When Ravi called up Radha the next day, he sounded very excited. “The police could not come up with anything definite. My superiors wanted to hire private detectives. I suggested your name along with your brother’s. They want to meet you. Could you and Kartik make it to my office this afternoon?”
“I’ll speak to my brother and let you know,” Radha replied.
Kartik agreed to come and the siblings met Ravi at the latter’s office reception. He took them to his bosses, Mr. Shroff and Mr. Nagotnekar. They wanted proof of the siblings’ abilities. Ravi suggested that they should be given one chance.
“Ok. We will give you 24 hours. If you do not bring in anything significant, we will hire private detectives,” and Mr. Shroff dismissed them.
This gave them license to work in the security room without interruption, without delay.
When they ran all the DVDs of the first day, they realized that Alex was seen only entering the building, not exiting!
Even Dattar and his other friend had left soon after they had come.
“I have been wondering, why Dattar is with Alex in the first place,” Kartik commented. They had been left alone by the guards, due to Mr. Shroff’s permission.
“Let’s go back to the first attempt,” Kartik suggested.
He kept coming back to the figure in black freezing the frame, where they could see his full height.
“Anna (Anna means elder brother in Tamil), is something wrong?”
“This guy. He’s funny. He’s probably doing this for the first time.” Kartik then froze the image of a close-up shot of his full face and copied it into his pen drive. He checked the second attempt, where another figure in black stealthily with practiced ease approached the heavy door and unlocked it with precision. The alarm goes off, leaving a toy dog within the door, closing it, he runs away. Kartik again froze the image of this man as a close-up of his full face appeared and copied it also in his pen drive. He went back to check all the people entering the building. He had checked it once before without finding any suspicious characters. However, this time on a closer look, he saw a heavily whiskered man entering the lift. He froze this image also and copied it.
“I need to check something out. Radha, let’s go,” Kartik said and the siblings bid Ravi adieu and left.
Kartik pointed the nose of his bike towards the police headquarters and accelerated towards it. Once there, he went to the computer department and sat down at a terminal, with Radha. Here, he used the digital imaging software to overlap the skull-shapes of the first figure on the bearded face. A nagging suspicion made him overlap both of them on the picture of Dattar. Again luck was on their side!
“Congrats, Anna! You’ve just cracked my case.”
“Sis, keep the praises for later. We have only proved that the first attempt was by Alex. He was soon killed. Dattar made the second attempt. But, who made the final and successful attempt? Why was Alex killed? Was it anything to do with the theft? We have a lot of questions but no answers.”
“We could get the answers from Dattar. But, where is he?”
“I sent a constable to his hometown, where he’s supposed to have gone. But, it appears that he never reached there.”
“Did somebody kill him, too?”
“No such reports have been received by us.”
“May be but the murder could very well have taken place.”
“Could be. But I think he is still alive.”
“Going back to Alex D’Cruz murder, Anna, how could someone be so merciless as to disfigure a man like that?”
“That must have been a group. A group of people must have chased the man all over the chawl and did their act. I think it must not have been a planned effort.”
Kartik took a print of the picture of Alex, Dattar and their friend and said, “Let’s go.”
To be continued