The Dark Forest

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the results of my imagination or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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3. The Investigation

After a couple of days, when I had recovered considerably, the two investigating officers, started questioning me. They asked me to recount everything. I informed them that we had taken a  bus from Mumbai to Vadhkal and then took a cab to reach the camp office at around 5 p.m. We made the payment after filling a couple of forms. Then we were taken to the campsite in a car, by Gopal, Mr. Ram’s servant. We reached there at around 5:45 p.m. I realized that one of my bags was missing. I left for the camp office at 6 p.m. in the same car which had brought us. I remember having checked my watch. I returned to the tent with my bag by 6:50. I drove down myself. I paid the rent for the car. It took me some time to convince the clerk at the office that the bag actually belonged to me. I am usually very methodical, so I always note the time. However, that day my carelessness saved me. If I hadn’t left my bag at the camp office, I would have been killed.

My boyfriend the main suspect had been questioned several times. If he had followed us all the way to the forest, then why did he reach the campsite at 7:30 and not 5:45? He explained that his car had broken down and it took him a while to get it repaired. The garage owner of the workshop where his car was repaired had given him a receipt. He had an alibi.

Two days after my investigation, Mr.Raghav Jadhav invited all the people related to the victims, to the police headquarters. He had discovered some very interesting facts. Apparently, Minisha had received a phone call at 6:05 p.m. on the day of the crime. The mobile network was weak in that region so she had to come out of the tent. Her footprints were very conspicuous, thanks to her new designer footwear. Who had called her? Evidently, the murderer only wanted to kill Minisha, Rosy had to be killed for obvious reasons. Mr. Jadhav said that the murderer was very sharp and had successfully destroyed most of the evidences.

The number from where the call had been made, was a new one. The SIM Card had been purchased from a Vodafone showroom in Pune, two days before the crime. Mr. Jadhav said, “The murderer is one of you!” All went pale. Kulwant was also there. Mr. Jadhav said, “I am very glad to inform that Mr. Kulwant Singh did not murder the girls. The main suspect is innocent! Then who is the murderer? Let’s find out."

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