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Rajesh Kumar
Sunday , February 10, 2013 at 23 : 31

Sherlock Holmes and the mystery of Afzal hanging


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I looked at the envelope carefully. It's a habit I formed after a parcel bomb attack a couple of years ago. The packet that time was meant for someone else, and I had unwittingly become a victim of terror and mistaken identity. The mail I had in my hands had come through Speedpost, the seal on the postage stamp suggested it came from Srinagar. The address of the sender I am sure is fake, but the currency notes inside are genuine. An advance of 10,000 rupees and a promise of 5 lakh more if I were to crack the case. It advised me to read the newspapers to get the details of the case.

One Mr Afzal Guru, convicted in the 2001 Parliament attack case, had been hanged to death on February 9, 2013. The question before me: Why was he hanged?

Most of the cases I have handled, I have solved sitting on this chair, overlooking the park right across the road, I would have loved if it was a lake, but income from my business is not substantial enough to afford a lake-side home. The table next to me had all the essentials required in investigating a case. A bottle of rum, a pouch of ganja, a magnifying glass, bhujia, peanuts, lemon pickle, this time I have been even more prepared, I have got some prawns olathiyathu, veloori varuthathu and tandoori chicken delivered. There are times when I work without a break for days, that's when all this olathiyathu and tandoori are of real help.

Whenever I get a case, the first thing I do is list the possibilities and probabilities on pieces of paper. I stick them on the white board and after minute and close investigation, come to the conclusion. I do the legwork if needed, but usually my sense of deduction and assumption are good enough to take me through. I learnt it from my guru Sherlock Holmes, the best detective the world has ever seen.

I take a sip of rum, and begin my work.

Probability No 1:

Afzal Guru was hanged because the Indian law doesn't allow electric chair, lethal injection, stoning to death, guillotine or any other form of execution.

Another sip of rum.

Probability No 2:

Afzal Guru was hanged because he was convicted of planning the attack on Parliament House, the temple of Indian democracy, and sentenced to death by the highest court of the land.

I down the rest of the rum in my glass, and refill it.

Probability No 3:

Afzal Guru was hanged because his mercy petition was rejected by the President of India. It was done because it had to be done at some point in time, now that Guru doesn't have any other option of redress.

Probability No 4:

The cost of biriyani, dal and roti served at Tihar jail had increased considerably following the LPG price hike. This is adding to the country's ever growing fiscal deficit. The finance minister has already warned the next budget will be a 'responsible budget'. The writing was on the wall, we just ignored it, and were caught by surprise.

This investigation business is getting on my nerves, I take a puff of ganja.

Probability No 5:

The new home minister of the country is an iron man, next only to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. One in between proved to be a fake. Shindeji is for real. He brooks no nonsense. Man on a mission, gets work done whatever it takes.

A large rum. Another puff of ganja, followed by another puff.

Probability No 6:

The real iron man is in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Pranab Mukherjee. The government expected him to sit on the file, but he didn't. The government was left with no choice.

A touch of mango pickle, and a gulp of rum. Was it small or large? Who cares? I have work to finish.

Probability No 7:

Pranab Mukherjee didn't sign the order rejecting the mercy plea. His signature was forged, but the government didn't spot the fraud. The president learnt about the execution from TV, by then it was too late.

This is proving to be a tough case. I drink a mix of whiskey and rum. Take three puffs of ganja.

Probability No 8:

The call was taken during a casual conversation between Shindeji and Madam. After a long, boring conversation during which the home minister pledged unflinching loyalty, a bored Madam said, "Hang up now." Shindeji heard, "Hang now." The government was too scared to double check, chose not to make Madam any more angry, went ahead and hanged the convict.

Ganja. Drinks. Where is the veloori varuthathu? Should avoid fish, can't risk choking on fish bone. I have some important work to finish. What was it?

Probability No 9:

The Government of India doesn't want to be seen as soft on terror.

The flaw in this theory: Why aren't killers of Rajiv Gandhi and Beant Singh not hanged? Because the Indian State has a soft side to it also.

Too stoned to smoke, I take a sip of... what was it?

Probability No 10:

Narendra Modi says Afzal Guru is UPA's mehmaan. Could soon call Rahul, Mian Rahul. The next elections could be a duel between Modi and Rahul. Congress gets scared, hangs Afzal to check Modi's surge, if there is any at all. When it comes to Rahul, Congress doesn't take any chances. The credit for the hanging must go to Modi and not the Congress.

I have cracked the case.

My guru tells me, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

Afzal Guru was hanged because the Indian law doesn't allow electric chair, lethal injection, stoning to death, guillotine or any other form of execution.


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