Editor: Read Chapter XLV here.


The DGP insisted that before Rajesh officially submitted his report, a draft be provided to him for review and comments. Rajesh emailed his report to the DGP and to the Police Commissioner, who took barely an hour to skim through its contents before summoning him for a chat. Felix was also present since he had supervised the task force headed by Rajesh.

Rajesh had taken barely one week to examine the records of all property transactions just prior to and after the attacks by Tarun and his gang. The evidence was clear and startling. The Naigal Group had sold off all its real estate holdings one month before the Garden of Eden was blown up.

Two days after Everglades was attacked and its entire B Wing blown up, the Naigal Group had gone on a buying spree. Within less than a month, it had purchased a number of residential flats and commercial premises all over Mumbai, spending over one thousand crore rupees in the process. Those properties would have cost not less than four thousand crore rupees if purchased prior to the attacks.

After the Kalina ambush, the value of those assets tripled to over three thousand crores. When Sampat was attacked and it appeared that the attacks had recommenced, the value came down to around two thousand crores. When Teji was captured, real estate prices started to rise. After Holambe and his men surrendered, the real estate price rise accelerated. The discovery of the decomposed bodies of Tarun and his accomplices cemented the growth in real estate value and the value of the Naigal Group’s holdings was now pegged at three thousand five hundred crores.

‘You say that the Naigals controlled Tarun. Don’t you think the link is rather tenuous?’ the DGP asked.

‘Sir, Neha Naigal started to date Tarun around two years before the Garden of Eden was blown up. She is around five years older than him and we do not know exactly how they met, but…’

‘She must have gone looking for a man like him to execute her plans,’ Felix suggested.

‘We don’t know all that,’ Rajesh said with a frown. ‘However, we do know that they lived together for at least a year.’

‘I still find it very farfetched. What if the Naigals just happened to know what Tarun was up to and bought and sold properties on the back of his plans. They had knowledge, but they did not control him. That’s what I would argue if I were Neha’s lawyer.’

‘Sir, please read Part Two of my report. Tarun’s activities cost a lot of money. Tarun did not have much money to start with. Remember, he was very middle class. He worked as a junior dealer at Nebraska Securities for a little over three years, and had made around sixty lakhs altogether, including his bonuses. Considering that he liked to party and have a good time, I doubt if he saved much. He lived in an expensive flat in Bandra, paying a rent of around seventy-five thousand a month. That’s steep for a one BHK.’

‘You do not have any evidence of money transfers from the Naigals to Tarun do you?’

‘Sir, Tarun must have spent close to three crores in launching those attacks. He hired a mercenary, bought over a dozen pistols and ammunition in the black market. He bought a number of second-hand cars. His team rented out so many properties across the city to be used as hide-outs. All the rentals involved big deposits, some up to ten lakhs rupees and they never recovered those deposits. Where do you think he got his three crores from?’

‘A Pakistani source of course.’ The Police Commissioner smiled as he spoke. ‘Rajesh, if you had half my experience, you would know that just because you think there is a clear link, a judge needn’t agree with you. If there is a clever lawyer appearing for the accused, you may as well stop wasting your time right away.’

‘Sir, it is a fact that the Naigals were aware of what Tarun was up to. They entered into those property transactions which they wouldn’t have done if they had no foreknowledge of Tarun’s plans.’

‘Rajesh, you really do not have any proof to show that Tarun was funded by the Naigals. You see, even if they did, the money would have been paid in cash.’ The DGP thoughtfully scratched his face as he spoke. ‘What if Tarun was funded by a foreign source which promised him a big reward for destabilising India. While acting on the orders of an outsider, Tarun decided to help his girlfriend make some money. I believe they were broke at one point.’

‘Sir, you are right. The Naigal Group had gone bankrupt around fifteen years ago. Neha’s parents died in a car accident when she was fifteen, around twenty years ago, and she was brought up by her paternal grandparents. Her grandfather made a few investments which didn’t work out and they went bust. Neha did a B.Com from KC College and joined the family business. She didn’t do particularly well, since she didn’t have much capital to start with and this is a capital intensive business. She did sell off some of their investments which were not doing well and she also laid off a number of employees who they didn’t need. At least, the Naigal Group stopped making a loss. This went on for around ten years. Then she met Tarun.’

‘Is she married?’

‘Yes and divorced too. No children. Her ex-husband is a doctor and it was a love marriage. We spoke to him and he described his ex-wife as a very ruthless woman who had a heart of stone and a calculator in her head.’

‘Where did they meet?’

‘While on a trek somewhere in Mahabaleshwar.’

The DGP and the Police Commissioner were silent for a few seconds. ‘You have claimed that Neha poisoned Tarun and the three others. Again, you have no proof,’ the DGP said.

‘Sir, CCTV shows that Neha was in that flat with Tarun, Umang and the other two men. Umang and the other two had worked with Tarun at Nebraska Securities. They were as ruthless and amoral and he was. I’m sure they were promised a big sum on successful execution of their plans. The four men died from poison sprinkled on their pizza. Is it too farfetched to say that Neha had a role in killing those men who could have linked her to the attacks?

‘Any idea where she is now?’

‘No Sir. However, I doubt if she has left the country. Not unless she got a passport made under a different name.’

‘Rajesh, you have done an amazing job, but I don’t want you to file this till I give you the go-ahead. Let me speak to the CM and see what he has to say.’

‘Sir, have you read Part Three of my report?’

‘Yes Rajesh. All I can say is that you have a terrific imagination. We’ll never be able to prove that sort of stuff in court.’

‘Sir, but am I not asking a very obvious question? Everyone knows that the Naigals had gone bust, and yet they spent around a thousand crores to acquire properties in Mumbai just after Everglades was blown up. Where did they get the money from?’

‘When is your wedding Rajesh?’ the Police Commissioner asked, changing the topic.

‘April fifteenth sir.’

‘Don’t worry, I’ll clear your leave application today itself.’

As Rajesh and Felix walked away, Rajesh said, ‘I have a bad feeling about this.’

‘Listen, you’ve done your job. Why don’t you trust others to do theirs?’ Felix gave him a friendly pat on his back and walked away.



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