Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Clinching evidence

Surender Khanna was languishing for the last two days in this small lockup covered by a locked steel door. When he was asked earlier by a constable to follow him, he did not know why he was being taken away at 10 pm from his hut. He asked his shocked wife to stay behind and not come to the police station on any count in the night. His two children, a girl of thirteen and a boy of ten years were sobbing. Surender Khanna had no history of crime or even minor offences. He was a quiet person minding his own work. His only weakness is for a glass of liquor after the day’s hard work and none ever knew he ever drank except his wife.
The Sub Inspector with his frightening bushy mustache that extended from one ear to the other asked him in a gruff tone, ‘How long are you working with Naren? “
Which Naren, Sir?” asked Surender Khanna softly
There was an instant slap on his face by the SI followed by a bark “Are you acting? I will break your bones, mind you, if you dare ask questions again..I mean the loafer Naren who lives in the adjacent street of yours.”
“Oh, that Narendra kumar.He studied with me in the corporation school and I know him from my younger days. What happened to him, Sir?”
“He murdered a man, to whom he has been selling ganja and who had not paid him, when he threatened to expose him. We have knowledge that he has been supplying the stuff but there is no proof to clinch in the court. If you sign a statement that you knew Naren for long and are aware of his dealing in ganja, we will let you away. We know you are a good man. We need this cooperation from you to render justice to the murdered man” said the SI
Sir, I have not seen him for some months. Honestly upon God, I am not aware of his dealing with Ganja. Though he was threatening the petty shop keepers and forcibly collecting mamool and spending the money on liquor and cheap women, I know nothing of ganja. I actually avoided his company for these reasons.”
“So you are not willing to cooperate with police to punish a murderer because he is your close friend. Mind you, fool, you will come to grief if you do not cooperate with us.I can book you also in the same case. I have enough people who will give evidence of your partnering with Naren.It is late. Be a good man. You have a young wife and a teen aged daughter. Tomorrow morning your wife will come. Talk to her if you wish to. I want the statement by 9am..Don’t say I have not warned you. I know the ways to extract the statement from you. Don’t push me to that length.” saying this he left.
He could not sleep that night at all. He was tormented with the thought if the police fellows foist some false case and put him jail, his wife and children would come to the street.. They had none to look after. There was no money too as they were living hand to mouth. But his conscience would not allow him to utter a lie against Naren as he had no contact with him at all .He did not know how to escape from the clutches of police without making a false charge on a man who did no harm to him.
Early in the morning at 7am the policeman nudged him with his baton. He saw his wife standing before him with her disheveled hair and eyes that spoke of sleepless night. She was crying inconsolably.
Surender asked her “Why are you crying so much? What happened? Did anyone trouble you? Tell me quick. I am unable to bear the agony.”She said hitting her head with her hands”I am not seeing our daughter since morning. She went out at 4am to relieve herself. I dozed away. In the morning when I wake up she is not there. I checked hither and thither. She is not to be seen.”
Surender was shocked beyond words and started crying like a child along with his wife. The SI entered just then and asked what the commotion was all about. When the constable explained about the daughter missing, he laughed loudly.
He called Surender by his side, patted him on his shoulder and said in a very assuring voice “Don’t worry about your daughter. I will fetch her unharmed within an hour or even less. But you must do your duty to the country in punishing a murderer by signing this statement. Read carefully. You have only said that you have seen him having possession of ganja in the past. You are not talking of murder or any such thing you have not seen. I will not ask you to do such wrong things. I am interested in your welfare for the sake of my sister, your wife. Be good and reasonable.”He ordered two cups of tea and placed the pen in his hand. He told the constable to leave them alone.
When Surender wanted to see the girl first, the SI told him “OK,I will have her searched immediately and bring her here on the condition you agree to sign the statement. Tell me in five minutes after talking to your wife.”
In ten minutes the drama ended with the girl safely with Surender Khanna and his wife and the signed statement in the hands of SI.
A fool proof evidence of ganja-dealing by Naren was available with the police to clinch the murder charge.


  1. Though it might be for good, but getting a false witness for a murder is not the way out. Is our system that weak, that they have to torment innocent people into doin such acts?But sadly such things happen, and in most parts of the world. The new movie New York had something similar.
    It just highlights the weakness of a system.Though here the person was not forced to sign up for a murder which he hasnt seen, but in worse cases such things happen.
    A thought provoking story indeed :)

  2. The guilty needs to be punished, but is it not wrong to force someone or emotionally blackmail someone to give a false witness. Though, the SI wanted to arrest a criminal, he should not have used Surender, who was unaware of Naren's business.
    After by 6th standard, I am reading the words 'Hither and Thither' only in your blogs, one of the reasons I come again and again :)

    Have a nice day

  3. Gripping as usual.I was searching for a way out for surendar. Maybe he could agree to give the statement and deny it later when he appears in the court bringing the situation to the magistrate.But his life will become miserable after that.
    A post of different shade i would say :)

  4. Your blog is really interesting... Good Luck...keep writing.

  5. Very interesting indeed.I too agree that bearing false witness is an absolute wrong doing.

  6. wheres the fascinating end??
    i dont like this end, althou i know this is quite a common practise and most victims land up in the same scenario as Surender.

  7. This story may be hard to digest but that is the reality sir. The police do misuse their power, which makes them no different from third-rates fellows.

    Also, we have to presume that Naryen had committed a murder. What if the police, without able to find the real murderer, use a false witness to close the case???

    That's something disturbing....

  8. Excellent and thought provoking Sir.. What would we do in such circumstances ? I guess the attachment to ones daughter is too great and forces one to make compromises.

    If Mr Khanna is intelligent, he can deny the evidence in court (as is commonly seen these days) to rectify this. I guess that in reality there are many innocents who get convicted on this basis and many innocents who are forced to compromise on their "values"..

    Terrific post, Sir..

  9. Hello Sir.
    This is a very thought provoking post.
    It is very sad to see the way the police blackmails common public....in this story... I guess just to spare itself from intensive and exhausting search which is why they are paid.
    It is indeed a very dwindling situation for the protagonist here. All thanks to the police.
    Punishing criminals is absolutely right but harassing innocents to become the witness is wrong.
    Thank you for such a nice post.

    Have a great day.

  10. A true depiction of how the things go about in the process of delivering 'justice'.

  11. Hi KP,

    What a story!

    Just came by to say hello hope you are doing well and enjoying summe.


  12. Hello! Sir,
    Once again a MOVING STORY. YOU ARE REALLY A GEM OF A PERSON in writing. I am fortunate to know you.
    I enjoyed reading the story , it is very gripping………

    Do visit my blog regularly, as your comments r really precious.

    Keep Smiling………….