Different girls from different parts of the country are sleeping with their partner a night before their wedding. What is the urgency?
“But it can wait for another day. We can be together after the wedding tomorrow. What difference does one day make?” asked Diya innocently.
“Exactly my point. What difference would one day make? We’ll be married in less than twenty-four hours but I can’t control making love to you for so long. Come on, there’s nothing to be shy about. I’m going to be your husband honey.” said Shiv and moved closer and started undressing Diya.
“But I don’t want to. Please.”
“You can’t say no to your husband love. It doesn’t count.” demanded Shiv and proceeded to have sex with her without her consent.
A few days later, in another town.
“I am not going to do this. You still want to marry, alright, if not, you can go.” said Neha.
“Please. I miss you. Wedding is a formality. I already consider you my life partner.” pleaded Rohan and attempted to kiss Neha as she pushed him away. With some persuasion and emotional blackmail, he managed to convince her to sleep with him a day before their wedding.
Some more days later, in another town.
“But what if I get pregnant?” asked Zara.
“So, what? Won’t it be the best news for a married couple? Don’t you see it’s just a matter of a day?” answered Zohrab.
“But I don’t want to be a parent so soon!”
“Don’t worry I’ll give you a pill. Nothing will happen. Come here to me.” With this he persuaded Zara into having a physical relationship with him a day before their Nikaah.
“Sir, till now in the whole of Uttar Pradesh in the last ten months there have been twenty-eight cases of murder of young women whose bloodstreams contained large amounts of cyanide at the time of death.” said the sub inspector to his senior.
“Also, all these women were from low income families and had no parents. This looks like the work of a serial killer. They had left their homes with their belongings willingly and only their bodies returned.”
The inspector asked his junior to speak to the families, siblings and neighbours of the victims to see if anyone had seen any man with them before they left their homes so they could make a sketch. The investigation had started after a man had complained about his missing cousin.
Divit had filed an FIR for missing person with the Meerut police after his sister had left home with her suitcase.
“She is an adult and she has left with her own will. We can’t help you in this case.”
“But sir she is in trouble. I know that she is. That man she has gone with is not right.”
Divit explained that Meera’s parents were workers in a factory and died in a fire accident. Her mother was his father’s sister and she had lived with them ever since. They were close but his own parents mistreated her and she left their house when she got her first job. He was the only family she had but their busy lives made them keep less day to day contact with each other. Because of his parents, she had even refused to attend his wedding.
She worked as an assistant to a manager in a company where she had met a man named Daksh who came to the office for deliveries of the supplier. He had proposed to marry her within two weeks of seeing her for the first time. She liked him and came to Divit for advice. He asked her to wait till he did a background check on him. He found that there was no delivery scheduled for the day when he had met her and there was no delivery boy named Daksh that worked with the said supplier. Divit knew something was wrong with this man who was trying to dupe his sister.
He presented her with all the proof that backed his intuitions and claims and she had decided to confront Daksh with it. She went home and repeated his words to her brother.
“He told me that he didn’t work there. He worked in a factory nearby and he had seen me at the bus stand from where he used to go home as well. He didn’t think that as I worked in an office I would pay attention to a factory worker. So, he pulled some strings and contacts and delivered the items himself that were scheduled for delivery the next day. Just so he could meet me. Isn’t this nice? He really loves me.”
“What about his parents? Have you met them? He’s asking you about marriage, it’s not a joke.” enquired Divit, who was clearly not convinced by the story he was told.
“He is an orphan too. Just like me. His father was a drunkard. He died of liver failure and his mother couldn’t bear the stress of raising a child alone after all the trauma she had been through at the hands of his father. Maybe that’s why we bonded so well. We both have a history of abuse.” said Meera and instantly shook her head with regret and shame as she realised she was talking about Divit’s parents.
“Don’t be ashamed. I know what my parents did to you. But this man, Daksh, do you know where he lives? Which factory he works in? His full name? Anything?”
These questions troubled Meera when she realised she had no answer to them. Meera had unknowingly forgotten to mention Divit to Daksh as family initially and when she did, she didn’t expect the response she received.
“How dare you not tell me! How did you take me to be so stupid! I deserved to know this. You were all alone, just like me! Then where did this brother of yours come from? I am not going to marry you. Get out of my sight!”
Tears rolled down her eyes while she tried to understand why this piece of information made an impact on Daksh so bad that he refused to marry the girl he had followed for so long.
“What have I done?” she asked, rubbing her eyes.
Daksh refused to answer and walked out of her house. Two hours later he returned with a wedding dress and flowers.
“I’m sorry for the way I behaved. I bonded with you because I thought we were alike. I have no brothers or sisters either. Knowing that you do just made me angry that why don’t I have this. Some kind of support, any kind. Then I cooled down and realised I see my support in you. And after marrying you your brother will be like my brother. I’m so sorry dear. Look what I got for you, a wedding dress. We’ll get married tomorrow and surprise your brother.”
“Surprise?? I want my brother to be a part of my wedding ceremony. Besides he has concerns about you. About your identity. You have lied to me once before. I don’t even know anything about where you work, where you live, nothing. So, tell me about yourself Daksh. Then we’ll talk about getting married. And under no case will I get married without the presence of my brother.”
“I live in the Betai area. I work in Bhoral Factory as a machinist. I earn less than you. I live in a place that is less than yours. You think if your brother knew about this he would agree?”
“Oh… I don’t want you to worry about the monetary problems. I don’t care about it. All I’ve wanted my whole life is love and you give me that. I’m ready to marry you tomorrow itself.”
“Even if your brother doesn’t agree?”
“Even if my brother doesn’t agree.”
With this, Daksh left for his home and Meera for dialled his brother to update him. Divit wanted her to wait till he checked the new information given to her but hearing doubt about Daksh in his voice she left a note outside his door the next morning where she had mentioned that she was leaving today to get married.
Divit explained that he had checked about Daksh and all that he had told her the day before was also a lie.
Before Divit could continue with his pleas to find his sister, the constable came running to the inspector describing the body found near a dried lake.
“We need you to come with us. With the description that you have given it seems that the body that is discovered is that of your sister.” said the sub inspector.
Indeed, it was Meera, for when Divit saw the body from afar, he broke down crying like a young child that had had a pretty hard fall. After the post mortem, it was confirmed that there was sexual activity before death, as in the case of other twenty-eight victims but not forceful and huge traces of cyanide were found in the body which seemed to be the cause of death. She had died the day she had left her home.
“Why would anyone want to kill my sister!? She never harmed anyone. She lived a simple life on her hard-earned money. She even spent her free time teaching orphans. Why!” wailed Divit when the body was handed over to him.
“We have seen the pattern Mr Divit. Several other murder cases of young girls in UP that died with excessive cyanide have surfaced again. We think this may be the work of a serial killer. Had you ever seen this man?” asked the sub inspector.
“I hadn’t met him but when I insisted Meera sent me a photo of them together. I have it in my phone.”
The policemen were ecstatic to find this lead and started a manhunt for this man in question. Some people from different areas contacted the police to identify the man as one of their neighbours with different names but this didn’t help them track his current location.
After nine days, an old lady came to the police station. She couldn’t speak, her tongue was cut and she didn’t know sign language. She kept pointing at the picture of Daksh when she was asked the purpose of her visit. When the constable offered her paper and pen to write what she was unable to say, the officer judged by the way she held the pen that she was illiterate as well.
“Okay. You know something about this man. Nod your head in yes or no to what I ask.” Said the inspector.
“Do you know this man?” Nod yes.
“Did he kill someone you know?” Nod no.
“Have you come to file a complaint?” Nod yes.
“Is it a missing complain?” Nod yes.
“Is your daughter missing?” Nod no.”
“Then who is missing!” asked the officer in frustration.
The old lady pointed towards the photo.
The police spoke to the neighbours of the lady and found that Daksh was her son had not returned home since the day Meera left her home. The police searched his house to find numerous sim cards registered under false names like Shiv, Rohan, Zohrab, Daksh etc. His real name was Mohan.
The police fired the arrow in dark and tried to track his location with his cell phone number registered under his real name. The arrow missed the target as the number was switched off. Three days later, the number was switched on for three minutes and it was enough to track his location.
“We know you killed twenty-nine women. We want to know how and why. We have enough proof to put you away for life, don’t bother denying.” Said the inspector.
“I befriended only those women who had no one in their family, all alone, no one to support or love, no one to check my background, no one to care if the woman goes missing. I would promise them marriage and have physical relations with them a night before the wedding. In the morning, I would give them an anti-pregnancy pill under the pretence that we are not yet ready to welcome a baby. Only that the pill was cyanide. They died in a few minutes. It was lovely. Satisfactory. But that stupid girl Meera. I didn’t know she had family until much later. I didn’t know she had sent my photo with her to her brother. That’s why I’m caught, that’s the only reason why I’m caught.”
“Now, answer why.”
After third degree torture, Mohan said, “You remind me of my mother.”
The officers looked at each other and paused. Mohan continued, “She was cruel. My father worked in a bank and my mother was a housewife. He met a young, beautiful girl who convinced him to leave his wife for her. My mother took all out on me by beating me. These women, I tell you. They wreck lives. I was able to rid this earth of twenty-nine women, I’m proud of myself. I regret nothing.”
It was found that Mohan had cut his mother’s tongue when he returned home from his father’s funeral to find his mother hurling abuses at him for attending it. He had been tortured and abused by his mother since he was a baby and lacked love of both the parents affecting his psychology deeply. He was sentenced for life. During the trial, his mother also passed away.
A healthy, happy childhood is more than necessary. When has, violence solved anything?