11, Sky Heights: Chapter 13

Mohini was afraid, the car that was following her! After Nisha’s death, she couldn’t have a sound sleep even for one night. She feared the safety of her life and her instincts told her that her life too was in danger.

She pressed her foot on the accelerator and increased the speed of the car to lose the tailing car. The speed of the car could not match the pace of the thoughts in her mind and she felt that she was driving too slowly even though she was driving at a speed of hundred kilometres per hour in a city like Mumbai.

Anyone who has lived in Mumbai would know that in the morning from eight to ten, it’s ‘peak hours’ and you are bound to get stuck in traffic if you are driving towards the south of Mumbai. Mohini was worried that she wouldn’t be able to lose the car that was following her due to ‘peak hours’ but fortunately, she did not get stuck in traffic near Borivali and reached Malad within fifteen minutes. Because of the speed at which she was driving, she could not see the car that was following her anymore. She thought that she was safe now but when she reached Goregaon’s Dindoshi Flyover, he heart sunk. There was a huge line of vehicles stuck in traffic that could be extending till Andheri! The traffic was not moving and there was no other way out of there. To make matters worse, it started raining heavily.

Mohini’s restlessness and anxiety were increasing as she sat in the driving seat of the car waiting for the traffic to get moving. She tried to reassure herself by thinking that maybe she was imagining things out of fear and nobody was following her. Just then, she heard the sound of a glass break. The glass that shattered was of her car’s window next to which she was sitting!

When Mohini looked in that direction, her eyes popped out.

***

Inspector Shinde and Senior Inspector Joshi were discussing the murder case at Carter Road Police Station. From the facts that they had gathered so far about Nisha’s murder, it had become certain that the one who pushed her down the balcony was present at her birthday party that night.

“Shinde, we have to dig further. There has to be a clue somewhere to lead us to the murderer…” Joshi said as he was playing with a pen in his hand while writing some notes down on a paper about the case.

“Sir, we have to be very careful before we call anyone for interrogation or accuse them of the crime because each and every suspect is very powerful”, Shinde and Joshi both knew well that the celebrities in the Hindi Film Industry were well-connected with the politicians and other powerful people in the country.

“But to find out the truth we have to interrogate everyone. This is not the time to be afraid that they will make us sweat – it is the time to make them sweat.” Joshi had a record of being an honest officer who was not only smart but also fearless. He had solved many high-profile cases in the past and had been transferred many times because he refused to do a favour for the powerful ones. He knew that solving this case would add a star to his record as a police officer and his responsibility was more at the moment as the case had not been transferred to the crime branch yet. This also meant that he was trusted to solve this case.

“Sir, we can start with Nisha’s father Mohandas…he has not told us everything”, Shinde said as he thought that starting with Mohandas was a safe bet.

Joshi looked at the notepad where he had written a few names that he suspected in the case and took the nib of the pen to the name of Mohandas. He said, “Mohandas used Nisha’s money to do things which he shouldn’t have done. He asked for ten lakhs when he was drunk at her birthday party in front of everyone. When Nisha refused to give him the money, he threatened to kill her. Nisha’s servant Sakhubai had overheard the entire argument between Nisha and Mohandas. We can suspect him to be the murderer because few minutes after he threatened to kill her, she was pushed down from the balcony.” Joshi paused, thought for a moment and continued saying, “But a man like Mohandas cannot be foolish enough to kill his own daughter especially when she was like a hen laying golden eggs for him…”

By giving this reasoning to excuse Mohandas from doubt, for the time being, Joshi looked at the second name he had written on the list. Then he said, “Film financer Ranjit Wadhwa is known to have connections with the underworld. Everyone fears him in the Hindi Film Industry…”

When Joshi was speaking, his cell phone rang. When he answered the call, he heard something that wrinkled his forehead. An experienced Joshi understood that something was fishy. He told Shinde, “The more we try to solve this case, the more complicated it gets…the mystery is increasing with every passing day…”

To be continued…

Read previous chapters here: 11, Sky Heights Chapter 1-12

Aashu Patel
Aashu Patel

Aashu Patel is a writer, who has written on a variety of genres ranging from crime to inspirational. 40 books written by him are published. He has worked as an editor of many leading newspapers. He has written many novels. Well-known film director Tigmanshu Dhulia is making a Hindi film based on his English novel 'Madam X'.

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