Sub Inspector Manickam was morose sitting at his desk with his head cupped in his hands. His promotion was due any time His boss was upset on the phone at his inability to find any lead on the sensational murder that took place in his jurisdiction..There was really no clue about when and where the murder took place,the whereabouts of the weapon and how the body was shifted to his jurisdiction.The biggest hurdle was the dead man’s face was smashed beyond recognition and the body was left naked before a women’s college without anything on it.The media had gone to town when many of the college girls fainted on seeing the body at the entrance of the college and the management reported the matter to the police.The assembly was in session and the opposition lost no opportunity to berate the government at the dwindling law and order situation with this latest murder following a spate of murders in the city and the audacity of the murderer leaving a naked body at the college premises.What can poor Manickam do when even the best brains cannot unravel unless they had some hint or evidence to work upon.His boss was not interested in all these excuses but wanted SI to go out,find more about the dead man,missing men and complaints if any in other police stations.SI was told that there was pressure from high quarters as the matter was in headlines
It was then he saw a young man walking in through the swinging doors into his room with no constable announcing his coming in.
The young man stood before Manickam and said”I have come to tell you about the gruesome murder that took place with the body thrown at a college gate.”
Manickam found the man a bit unusual, pale in look, though three dimensional without solidity about him.It looked as if he could pass his hand through him.A sudden chill passed through his spine.
Gathering himself he asked”What do you know about the murder? Who was the victim? Why was he killed and who killed him? Tell me your name and address first.”
“My name is Rajan and I am the victim” the man uttered
Manickam sat up with a start and rang the bell feverishly till a constable entered.Asking him remain, he asked the young man before him”Are you a mad man? I asked you who the murdered man was”
“I understood Sir and answered you correctly.I am the murdered man.Please listen without interrupting” he replied
“I was in love with Kokila and we decided to marry despite the opposition from her parents and brothers.They are rich and powerful.I belong to a lower caste and they would not allow her to marry me.She told them she would either marry me or remain a spinster.In fact we had decided to elope.They must have got a scent of it when her mobile was lost by her..They had finalised someone rich from their own community.Her brothers with the help of some hired killers killed me as I was proceeding in a two wheeler in the outskirts of the city” the man said
“I don’t really know what to make of your statement.Can you name them?Can you also show me some evidence to nab them.I promise I will avenge your death as you have been god–sent to me when I was at my wit’s end.Can you show me the place of crime?You can come on my pillion’Manickam said hurriedly.”
“I can travel on my own.Come on let us go”said the figure
About 40 miles away from the city the man took the SI into a desolate area surrounded by trees a little away from the highway.The man stopped near a very large and deep well and said” they threw the sickle and the iron rod with which they murdered me in the well and pushed my two wheeler also in it.Come with me to the tree here and see for yourself.Here they dashed my head against the tree before killing me ”
The SI saw evidence of blood with hairs sticking on the tree.The forensic department was called and it appeared to SI that the case against Kokila’s bothers and father was all sewed up water tight when they found the murder weapon and the two wheeler.
Manickam was in high spirit in cracking what appeared an unsolvable crime.The SP who was initially jubilant became lukewarm when the girls parents met him at his residence and discussed.Not much was known about what happened in the background except that Manickam was transferred overnight to a god forsaken place.The two wheeler unearthed from the well it was announced had no number plate and the engine number illegible and the identity of the dead person could not be established.Kokila’s lover it was mentioned had ditched her and ran away when rebuked by girl’s brothers leaving no clues about his whereabouts.
The frustrated Manickam had reason for some small comfort when he heard after two months that his earlier boss the SP had gone mad after what people ascribed to hounding by a ghost as he was always seen screaming staring at vacant spaces ’Go away.Go away.Do not harm me.Do not scare me’