“This is blackmail! Don’t do this to me.”
The True Story reporters Radha Srinivasan and her friend Asha Bhat were going to their hostel mess, when they heard these words. It appeared that their neighbor, on their floor in the hostel, Rita Seth was crying and was probably talking to someone on her cell.
The word blackmail hit them hard and they opened the door, which was a little ajar. On seeing the friends, Rita stopped crying and said into the phone, “I will talk to you later.”
“Did you have dinner?” Radha asked the girl, who was still gasping for breath.
“No, Radha. Just go away.”
The two reporters had to very strongly persuade their hostel-mate to reveal her trouble. Finally, the girl gave in.
Rita was a nearby science college student and had recently gone for a small trip to Lavasa, through her college. There, one of the boys of her class, had videographed her in the nude, while she was having a bath. And now, he was blackmailing her to sleep with him, otherwise he would post the video all over the net.
“Why did you not inform your professor?”
“Rakesh has been threatening me that if I go to anybody, he would post the video online.”
“Have dinner in peace, then we will decide what to do,” Radha told their newly found friend. And Rita did not know what else to do so she agreed and came down with the reporter pair.
Post dinner, when they were returning to their rooms, Radha said, “I have an idea forming in my mind. By morning, we will have something concrete.”
“Ok, Radha. I believe you. Good night,” Rita said and went into her room.
When they were in their room, Asha asked her friend, “Radha do you really have some idea of what to do. Or did you bluff?”
“I bluffed partly because I don’t want her to take any drastic steps during the night. I am worried about it because she does not have a room-mate. But at the same time, I have some idea of what we are going to do. We will talk about it tomorrow. We need to rest before that.”
The next day Radha made sure their newly acquired friend was fine and told her to act as she was complying with the wishes of her tormentor. Initially, Rita protested. But then, when the two other girls assured her that they would be nearby and ready to protect her, she agreed.
Rita’s classmate, Rakesh had called her at a hotel room that day. While Rita was approaching the hotel room, she bumped into a man, who muttered an apology and left. The other 2 girls also saw him from their hiding place, just beyond on the same floor of the hotel.
As decided, Rita first made Rakesh delete the video from his mobile. Then she asked him if there were copies of the video and he replied that there were none.
Just at the time when he was going to seduce the hapless girl, Radha and Asha entered the hotel room. Rita had made sure that the room door was not locked. Then the other 2 girls caught hold of the man to beat him up. “You feel all the girls are available to you? Just because we talk to you does not mean that you can treat us like dirt. What right do you have to torture us like this?” Radha shouted at the man, while hitting him.
The man, who was initially blocking the slaps and punches with his arms, went limp, doubling up with stomach pain and then within minutes crumbled at their feet. He was actually sweating, while the air-conditioner was on. By the time a shocked Asha stooped down to check the pulse, it was not working! She then checked his breathing. He was neither inhaling nor exhaling.
“He is dead!” Asha said.
“Now we will have to involve the police,” said Radha.
To be continued…