-3.0 kilometers away.

On reaching the St. John’s signal next to the Koramangala Water Tank on Sarjapur Road, he pointed to a crowd standing about 150-200 metres after the signal, “Take me over there.”

The driver drove towards the crowd & stopped the jeep close to the crowd. Gowda saw an auto-rickshaw which had crashed into the trunk of a big tree at the edge of the road. He alighted from the jeep and pushed aside a few people from the crowd to make way for himself. As soon as some of the people saw him, they themselves moved aside, making way for him to reach the accident spot.

The vehicle’s front body was badly damaged due to the collision, so the driver seemed to have been at a high speed. On taking a closer look, Gowda saw that there was no passenger, but the driver was still in his seat crushed by the vehicle’s front body!

Nobody could’ve survived in that position Gowda thought, and that was also probably why no one from the crowd had touched the driver – fearing he was already dead. However, Gowda called up his station & asked them to urgently send an ambulance and a couple of constables to the accident site. He then asked 2-3 people from the crowd to help pull out the driver from the vehicle. They broke off some leftover glass from the wind shield & pulled up the front of the auto-rickshaw with the help of the wind shield’s side bars. Slowly, they pulled out the profusely bleeding driver and laid him on the footpath next to the vehicle.

Gowda inspected the driver, checked for his pulse – there was none, checked his nostrils to check for his breath – but no sensation there as well. He also noticed that there was a deep injury in the head, it seemed like something had pierced through the back of his head and caused a serious injury.

“Could this be a bullet injury? Is this linked to the first murder at Adugodi? Is this the work of a serial killer targetting auto-rickshaw drivers?”

With such thoughts racing through his mind, Gowda loudly asked the people gathered, “Was there any passenger in the auto-rickshaw with him?”

A few people shook their head and replied, “No sir…”

Within another couple of minutes, the ambulance arrived. Gowda asked the paramedics to check the driver, if he was alive. They immediately tried to check if he was still alive, however finally concluded that the driver was already dead.

Gowda asked them to take the dead body & conduct the post-mortem on it. He would now have to wait until the report arrived the next day, to ascertain the cause of the death as well as the cause of the deep head injury.

By this time, his constables also arrived & with them he cordoned the site and started searching for any clues around the crashed vehicle.

He asked the people from the crowd, “Who saw the accident happen?”

A couple of men raised their hand and walked towards Gowda. He asked them to relate what had happened.

One of the men started narrating, “I was standing at the bus-stop here waiting for my bus to go to Bellandur. When the traffic signal turned green for the traffic coming from Madiwala check post, all the vehicles started rushing. There were 3-4 buses in the vehicles and I got busy checking if any of the buses would ply to Bellandur. And within a few seconds I saw the auto-rickshaw suddenly come out from behind one of the buses and directly went & hit the tree. Luckily there were no people standing there, as well as the auto-rickshaw was empty. There was a loud noise and the wind shield glass shattered.”

Gowda looked at him inquisitively, “Was the auto-rickshaw at a high speed?”

Both the men shook their heads & almost replied together, “No sir, it was not fast…”

Gowda looked at both of them, still patiently listening & waiting to hear more…

The second man continued, “But generally like what happens when the signal turns green, all the vehicles rush out fast; similarly the auto-rickshaw was behind the private bus along with other vehicles. He probably was driving towards the left to search for a passenger near this bus-stop, as he was driving empty.”

Gowda said, “Okay, so where were you standing?”

The second man replied, “Over there sir… near that gate sir…” & pointed to the white gate of a house on the service road, parallel to the main Sarjapur road.

“I work there, and had come out to smoke a cigarette… I was almost done, when I heard the crashing noise and saw the auto-rickshaw had hit the tree. I saw the driver was in it, and ran toward it to help. But when I reached there, I was afraid to pull out the driver, as he was badly stuck up in the crashed vehicle’s front body.”

Gowda asked him, “When you saw the driver, was he alive? Was he moving?”

The man replied, “No sir, he was not moving… I don’t know if he was alive, but he made no sound or movement.”

Gowda further asked him, “Did you hear any other peculiar noise before the accident’s sound? Like a gun shot or small blast or so?”

The man shook his head and replied, “No sir… The traffic was very noisy as it is… I didn’t hear any other sound sir…”

Gowda asked, “What other vehicles were next to the auto-rickshaw? Did you see them?”

The man replied, “There were many bikes along with the auto-rickshaw, and a bus that was before it.”

Gowda exhaled heavily & asked them both, “Do you remember anything else?”

Both of them shook their heads again & replied, “No sir… nothing else.”

Gowda looked behind and called out for one of his constables. Then turned back to them and said, “Give your full name, residential address and phone numbers to him. We may call you up, if necessary. And if you recollect anything else, absolutely anything, do call me.”

The two men nodded back.

He turned to his constable and instructed him, “Take their details, and give them my contact number.”

Gowda further instructed the constables to continue with the investigation process as he had to go back to the station.

At the station the postmortem report of the first auto-rickshaw driver had arrived. It confirmed that the death had occurred with a bullet in the head which should have been shot from a maximum distance of 1.5 metres away from the head. The other details of the bullet & the gun used were also mentioned alongwith the other usual information. He skimmed through the report and asked his constable to get him a cup of tea.

The next day, the second postmortem report also arrived and it seemed to corroborate his thoughts of the two accidents being related. The death of this driver was also with a bullet embedded in his head. It would’ve also been shot from a close range of a maximum of 2 metres away from the head. The bullet used & the gun type also matched for both the cases.

“Damn! Who is doing this? And why is he or she doing it? Why only auto-rickshaw drivers? Is there a psycho serial killer on the loose? They both seem like a professional job, as there are almost no clues at the sites. He or she seems to carry out the killings stealthily, in crowded & noisy areas, roads specifically, and making it difficult for them to be traced. What is he or she upto?”

With a deep sigh, he continues poring through the two reports.

(End of Part II)
Go to Part III

Whodunnit: Fictional Relief of Frustration – Part I

The shocked passenger was nervously happy to be alive with some injuries, after a close brush with possible death. The auto-rickshaw she was riding in, had suddenly swerved to the right & hit the median, causing the vehicle to topple to the left. Luckily for her, within a few seconds of the accident, some people from the crowd around the accident spot had rushed over and safely pulled her & the driver out. The people had carried her to the footpath and asked her to lay down there. After enquiring her how she was, she was helped to sit up straight and offered a glass of water to drink.

The 22 year old law student had hired the auto-rickshaw to reach the Forum Mall, and now the vehicle lay badly damaged at the Adugodi signal. She looked at the scratches on her left elbow & left knee and covered her torn clothes with her dupatta. Gathering her strength, she pulled out her cellphone from her purse and checked if it worked. She made a phone call and then continued to check for any other injuries.

Within a few minutes a police jeep with a sub-inspector (PSI) and 3 constables arrived. The constables pushed the crowd back with their lathis, while the sub-inspector looked around the vehicle, spoke to his constables & then asked aloud, “Was there any passenger?”. A few people from the crowd pointed to the girl and replied that she was the passenger in the auto-rickshaw.

Sitting on the footpath holding a half-filled glass of water, the girl nodded at the PSI and searched around for the driver in the crowd. The PSI walked over to her and asked her if she was okay. She nodded again and continued to search for the auto-rickshaw driver.

The PSI asked her, “Was there anyone else with you in the auto-rickshaw?”

She replied, “No.”

The PSI then asked her to relate what happened. She slowly recollected what had occurred and related the incident to him. She again turned around to search for the auto-rickshaw driver.

The PSI asked her, “Are you searching for someone?”

She angrily replied, “Yes, where’s the stupid auto-rickshaw driver? He almost got me killed!”

The PSI looked at her in the eye & replied, “He’s dead.”

She suddenly turned over to him & stared back unbelievably and exclaimed, “DEAD? WHAT? WHERE IS HE?”

The PSI helped her get up and slowly walk towards the vehicle. He showed her the driver’s dead body lying behind the vehicle. The body was lying in a pool of blood near his head.

She again looked back unbelievingly at the PSI and asked him, “How did he die? What happened to him?”

The PSI replied, “He has been shot in the head!”

She exclaimed, “WHAT? SHOT HIM WHAT?”

The PSI replied, “He seems to have been shot with a gun. That’s why he must have lost control over the vehicle and had this accident.”

“Did you see or hear anything before the accident occurred?”

She just shook her head in disbelief, then closed her eyes and started weeping.

The PSI said to her, “Cool down. Stay calm madam. We need you for the investigation. What’s your name?”

She replied sobbingly, “Maanvi”.

He asked, “Full name? And where do you live?”

She replied, “Maanvi Sharma. I stay in a PG at Frazer Town.”

He further asked, “Where were you going?”

She replied, “Forum Mall. My sister is there, waiting for me.”

He asked, “Did you call her up?”

She replied, “Yes yes… I called her a few minutes ago. She should be here any minute.” She turned her head towards the crowd searching for her sister.

The PSI then said, “Okay, we need to check your bag & purse. Can you show it to him?”. He beckoned one of the constables to come over.

Maanvi handed over her bag and purse to the constable, who checked it thoroughly and then returned it back to her. The constable shook his head at the PSI and went back near the driver’s dead body.

She pulled out her cellphone again and called her sister. “Where are you Saakshi?… Okay… Okay, I’m here diagonally opposite the Bata showroom. Come over quickly.” She hung up, turned to the PSI & said, “She’s almost here. Can I go?”

The PSI said, “Give us your full address & phone numbers. Do you want to visit a doctor first? Its important that you get a check up done. My constable can accompany you to a doctor close-by.”

She replied, “No sir, its fine. My landlady is a doctor and I will get myself checked-up by her.” She pulled out a piece of paper, requested for a pen from the PSI and scribbled down her name, address & phone number, and handed it over to the PSI.

“This is my address & phone number.”

The PSI replied, “Thank you. My name is D. K. Gowda. I will call you up tomorrow. You may need to come to the police station. Think about what happened and try to recollect if you heard any gunshot, or saw someone driving next to the auto-rickshaw just before the accident occurred. Okay? Take care.”

Maanvi nodded, and then slowly turned around to see her younger sister rushing towards her shouting, “What happened didi?” and frantically checking her clothes and body. “Are you badly hurt? Where are you hurt?”

Maanvi put her hand on her shoulder, and slowly pulled her away. She then said, “I’m fine. Let’s leave first. We’ll talk on the way.”

They slowly walked over to the other side of the road and hailed another auto-rickshaw to take them home.

The next day morning, Saakshi answered Maanvi’s cellphone. It was the PSI D. K. Gowda on the line,asking for Maanvi. Saakshi took the instrument to Maanvi who was lying down on the bed.

Maanvi answered “Hello Sir…”.

Gowda asked her, “Hello! How’re you feeling today? What did the doctor say?”

Maanvi replied, “I’m quite fine Sir, thank you. The doctor said I only have a few bad bruises… no broken bones, nothing serious. I was really lucky. My bag saved me. What happened to the driver’s body sir?”

Gowda replied, “Okay, good that you’re fine. We had to conduct a post-mortem on the driver’s body, after which it was handed over to his family.”

“So, were you able to recollect anything? Do you remember any gunshot sound or any car or bike driving next to the auto-rickshaw?”

Maanvi replied, “Yes sir. I remembered something, which might be of help to you. I’m a law student myself, and I know the importance of such information in a crime investigation.”

DKG replied, “Oh, great! So tell me…?”

Maanvi said, “Sir, when we were crossing the MICO factory on the Adugodi road, the auto-rickshaw driver had suddenly turned a little towards his right, to overtake another auto-rickshaw, without seeing the rear-view mirror. At that time, a biker driving next to us was barely saved from hitting the road median. He braked suddenly and controlled his bike. He then accelerated behind us and came to our left and shouted at the auto-rickshaw driver. The driver also shouted back at him and they continued their argument while driving. The biker backed off before the Adugodi signal and we continued further. As the signal had turned red, we had to stop. After stopping, the auto-rickshaw driver seemed to search for the biker in his rear mirror… grinning. I don’t know if he saw the biker or not, but within seconds the signal turned green and we started again. We crossed the signal and just before the Bata showroom the driver lost control on the vehicle and we had this accident. I think I saw the same biker on our left just before our accident. I remember from earlier, that he was wearing a dark gray jacket and had a small brown bag on his shoulders. I don’t know if this had anything to do with him, but this just came to my mind about something that had happened just before the accident.”

Patiently listening to her story all this while, DKG broke his silence, “Okay good. Do you know which motorcycle was he riding? Do you remember the registration number, by any chance?”

Maanvi replied, “No sir, I don’t know the motorcycle or the registration number or anything else. This was the best I could recollect.”

DKG said, “Okay, fine. I understand. You should rest. This is my cellphone number from where I’ve called you right now. Store it and call me back on this number if you recollect anything else. We might need your help further, I’ll call you up as needed. Okay?”

Maanvi, “Yes, okay. I understand. Thank you.” She hung up the phone and saved the number on her phone.

(End of Part-I)
Go to Part II

“KINGFISHER Coach”

02092009

This is a picture I took on my way to the office today morning. Check it out, the auto-rickshaw is a “KINGFISHER Coach“, probably owned by Mallya’s gardener. 😛 (Actual picture)

And the main thing – there’s something (horribly + terribly) poetic written above it, which reads as below (copying the punctuation as well):

——————————————
Yes Kyoz Me                  => (Excuse me? Okay, but will I regret it?)

Beauty i Like u
But Not u                          => (Eh? Make up your mind!)
I Like u Lip
But Not Kiss u                   => (Untouchable lipstick?)
I Like u Smile
But Not Love                    => (Desi Elvis, sings “Heartbreak auto-rickshaw“)

– Graazy Boy                 => (Yeah, graze around. No hope!)
——————————————-

Don’t ask me… I’m myself asking, *WHAT*?!