“Wait a minute,” Dhruv looked nervous now. “There must be hundreds of people around who interact with animals!”
“Yes, that’s true.” I said, Dhruv relaxed a little, “But none of them were to profit from Rajat’s death. Neither did they all know where Rajat parked his car or where Smruti stayed. What I am confused about is, how did you know he was going to abandoned church?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about. The day my father died, I was at a party with my friends. You can check.” Dhruv said confidently.
“Fine, I will.” I took the number of the club that Dhruv was talking about. I passed the number to Shammi and asked him to check it out.
I walked into Shvetank’s holding cell.
“Are you ready to tell the truth?” I asked him coldly.
“Please. You have to believe me, I didn’t stab him!” Shvetank pleaded.
“What did you do after you used the chloroform on Rajat?” I wanted to hear Shvetank’s side of the story. He winced.
“I’m a biology student. I know how much choloform is harmful to humans, I was very careful! I didn’t use too much for him. He was alive when I left him.”
“Just one hour back, you admitted that it was an accident, now you are saying it wasn’t an accident and someone deliberately killed him?”
“I don’t know! I don’t know! But if I killed him, it was an accident!”
“I believe you.” That seemed to calm him down a little.
“I just threw the bottle and got the hell out of there.” my ears pricked. Dropped the bottle?
“Shvetank, think carefully, you left the bottle there? Near the body? And the handkerchief?” I asked.
“Yes, I just threw the bottle. The handkerchief I think I stuffed inside my bag and got out of there. I dropped Aarti home and prayed that Rajat Sinha gets home safe and sound.”
I looked down at my phone. Shammi had been calling me frantically for the past ten minutes.
“Yeah, tell me.” I answered.
“Okay.. I have some news.”
“I bumped into our pal Jagdish and turns out, he supplied the weed to Shvetank. And Shvetank paid him back, full in cash. The day after Rajat Sinha died.”
“Oh. Really? Anything else?” I asked.
“Yeah, Prerna called, she’s going back to Smruti’s apartment, she thinks we’re missing something obvious.”
“Ok. That’s good. I hope she finds something. I’m going around in circles here.”
“Well..” I could sense the hesitation in Shammi’s voice.
“What is it?”
“I checked out that club. Dhruv was there till wee hours of the morning. He was so smashed, he couldn’t walk. They had to call him a cab.”
“So, he’s not our guy?” I asked disappointed. I had bet my money on Dhruv.
“Umm, here’s the weird part. I also spoke to a couple of my buddies in the highway patrol. They recall a speeding bike on Thursday night, heading towards the mountains. They noted down the number but didn’t send a speeding ticket. Guess who the bike belongs to?”
I didn’t want to guess.
“Dhruv?” I asked.