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The Claim (IVth and Concluding Part)

Part 4

Radha felt being slapped lightly and water being sprinkled on her face. She was sitting on a chair, half tied to it. The last thing that she remembered was being tied to it in a semi-conscious state by Vora after being offered some cold drink, which she had taken. As her eyes got accustomed to the dimness in the room, she spied Inspector Keshav.

“I’ve been poisoned!” Radha exclaimed.

“No. Vora lied to you,” Keshav said slowly. “It was only something to keep you inactive for some time.”

“What happened?” she asked pushing away the remains of the rope she had been tied with.

“Your trick worked. When you said you are coming alone, I couldn’t stop myself. And your friend Asha called me when she could not reach your brother. She was worried about you. The moment I reached over here, I saw a couple dash out of the cottage. The man carried an overnight bag. In their hurry, they did not look where they were going and were hit by a truck. Both are in the hospital, in a serious condition.

“When we had called an ambulance, I had also requested a doctor to come over and examine you. He said you are fine and left with the ambulance. Why did you have the cool drink?”

“The Assistant Editor Supriya Mahto working with us always says that we can have the cool drinks or snacks that are offered to us by the people we interview.”

“See where it has brought you. If it were something more serious, what would have happened?”

 

The next day Radha went to see the Voras in the hospital. Inspector Keshav was already there taking the woman’s statement. Mrs. Vora had recovered from the shock though her husband was still in the ICU. After the statement was taken Keshav came out of the room. He looked very serious.

“Priya has been kidnapped by the boys of their building. They have been black-mailing her father. They killed Chandu because he had protected her often. Mr. Vora told this to his wife only yesterday. When Mrs. Vora had gone to Pune to meet her daughter, those boys had broken into their house to steal the jewelry. The cupboard keys were provided under compulsion by the head of the family. Rest was easy. The insurance company boasted of providing prompt services. The insurance money was again to be used as ransom for the release of the hapless girl.”

He immediately mobilized forces to find the girl. Radha was to accompany them. From clues collected from Mrs. Vora, who had not fully been informed by her husband about the location, it was concluded that Priya must be somewhere away from her house. She had been initially imprisoned in the cottage, where Keshav had found Radha.

Priya had been shifted recently. Search revealed that the gang had another hideout nearby. The building was surrounded by a group of police officers. Keshav and Radha ventured into the building. Nobody stopped them. In one of the rooms, they found a girl in unconscious state. She was taken to the same hospital as the Vora couple. Mrs. Vora identified the girl as Priya. Priya was a gang-rape victim. The boys still intended to rape her again and again. That is why they had still kept her in that building. One by one eventually all the boys were caught and cases were filed against them. The jewelry and cash was also recovered from them.

The True Story on the next day published an apology for publishing the wrong story and also published the real news, without the victim’s picture.

Mr. Vora recovered soon. The Voras decided to leave the place and on the day they were shifting Keshav and Radha went to meet them. Radha was confident that Priya would completely recover from her traumatic experience and be ready to take on her life anew.

About Yashaswini K

Controversy is the second name of Yashaswini. She goes where something is amiss and picks up the threads to make a clear story out of it.

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