By the time Bhaskar arrived it was more than two hours since Aditya had been captured and whisked to this remote interrogation centre. On the way it had been reported to him Police Headquarters was on high alert at the possibility there were some in their own midst who’d succumbed to the enticements of criminal elements. It was now vital this question be settled and perhaps Aditya was key to this discovery. Of course, he could have been bluffing to try and impress his interrogators, but one had to be open minded. Their real purpose in capturing him had been to try and identify leaks in the Chief Minister’s office, but this was a surprising new revelation.
Hastening into the interrogation room he winced as he saw the exhausted form of the linesman he recognized.
“What’s been going on here?”
“I think Aditya linesman is beginning to see the need to give you information you need sir.” The squad leader gave salaam and the others stood as Bhaskar entered.
“OK, let’s get it over with then I have a lot of work to do today.”
The shackles were removed, and Aditya was carried to a seat at the table as he was now unable to walk.
“First of all, write all the names at police headquarters who have been compromised by criminal elements.” A pen was put in his hands and he paused fearfully.
“They will kill all of my family and force me to watch before they finish me off. Better I die here and preserve their lives.”
“How can they kill you if they’re in jail?”
“Because the names you want are only small operators like me. The high ups will escape, and they have the power.
“Who are these high ups?”
“I don’t know!”
“OK we’ll deal with that later write all the names you do know and sign your name at the bottom. Within one hour they’ll be under guard until we get to the bottom of this. If we find out later you’ve deliberately left out any names it will be back to the bench for another health lesson. Giving us all the names will preserve your family from hurt from these criminals.
Aditya wrote wincing from the pain in his feet. It seemed they were on fire. He signed the paper and pushed it over the table.
“Now Shri Aditya I want you to tell me who instructed you to make changes to the telephone system at the Chief Minister’s office, what was its purpose and how this information was used.” Aditya shook uncontrollably.
“Just kill me now Bhaskar Sahib, If I tell you this it will be the end for me and my extended family.”
“They can’t do that if they’re locked up can they?”
“You can’t lock this person up. People in high places will see he escapes and the whole blame will fall to we small people.”
Bhaskar put his finger to his lips as he usually did when thinking. “OK we’ll do it this way. Give us a hint as to what we may find in this person’s home and we will conduct a raid and search for those things without any reference to you. You can tell everyone at work you were very sick today and went to a doctor for treatment. I will arrange for a doctor to confirm this. All we need is an assurance we will find what you tell us is there and arrest this so-called important person. That way no one will blame you.”
“You will cover it up and let them off I know.”
Bhaskar sat up in surprise. “And why do you think I would do a thing like that? I don’t take bribes and never have.”
“What would I find in that home?”
“Lots of pictures. Pictures of boys and girls.”
Bhaskar exhaled in surprise. This is what the Chief Minister and Police Commissioner had been looking into secretly. “And why would it be wrong for this person to have those pictures?”
Aditya shook with fear.
“I think I’m beginning to get the information I need. Now who is this person and why do you think I’d let him go on with this evil. Just give me his name and address and we’ll get this evil organization shut down. That’s what we do to protect the public.”
He’s your close relative and that’s why you’ll not only let him go but finish me off to protect your family name. Bhaskar’s mouth dropped open and the police in the room spun around to watch Bhaskar’s reaction.
“Give me his name!” He thundered and the police looked at each other wondering what was going to happen.
“Judge Gaikwad! Now I think you’ll let me go to protect your family name.” Aditya smirked.
Bhaskar barked at the police. “See he doesn’t escape!” He ran to the office next door and activated the secure hotline. In rapid order he shared the names of officers at police headquarters identified by Aditya then shared the bombshell news about their mutual relative Judge Gaikwad.
The Commissioner whistled in surprise. This will be a huge embarrassment for our extended family, but I’ll organize a complete search of the Judge’s home and check out on all his friends to see their involvement if we find any incriminating evidence. If this is not true we are in for strong legal action against us and the Chief Minister will face some hard questions from opposition parties. Are you sure of your facts?”
“I’d suggest you interrogate your named police suspects first but time is of the essence as the Judge has friends in the force and may get wind of a possible connection hiding the evidence before you can make the raid.” He disconnected then punched the wall in anger hurting his hand. After recovering he returned to the interrogation room quickly holding his hand and gaining his composure.
“Give him food and water and put him to bed in the other room under twenty-four-hour guard until the Police Commissioner tells you what to do with him. If he escapes you will all pay dearly.”
The squad stood to attention and salaamed as he left the room then carried Aditya to the bedroom. Scheduling guard duty. They were used to unusual hours knowing they’d eventually have it made up in holidays away from work.
To be continued
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