Poetic Justice

This is one of the stories that I had written a few months back..

It was an unusually chilly night in Mumbai. The temperature had dropped below 10 degrees. Mahapalika Marg was fast getting empty of people and animals. The few people present were standing by the fire trying to keep warm. They were discussing their normal day when they heard shots being fired around St. Xavier’s College. Frightened, they started running in all directions. Sanity prevailed after a few minutes and a few people decided to check what had happened. When they reached the gates of St. Xavier’s College, they found two dead bodies, both of them shot between their eyes. They immediately called the cops.

Inspector Amol Mhatre was one of the best cops had been serving the Mumbai police. In his 10 years of work experience, he had never seen someone so brutally murdered. He approached the people who had called the cops.

‘What happened here?’
‘We don’t know sir. We were standing by the fire near the Metro Cinema, when we heard two gunshots. We thought we have been attacked by the terrorists and took cover. But after a few minutes, when we didn’t hear any more shots, we decided to check out what had happened’. ‘That’s when we came across these bodies.’
‘Did any one of you touch anything around here?’
‘No sir.’
‘Did you see anyone walk by or drive by when the shooting happened?’
‘No sir. We were discussing our normal day when we heard the gun shots.’
‘How long ago did you hear the gunshots? Were there only 2 gunshots?’
‘Around 15 minutes back sir. We only heard 2 gunshots’

Inspector Amol looked towards the bodies. The victims were two boys. Next to their bodies, he could see their books getting mixed with their blood. The bullet had gone right through, making a hole in the back of the head. In the meanwhile, other students from the college also gathered. They were shocked at seeing the bodies. Some of them fainted, many cried. Inspector Amol asked a few students if they knew the victims.

‘They are Shivam and Dweep, studying in first year MBA’ answered one of them.

Amol looked at the bullet wound and he knew that a sniper rifle was used. In the mean time, the photographer started to take pictures of the crime scene while other police officers drew a chalk line around the dead bodies. While checking out the surrounding area, they found two bullets some distance away. Soon the siren of the ambulance broke the quietness of the night and took the bodies to JJ hospital for post mortem.

It was well past midnight when Inspector Amol returned back to his station. He entered an FIR of the incident, after which he ran some background checks on the victims. They didn’t have any police cases or records. He went over to JJ hospital to get post mortem reports of the victims. The post mortem report confirmed that they had been shot by a sniper gun with a range of 1500 meters or 1.5 kms. Amol knew that such rifles were only used by the Indian Army or terrorists.

It was 6:30am when he received a report of a woman being shot dead at Marine Drive near Marine Lines station. He reached the crime scene and found a lot of people standing around the dead body and a few people taking pictures. Amol looked at the victim. She was a middle aged woman wearing track pants and a t-shirt. She was probably out on an early morning jog. She had been shot in the same manner, right between the eyes, with the bullet hole making another bindi on her forehead. She had fallen on her back making it distinctly possible that she was running or walking towards Churchgate. Also from the initial observations, it appeared that she was shot by someone standing on the nearby flyover or on the terraces of the nearby buildings. He asked a few locals who were standing around, if they had heard or seen anything. But they had no information.

Amol, along with his colleague Inspector Patil decided to investigate the flyover coming from the Marine Lines. He reached at the center of flyover overlooking the Marine Drive. The woman’s dead body was at a 60 degree angle from where he was standing.
‘This is where he must have been standing’ said Amol to Inspector Patil.
Amol looked on the ground to see if he could find any clues.
‘Take a look at this Patil. I think we have something’ said Amol picking a piece of crumbled paper. He opened the paper and it had words ‘I AM GOD’.
‘What does this mean?’ asked Patil.
‘I think he feels he has the power to take lives’ replied Amol.

They looked around to see if they could find some more clues. But there were none. Amol realized the killer had deliberately dropped the paper so that investigating parties could find it. He knew he was dealing with someone who was very smart, and highly professional. He collected the piece of paper as evidence and headed back towards the crime scene. The dead body had been taken away. On the sidewalk one could see a chalk drawing of where the body was previously. Like in the murder of the two students, the police were able to find the bullet.

Amol had just entered his jeep when he got a message on his police radio, that a man and his dog where shot dead near Kemps Corner. By the time he reached there, a large crowd had gathered and even the media was present. Amol guessed the man would have been shot in the same manner as the previous victims. He was correct, but what horrified him was the sight of dog. The impact of the bullet was so powerful that his head was blown away to pieces. Amol had never seen anything so gruesome before. He felt like vomiting while looking at the dead bodies. He turned away from the crime scene and looked towards the neighboring buildings and then saw the Kemps Corner flyover.

Amol and Patil reached the top of the flyover and looked behind them. They could see the dead man along with his dog right in front of them at a distance of approx 400m. They started looking around for any possible clues and like in the previous murder found a crumbled paper on the side of the road.
‘Sir take a look at this’ said Patil
Amol opened the paper and it had the same words ‘I AM GOD’.
‘Those are the same words. What is this bastard trying to prove?’ asked Patil.
‘I don’t know’ replied Amol

They returned to the crime scene and were surrounded by the media.
‘Sir, this is the 3rd murder in the last 12 hours. Are they related?’ asked one journalist.
‘No comments’
‘Sir, is this a gang or one person?’ asked another journalist.
‘We are still investigating and cannot answer any of your questions. No more questions’ ordered Amol.

He, along with Patil drove away to the JJ hospital where all bodies had been sent for post mortem. The post mortem report for all the bodies had arrived after a couple of hours. Just as Amol thought, all of them had been shot with the same gun. The killer was at a distance of 20-30 feet above when he shot them. Bullets have a serial number from which the manufacturer could be identified. In this case, all identification marks on the bullets were removed.

It was 4:00pm, 6 hours since the last murder. Amol wasn’t sure if the killer had stopped. He was feeling very helpless for the fact that there was nothing he could do. The killer had been a thorough professional. Leaving behind no clues, not a single soul observing him or able to provide any description about him. In the mean time, the television media was running story of serial killings repeatedly. The murders had sent a chill down everyone’s spine. Everyone was talking about it. The residents there were scared as to who could be next.

It was around 8:00pm in the evening, when Patil called Amol to turn on the station television. The killer had sent an audio tape to the television media. They switched on the news and heard the killer speak.

‘Before I begin, I want to say that I am not sorry for killing those people. My name, religion, caste are not important. They have got nothing to do with the killings. I killed them because they had committed a crime. The killings were not random. I had observed the victims for the last 6 months before deciding to kill them. You might be thinking what possible crime could they have committed. So let me start case by case.’

The voice on TV was cold. There was no emotion in it.
‘The two boys who I shot dead last night didn’t commit murder or stole anything. However, they would spit anywhere on the street, on the buildings making the walls look brick red. They would throw litter on the roads, paint drawings on heritage buildings and ruin my city. I approached them once and asked them not to litter, but they started pushing and jostling me and threatened to beat me up. They said “They could do anything they wanted, after all everybody else was doing it.” I tried to explain them that it is not necessary for them to do what others have been doing. But they called me an idealistic and a fool who had lost his mind. I gave them a chance to mend their ways but they didn’t after which I decided to kill them.’

‘I decided to kill the housewife because she was dumping garbage on the road. Every morning after her jog, she would walk up to the balcony with a garbage bag in the hand and then just throw it on the road. Many times the garbage would land on some poor innocent person. One day it landed right next to me. I decided to confront her while she was out on her daily walks. I asked why she was polluting my city. She asked me to buzz off and mind my own business. I persisted. I asked why she could not empty the garbage in the garbage bin. She said it was easier for her to dispose things this way. It didn’t matter since other people did the same. “Why should I walk 15 minutes to dispose garbage? It gets collected every 3 days even if I dump it outside my building.” I told her her actions were not right. She just shrugged me off and went her away. It was then I decided to kill her.’

‘I decided to kill the man and his dog because the man was owner of a chemical industry in Sion. His factory would dump chemical waste in surrounding lands which was causing the land to go arid. Many environmentalists had also spoken to him about the same but he didn’t seem to care. I approached him one day while he was walking his dog in the morning. I asked him if he was aware of the environmental damage his factory was causing. He said there was nothing wrong in destroying something as long as he was gaining something. I told him that the damage he was causing had significant long term implications. He didn’t listen to what I was saying. Just then his dog started to poop on the street. I decided this guy should not be allowed to live anymore and thus killed him and his dog.’

And then the transmission ended.

The entire city had come to a standstill hearing the confession. Everyone was glued to their televisions hearing every word this unknown person was saying. The killer had striked fear in everyone’s heart and minds. Amol was stunned on hearing the revelations. He had never seen anything like this before and knew he would not see anything like this ever again.

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