From Part 3…
Avinash is shocked to find out that Tripathi, their principal was murdered at the same place and in the same way. This makes Prateek and him sceptical about the murderer being someone from college around them. The college announces a week-long holiday, keeping in mind the current situation, asking all students to go back home and cooperate with the police if need be. Avinash, however decides to stay back and investigate the case himself. He wakes up early next day and reaches their department to get a deeper insight of the crime scene. As he was taking a look around, he feels a hand on his shoulder…
I went numb. I turned around slowly. It was Prateek. I breathed out heavily.
“Dude! Don’t scare me like that man!” I almost shouted trying to keep my voice low and not alert anyone.
“You came here without even informing me? Dude I was worried!” he asked.
“You were sleeping. I didn’t want to wake you up, so came here alone. Wait, how did you find out I would be here?” I asked.
“This was my 3rd guess after the showers and the toilet” he shrugged. “leave that, did you find anything?” he asked.
“Nothing for now. Still looking around…” I said, trying to peep in through the windows near the corridor. “We have to get in…” I said, “but these doors are sealed.”
“Don’t touch those” he almost shouted as he saw me touch the sealed lock of the door, “Fingerprints could get on it!”
“Oh, oh” I said, taking my hands off. “Sorry, yes you’re right.”
“We should continue looking from outside. We can’t break in. That’ll be too risky” he said
“Yeah okay, but we won’t find anything from here, it’s just useless” I said.
“Wait, there is a way in.” he said and pointed towards the window on the opposite side.
“Huh what?” I asked. I was still trying to get a better view inside. I followed his finger to the windows on the opposite side. My eyes lit up. One of the widows on the other side had a small rectangular area without grills and was open. It was probably used for a window AC system in the past. Today it was going to be our way in.
“How do we get there?” I asked. We were on the second floor and I wasn’t that good with parkour and nor was he.
“The old lab annex terrace you idiot!” he said “come, let’s go!”
before I could respond, he was already dragging me down the building.
The old lab annex building was the lab building for labs before the new labs were constructed. The terrace was accessible through an old metal staircase and it was at level with the second floor of the main building. It was once reported that senior hostelites used to slip into the main building from the terrace at night to steal question papers, but it was never proven thanks to the departments next level CCTV cameras that remain off more than they remain on.
We climbed onto the terrace and reached classroom 10. I got a different perspective of the crime scene from here. I could look at the scene clearly. The blood was even clear. It had dried and was a very red shade of brown now. The hand prints of blood were on some of the benches as well that we couldn’t see earlier. It appeared even more gruesome.
“Are you going to get in? we have to do this before someone sees us.” Prateek asked.
“Yeah, yes let’s go” is said.
The gap in the window grills were about 1 meter by 1 meter and we could both sneak in easily. The room was stinking and there were flies near the blood.
“Don’t touch anything! If we leave our fingerprints here, we will definitely be caught.” He warned.
“Yeah, okay” I said. I was still looking around making observations.
“They did have a fight. Tripathi is a big man, he didn’t give up easily” I said.
“Yeah true. There are blood stains everywhere. Can’t believe no one heard them scuffle” I said.
I took out my phone and started taking photos of the scene on my mobile phone. Just then I noticed something…
“Hey Prateek! Look here” I almost shouted.
Prateek was on the other side of the classroom taking photos, he quickly ran over to me.
“What happened?” he asked.
“Look...!” I said and pointed to the dried-up blood.
There was a very small pendant lying in the blood. The light from the window made it glisten and I could see it, otherwise it would have gone completely unnoticed.
“That looks like a small sequin from a saree or something, why is that concerning?” he looked confused.
“No! it’s a pendant… Wait! Open Instagram and go to Sneha ma’am’s profile.” I said as I took photos of the pendant. He complied.
Sneha was the professor who taught Data Structures and Algorithms to the 3rd year. She was in her mid-30s and really pretty. She had gotten married recently, about 2 months ago. Her Instagram profile had more than 5000 followers out of which most were the boys from college. She was also really cool and would treat everyone very nicely, making her the most popular teacher in the college.
“Here, now what?” he said
“Go to the post she posted 2 days ago” I said
“Okay… here” he showed me the post. Sneha ma’am was wearing a yellow kurta and denims. She looked really pretty.
“Zoom in to her neck-chain” I said. It was the same pendant
“Oh my god! It’s her?” Prateek had his mouth open in shock. “It’s her?”
“I don’t know, but the chances are very high. we should leave from here as soon as possible” I said. We had a vital evidence pertaining to the case so the murderer could come after us as well. I felt really scared now.
Just then, we heard a loud thud near the door. It was the police!
“Hands up! Now! Or we will shoot!” The person in charge, who looked like an inspector said. They had pistols pointed at us. We raised our hands and stood there in shock. How did they get here and how hadn’t we heard them?
“Drop any weapons you have!” the inspector said, as he slowly moved towards us.
“We are innocent sir! We don’t have anything…” I could barely manage to get out of my mouth. When he grabbed both of us and threw us to the ground. The constable quickly handcuffed us and we were dragged out of the building. At the entrance, the entire college had gathered and they gasped when they saw us.
“We have done nothing we are innocent!” I kept screaming but they continued dragging us and shoved us into their gypsy and drove away.
We were arrested! in front of the entire college!
(To be continued…)