[if this is the first time you have landed here, I strongly recommend, you check this out first]
“Dr. Salil Batra”, Agasthya repeated that name twice. Running it through his head to see if he can pick up something. After a few seconds, he shook his head and turned back to the window sill.
“Kabir Bhai, find out who this Salil Batra is. Name, location, relation, records. The complete works. Use my authority if you run into roadblocks.”
Agasthya had been calm when he gave the above order. But Kabir felt it should be more important.
“We have to be careful Kabir.”, as if Agasthya had read his mind. “I know this is a big clue, and a big sign. But we should not go overboard with assumptions. I am guessing nothing of value was stolen. But we still need to see if all his notes are intact.”. He had turned around from his investigation at the window and was now walking towards him.
“Nandakumar was a scientist of national acclaim, and he might be working on classified DRDO projects. It could be a murder for intelligence espionage.”
Kabir nodded his head in agreement.
“And we must not forget, that before being a scientist, NandaKumar was also a person. A person in a high position no less. I am sure he was well connected. But that can also mean he had enemies. Those enemies might also have made a move. A murder for personal reasons.”, Agastya paused for his words to take effect,”In both cases the murder had to be well planned and well thought out.”
“But the book?”, Kabir asked curiously. Agasthya was in front of him now. He smirked and put his hand on his shoulder, “Might be a distraction. Just to stroke our fantasy of a planned conspiracy and put us off from the real motive. Or…”
“It might be important”, Kabir completed his sentence.
“Correct. Hence we cant jump around, until we have all our facts lined up. That’s my experience. Never jump at conclusions, let them come to you.”, Agasthya moved away, satisfied. “Kabir, let the forensic team take over. Tell them the NIA guy found noting important. That should stroke their ego”, Agasthya said mischievously as he started moving towards the door.
“Did you?”, Kabir inquired following behind him. Processing Agasthy’s input. These NIA guys looked at situations differently. They looked at scenarios, possibilities; the Police on the other hand looked at the path of least resistance. But then again, NIA didn’t have to clear backlogs of thousands of cases every day. We do what we can, Kabir thought to himself.
“No nothing apart from that book. And that might be nothing. I agree with your assessment of killer coming in from the window.”, Agasthya answered him as he made his way down the stairs. Kabir liked Agasthya that way. He didn’t have trust issues like most other higher ups, who liked to keep information to themselves.
“I would like to talk to the assistant now. I am sure one of yours must have taken a statement?”
“Yes sir.”, Kabir shrugged. He was still getting used to the transition from the brightly lit study to the gloomy dark marble area of the mansion.
“Good, get me that recorded statement. Also when I am interrogating him I want that to be recorded as well.”
“Won’t he ask for a lawyer.”
“He might. But I am NIA, I could hold him in contempt for non-cooperation.”
Was there such a thing, Kabir wondered and then he saw Agasthya winking at him. “Ohhh”, as the realization dawned on him.
“I want to talk to him before he gets time to get his thoughts together and consistent. Might be too late already”, Agasthya spoke more seriously now. They were in the main Atrium of the mansion. There were 3 staircases leading to 3 different areas of the house.
“Which one?”, Agasthya inquired.
Kabir was going to answer, when a constable came running in from the main door, panting.
“Sir, it’s from the police check post of this area. Urgent”, he looked at Kabir and passed a wireless walkie-talkie.
Agasthya saw Kabir speak into the headset and then heard some weird crackle from the other end. It was another thing Agasthya had never got used to using, he believed it was only the tribe of police officers who could communicate over Walkie Talkie.
The conversation was over soon enough. finished Kabir gave the Walkie talkie back to the constable and asked him to ready a car. Next he turned towards Agasthya.
“The people over at the Police check point near the mansion have caught a man.”
“He was running and collided with their barrier. He had a knife on his person.”
“Detain him, this could be our guy.”
“The knife is clean. He is not drunk. And colliding with the barrier is not really a crime.”
“Is he resisting?”
“Yes but that maybe because he is a resident from around here. We have rich educated people in this part of town. They don’t like to be held by Police without reasons. He is using a lot English words.”
Agasthya nodded,”How long?”. He would have questioned what a rich educated person was doing in the rain alone at 2 in the night, but that question could wait.
“Not much, if you want to talk to him. We have to go now.”
Agasthya crossed his hands, and stroked his chin with his right hand.
“You know it could be nothing”, Kabir spoke out, knowing that’s exactly what Agasthya was deciding.
Agasthya nodded again,”But it could be something too.”
“Well what does your experience say?”, Kabir questioned him again. It was decision time.
[Choice 1: Interrogate the Assistant at the Mansion] || [**Selected**Choice 2: Pursue the detainee at the Police Check Point**Selected**]
Comment on which lead Agasthya should follow. Will add my own comment, when I have tallied the vote. tentative end of voting Sunday 1 PM.