Why Would You Do This To Me?”

The sin series...“Why would you do this to me?” Shruti wondered. Her mind boggled and she searched for the answers after learning the latest update. Sameer had messaged and threatened a man who now had turned up dead in his apartment.

"Why did you message and threaten Aditya Rao to stay away from Shikha Kulkarni?" Shruti asked as they sat opposite each other in the interrogation room. Sameer sat stonefaced. "Don't make this hard for me." "It's not what you are thinking." "Really? What is it then?" "I was simply looking out for her." "You were looking out?" "Yes." "She didn't even have your cellphone number. Why would she need help from someone who isn't even in contact? Or is it that you wanted Shikha in your life and couldn't stand her boyfriend, so threatened him." "Oh, please. Do you really think I am capable of that?" "Let's just not ask what we are capable of. Because I sure as hell didn't expect this turn of events." "I was attracted to Shikha back in college. After that, I lost touch. Six months back, I met Shalini and Animesh on the streets. We were all friends back then.

I hadn't been in touch with anyone since I left college. What followed were a series of calls to each other, and then, one day, Shalini told me that Shikha was going through some crisis. Upon questioning, I came to know that this guy Aditya was making her life hell, and Shikha was frustrated. I hadn't talked to Shikha yet. But the feeling that she was in trouble was eating me. I asked for his full name and sent a message from the official phone that I had back then. He never replied again after my last message, and I just let it go. I didn't even think much about it. Until he dropped dead, and I realized what I have gotten myself into." "So you just sent a message out of the blue to a guy because you heard he was not behaving right with a girl whom you happen to like back in college?" "Yes. I know it sounds absurd but believes me, I am telling the truth. Look, I was in a very bad place back then. Aai was hospitalized, plus we had that politician's case in hand; I was a mess.

So it just happened. I wasn't in my senses…." "But you were in your senses when you deleted the whole chat…." "I don't even know why the hell did he still have the message. I just flipped out. I am sorry." "How many times will you apologize for things that can't be undone?" "Shikha…" "For the last time, I am Shruti, and you get out of my cabin. Now!" "Ma'am!" Raina came in. "Yes." "We have a hit on our delivery guy." "Fantastic!" "Not exactly. The guy is dead. Krishna Marg police station called us now after seeing the CCTV grab of the delivery guy that we sent out. They recognized him and said he was killed in a hit-and-run road accident last Thursday. Raina gave a photo that resembled the fellow. He had the same red t-shirt and jeans. With the same exact haircut." "Last Thursday? The day Aditya was murdered." "Yes. The name is Kishan Yadav." "Did they catch the guy who ran over him?" "Yep. The man says in his defense that our delivery guy was speeding, and he came from the opposite direction." "Damn."

"Apparently, the officers found this in his jeans pocket," Raina said, showing an image the people of that station had sent. On the plain paper were written the words ‘601 atlas "601 Atla?" "I don't know if I am right, but Aditya's apartment is called Atlantis. And he lived in 501. Maybe…" "Let's talk to the resident of 601. I have the same hunch as you." The door of apartment 601 was locked when Shruti and Raina made a visit. "Who stays in 601?" Shruti asked the woman who opened the door in flat 602. "Akshay. His name is Akshay." "Did he leave the place?" "I don't know. I haven't seen him for a week, I guess." "You have his number?" "No. He hardly interacts with anyone." "Does he own the place?" "No. He is a tenant. The owner is Rajan das." "Do you have his number?" "Yes. One minute." She went into her house and got a cellphone. "This is the number." She said, giving her a contact detail. "What is this all about? Is this related to Aditya's case?" "Don't know for sure. Thank you for the help." "Madam, there is one thing. There is a huge hole on the wall in the backside of our society. People keep going out and coming in from there since it's closer to the main road. But it's also a major security risk. Could you please close it for us? Shruti looked at Raina and nodded at the occupant.

"Ma'am, I spoke to Rajan Das, the owner. He sent the agreement copy. The Guys name is Akshay Ruia. He is a businessman. He had taken that apartment on rent for a few months till his own house was under repairs. It got repaired, and he left." Raina told Shruti. "When did he leave?" "Saturday." "Do we have his address?" "Yes." "Let's go." Sitting in the huge lobby of Ruia and their son's office, Shruti and Raina marveled at the giant structure. "Why would a man who is so rich would go and stay in a one-bedroom apartment when his house is getting ready?" Raina asked. "Quite suspicious, isn't it?" Shruti asked. "Excuse me, ma'am, Mr. Ruia is ready to see you now." A woman came and ushered them inside a huge cabin. "Hello. I am sorry to keep you officers waiting. My staff just informed me about you. Apologies." A guy in his mid-thirties welcomed them with a smiling face. "Please have a seat." Shruti shook hands with him and sat opposite him. "Yes. How can I assist you, Ms. Ravindran?"

"I need some information. I heard you had made a home in Atlantis apartments till Saturday, I believe?" "Why, yes, I did." "A man of your status staying in a one bhk. Doesn't match." The man laughed. "I know. Well, my house was getting renovated, and I wanted a place to stay. Now I could have booked the Taj to stay, but I wanted to stay some place low-key. You see, I have seen luxury all my life and just wanted to experience the other side. I hope that's allowed." "Of course." Shruti took out the picture of the dead delivery guy. "Know him?" "Yes. Oh my god. What happened to him?" He asked, shocked. "He died on Thursday. Hit and run. He had this chit on him. No cellphone, nothing. Just this." "Yeah, that's my address. Well, he was one of the supervisors that I fired from the painting work in my house. He was stealing some items. And I came to know, so I fired him." "Did you meet him after you fired him?" "Yes. He came over to where I stayed. He pleaded for his job, and I kept saying no.

Then he was really apologetic, so I told him he could join if he worked for a month straight with no leave. But he never showed up. Well, now I know why. Oh, I feel so bad. You see, I am taking a personal interest in this house that I am building. From tiles to design, I am overlooking everything. I just went overboard, I guess. I can't believe this." "When did he come over to your house?" "I guess Thursday." "Did you know about the murder on the 5th floor?" "Oh yes." "We are investigating Aditya's case, and this guy was our suspect." "Oh. Well, I don't know if he knew Aditya." "Did you know Aditya?" "Yes. He was a nice fellow. I spoke to him often. He was one of the reasons why I moved from there. I couldn't bear the tragic news. But if I can be honest, I had a feeling something like this would happen." "What made you think so?" "His death. Not the murder. I mean, I had seen Aditya so broken and mentally disturbed I was afraid he would take a drastic step." "Could you elaborate?" "Well, there was this incident. I was going to the terrace when I saw him crying. Shikha was with him. She went all bully over him. My God.

Never seen a woman like that. She kept screaming at him, punching him, and scolding him and the dude just stood there without a word. She was accusing him of something and was very angry. Just the whole thing looked too toxic to me. If a girl like that was in my life, man, I would be leaving her long behind." Shruti looked at Raina, who nodded her head. Shruti sat with the pen in mouth, looking at the board. Raina came in. "Ma'am, the Akshay guy is speaking the truth. Kishan Yadav was a contractor with Neel designers, who were looking after Akshay Ruia's home renovation. We have at least 20 persons who saw Akshay firing Kishan Yadav. Shankar, another supervisor, gave the address to Kishan to go and speak to Akshay himself. So Kishan borrowed his brother's bike, who is a zomato employee, and reached Atlantis apartment to talk to Akshay. Since Kishan came in a zomato bike with a bag at the back, the security guy didn't question him. He mistook him for a delivery guy. Plus, he was wearing a red t-shirt. Classic look coincidentally. And so looks like he is not our killer."

"Akshay saw Shikha's negative side. The exact one that we have had been told by Aditya's colleague too." "Also, Mrs. Jindal saw a woman enter Amisha's apartment, after which she was killed." "Could that be Shikha? What time did she leave that party?" "9 pm. She is the only one with a motive here. I am sure she must have noticed the usual whatever relationship Aditya had with Amisha and flew into a rage. So she killed them both." "I have the same feeling." "Ma'am!" Rohan came in. "Shikha spoke to a guy named Vishal Awasthi. He is the owner of Mango restaurant. He says Shikha is just a good friend. Apparently, that night she had called him and cried out, saying how she had lost her boyfriend and how she was devastated." "What a load of crap! Seriously?" "Well, One more thing, the stalking guy who was following Amisha all around, I found him." "Perfect!" "I looked up the CCTV camera around the locality where she lives, but I couldn't find anything. But then I looked for the restaurant footage where she had met Rishika.

He followed her to the entrance. After a minute or two on the cellphone, he followed her inside too. There. That's him." Rohan said and showed a screenshot of the footage where a man in black sunglasses could be seen at the restaurant's entrance." "Send the picture to all the stations. See if we get a hit." "One minute, could you zoom on the backpack?" Raina asked. Rohan zoomed in. "I have seen that somewhere. That exact button." She opened her cellphone and searched for a bit. "There." She said. A similar red and black button was put up on a female. "That's my friend. She works for an NGO that feeds underprivileged children. This is made for all the NGO members." "Excellent. Find out the NGO and ask if they know this man." "On it, ma'am." "You didn't go to work today?" Shikha asked Sameer as he stood at the entrance. "No. I needed to talk to you." "Come in. Can I get you something?" "No. Thank you." Sameer sat on the sofa opposite the same bed where Aditya lay dead a few days earlier. "How have you been?" "I am okay." "I thought you would have moved back to your place. I mean, this was Aditya's apartment…." "Yes. Well, but I don't have a place to go to. I had a small flat which I left when I moved in here." "I see." Sameer cleared his throat. "Shikha, what was that half an hour gap on that day?" "Oh, come on, not you too. I was in shock, Sameer. I just sat there in the room, not knowing what to do. Imagine yourself in my place and then judge me." "I am sorry." "What is the progress? I doubt with the way that Shruti Ravindran is handling the case; we are going catch the culprit anytime soon." "Don't doubt it. Shruti is good. She is actually too good." He said and looked out of the window. "Ma'am, we have that guy. Ashwin Pandit. The person who followed Amisha Mishra." Rohan entered. "Send him in."

A short guy with spectacles entered with his hands in his pocket. "Hello." He said as he took a seat. "I am sure you know why you are called here?" "Yes. Your officer told me. Madam, I was just doing my job, and I didn't know she would get murdered." "Job?" "I am a private detective. I was told to keep an eye on her. The report was all she goes. And whom she meets etc." "Who was your client?" "I don't know. I just got a letter and a bundle of 10k with names on it and addresses. I didn't do anything about it till I got another letter describing what they wanted me to do, and I readily accepted it. The money was huge." "How did you get the letters?" "It would be kept outside my house in the little mailbox that I have stuck outside on the wall." "Do you have those letters?" "No. I threw them off. How did I know something like this was going to happen?" "Why should I believe you? For all I know, you stalked her because you liked her, and maybe she said no, so you killed her." "No!, Madam, I didn't even know her. Believe me."

"How would you pass on the information to the client?" "He wanted me to record everything and put it in a pen drive and keep it in the mailbox. In the morning, it would be gone." "When was the last time you gave him information?" "Around three months ago. Since then, I haven't had any contact with the person." "I see.." "Can I leave?" "Yes." Ashwin got up when Shruti stopped him. "Wait! You said you got a letter with names and addresses written on it." "Yes." "Names?" "Yes. There were two." "One was Amisha Mishra. The other?" "Aditya Rao." Shruti stared at him. "You were given the job of following Aditya and Amisha both? "Yes." "It must be Shikha. I am so sure." Rohan said. "Do you have a copy of the videos you made?" "Yes. I can give those to you." "Good." "Ma'am, it's Kunal Mishra." Raina came in as Rohan and Shruti sat writing something. "Who?" "Amisha's ex-husband."

"But wasn't he in the US?" "Yeah. He flew down today." "Send him in." "I am sorry for your loss," Shruti said to him. "Thank you. I can't believe she is gone. Who could have done this to her? Please make sure to find the killer. I came especially for this, ma'am." "I am sorry. We are doing everything we can to find her killer. Please be rest assured." Shruti cleared her throat. "Mr. Kunal, why did you two break up?" "We were in two different places. She didn't want kids, and I wanted loads of them. As much as we thought we could live with that. We just couldn't. So we split." "Oh, I see."

"I don't blame her. She had her reasons. I stuck to mine." "Kunal, Your wife was regularly in touch with a guy named Adi. This is his picture. He was murdered just like your wife. We have certain their case is related…." Shruti started to say while showing the picture of Aditya. "Adi… Aditya was murdered too?" "You know Aditya Rao?" "Of course. He is… I mean…was Amisha's brother." "What?" "Yes. Aditya was Amisha's elder brother." Rohan, Raina, and Shruti stared at him as the whole case turned on its head.

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