Episode 10

NOT GUILTY

Meanwhile, Ritesh dragged Anita inside a warehouse which was actually his father’s hideout for illegal trading. Mr. Juneja’s goons were surprised as Anita was dragged to the office room and then pushed inside. Anita fell on the couch as Ritesh locked the office room door.

“I had everything planned out. Everything was going well. I was trying to destroy all evidences yet, you came from nowhere and spoiled everything.” exclaimed Ritesh.

Anita could make out the desperation that Ritesh was in. It did not take her more than a second to realize that everything that was going on with Sameer was planned by Ritesh.

“So you did all this? You had the college systems hacked? You were the one who tried to destroy Sameer’s life?” Anita asked, there was disgust in her voice which Ritesh understood, the latter took out his gun and pointed at her.

Anita was scared, she was shivering with fear looking at the gun, however, something clicked in her mind. She wiped her tears, and building up courage got up from the couch. She walked towards Ritesh, caught hold of his hand and had the gun placed on her forehead.

“I would be lying if I say I am not scared, however, you did all this to get me, isn’t it? So, if I am your prized possession, do you want to kill it?” a smile sprouted on Anita’s lips as she asked this question.

Ritesh went round-eyed and his hands started to shake. Anita continued, “You have dug up your own grave, Ritesh. Your ideas, your plans… everything had a loophole from the start. You never put yourself in a situation, you created situations for yourself that was not necessary and then, put yourself in a web of trouble leading to your father intervening every time and saving you.

I guess even your father realizes that you are nothing but an embarrassment to him, yet, you never did learn from your mistakes. You continued to show off your power thinking that you are a prince of this city or something and you can do anything you want, yet, you are wrong.

Power… you want to know what is real power, you want to know what it is to be respected, to be honored. Then you ought to learn from Sameer. A real man whose life you wanted to destroy yet, look at him. He is a hero now, the whole city knows about him and yet, here you are… my ‘fiancé’ who is known to this city as just another spoilt brat.

Go ahead, Ritesh. Kill me. Besides, I deserve it. I deserve this circumstance of mine, a punishment for not believing in the one I loved so dearly. Go on… if you have the vigour.”

Ritesh couldn’t believe what he just heard. He lowered his gun and grabbed Anita by her neck. She did not struggle, Ritesh looked into her eyes, indeed, she was no more afraid and she meant every word she said. He wanted to say something, however, he couldn’t. He pushed Anita back and stormed out of the room. Anita went back to the couch and sat down.

What do I do now? I need to find a way out. I need to contact somebody. I left my mobile in the car. Dad must be worried… he must be trying my number. My driver… I don’t even know whether he is alive. What do I do? Nothing like this would have happened if I had… if I had given a chance to Sameer to justify himself, supported him in his time of pain.” thought Anita, as she started to cry again.

Sameer’s mobile started to ring at the dead of the night and the former was jolted by it. He switched on the bed light and looked at the mobile. It was Inspector Khan.

“Sir! What happened?” asked Sameer.

“Sameer, your case is not going towards any result… instead, the result itself is coming towards the case.” exclaimed Inspector Khan.

Sameer at first couldn’t grasp the statement and said, “I don’t understand. Please tell me what has happened.”

“I will tell you everything. There is, of course, a bad news. Anita has been kidnapped by Ritesh and we are not sure where he has taken her.” said Inspector Khan.

Sameer was shocked to hear this.

“Sameer, I know it is a bit of an inconvenience, however, is it possible to come to the leelavati hospital immediately. I have Anita’s father with me and he has lodged a complaint against Ritesh as per the statements of a few witness. There is a lot of other information that you need to know. We are close to solving this case, Sameer.” said Inspector Khan.

“I am coming, sir. I am coming immediately.” said Sameer.

He hung up the call, went to his parent’s room and knocked on the door. Mr. Malhotra woke up and opened it.

“Sameer, what happened? What is wrong?” Mr. Malhotra asked.

“Dad, Inspector Khan called me just now. There has been some new development in reference to the hacking case. Ritesh… he has kidnapped Anita and they have no idea where he is. He has some other information too and has asked me to come now.” said Sameer.

Mr. Malhotra was shocked too, “Say again, Sameer! Anita has been kidnapped!

“Ritesh. It was always Ritesh from the start. He planned everything and now, he is desperately trying to remove those loose ends that could lead him to jail.” Sameer responded.

“Indeed, let me get the car keys.” said Mr.Malhotra.

They reached the hospital, sameer walked up to the receptionist and enquired, “I came here to meet Mr. Patil or Inspector Khan.”

A police constable recognized sameer and walked up to him, “Sameer sir, we need to go to the 2nd floor. This way.”

The constable escorted sameer and his father to a room where sameer noticed that Anita’s driver was admitted. Inspector Khan and Mr. Patil came forward to greet them.

“Thank you, sameer and Mr. Malhotra for coming. As you can see, it is Mr. Patil’s driver who was shot by ritesh. He is trying to destroy all the evidences against him and in turn, has killed the professor who provided him the spare keys to the room where the college systems were kept. Anita’s car was passing through that street at the same time.

As per eyewitnesses, ritesh shot the driver too, then dragged Anita into his car and sped away. The driver is out of danger; however, we really have no idea where Anita is.” Inspector Khan explained the situation.

Mr. Patil, guilty as he was for not believing sameer, said in a low tone, “I am paying the price for not giving you a chance. I don’t know where and how my daughter is. If I would have known this would happen, I would have rejected the alliance with Mr. Juneja a long time back.”

Sameer nodded his head in disagreement and said, “Please, uncle, the past is where it is supposed to be. Mr. Juneja and Ritesh have together caused a friction among us, this is what they do, and this is what they have always been doing to climb their ladder of success. Not anymore, it is time we end this. We will figure something out.”

Mr. Patil always thought high of sameer, he was more impressed today. Inspector Khan then shared the complete details and findings of sameer’s hacking case. Sameer, Mr. Malhotra and Mr. Patil was in shock and awe listening to the facts.

“Thanks to one of our informers, we caught hold of a man at a roadside bar. He confessed that he was a goon working for Mr. Juneja. He stated that it was Mr. Juneja who had planned the attack on the home minister, he is one of the sponsors for the opposition party and was actually eyeing that seat.

He stated that he reports to a man named Rafiq who is Mr. Juneja’s right hand man. Rafiq arranged for 2 men to go and hack the college systems. It is obvious that ritesh and rafiq did not have wind of what was to happen next. They played blind and now, ritesh is trying to destroy the evidences.”

“We have to save Anita. She is now a witness to everything. Ritesh may not want to kill her; however, I cannot say the same for Mr. Juneja. He will still try to save his son.” said sameer, feeling concerned.

Inspector Khan then received a call; he walked away from everyone and then answered the call. After speaking to someone, he hang up the call, came back to the group and informed, “We had got the contact numbers for Mr. Juneja and Rafiq, we have confirmed locations about them, however, the man we caught does not have Ritesh’s number. If we can nab rafiq, he can tell where ritesh is. I will have to go now.”

Suddenly, Mr. Patil received a call from an unknown number. He answered the call and was surprised, it was Anita, “Dad, it is me… Anita. Please help me.”

“Anita, where are you? Where are you calling from?” Mr. Patil asked in desperation.

“I don’t know. This looks like a factory. Ritesh locked me up in his office room. I am taking a big risk, dad. He failed to notice that this office has a landline. Please locate this place with this number. I am hanging up.” saying, Anita disconnected the phone.

“Hello… hello… ANITA…she disconnected the line.” said Mr. Patil.

“Where is she? Did she give a location?” asked Inspector Khan.

“No, she was speaking in a hushed tone. It looks like there are a lot of people out there and she, somehow, managed to call us.” Mr.Patil explained.

“Your daughter is really brave. This is it, people. Mr.Juneja and Ritesh are getting away with this. Give me the number, Mr. Patil.” said Inspector Khan.

Inspector Khan contacted his deputy again and asked him to track the location of the landline number. Sameer was in deep thought; he suddenly remembered those lovely moments that he had with Anita. He shuddered when he realized that Anita was deep trouble. He had to do something… he had to help her. He still loved her and now, when the dark clouds that hovered around him for so long were clearing out, he wanted her back.

“I am leaving now. Don’t worry, Mr. Patil. We will find your daughter.” said Inspector Khan.

“Sir, if you don’t mind, I would like to come with you.” said sameer.

Inspector Khan stared at sameer and reacted, “Are you at out of your mind? It is Mr.Juneja we are talking about. He will do anything to save his son. Anything can happen over there.”

“Don’t worry about me, sir. I won’t come in your way. Do you job, however, I am worried about her. We are all worried about her. I cannot stand here like this and expect news. Thanks to you, I got my family back, I want Anita back too and I want to help her.” said sameer.

Inspector Khan thought for some time, nodding his head in disbelief, he said, “Keep a safe distance and for no reason, come in the line of fire if a firefight breaks out.”

Sameer nodded his head in agreement.

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