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COPYING IS PROHIBITED
Case: Kissa Zahar Ka Air date: January 1998
This case was aired in two parts, 30 minutes each on Sony TV channel. Nowhere in this episode does the word CID come nor is the senior most officer introduced with his name. We now know him as ACP Pradyuman. As the episode does not reveal any name or rank of the police personnel I have not taken the liberty to do so.
Night in the lawyer's study:
A man in the early stages of balding is sitting at his table in a red dressing gown going through files and papers. It is night and his table is piled with fat volumes of books, a couple of pencil holders a table lamp a phone and miscellaneous items. The room is lined with shelves filled with professional books. He lights a pipe as he ties and keeps aside a bundle of papers, gets up to look into a book when the phone rings. He has a disturbed look on his face and answers in the affirmative and with shaking hands keeps the phone down. He takes a tablet with some milk kept on his table in a glass and even as the phone rings, picks up a book and a look of discomfort crosses his face. He avoids picking up the phone and he screams in pain and holding on to his chest and throat, starts struggling to walk across the room but falls on to a sofa.
On the road:
With siren screaming a vehicle comes to a stop and a heavy set man in formal plain clothes addresses a lean senior officer that apart from the lawyer's sister there is none in the house and she is crying. He further informs this senior officer that it is a case of suicide as the door was locked from inside and the poison taken. A huge ring of people is kept back in the street by the police. The officer is thoughtful on hearing this.
He enters the room with the doctor. A police photographer, a few more men in formal suits and a uniformed policeman with a holster are seen. The senior officer requests the doctor to make a thorough quick check. The doctor replies that the person is dead and the time of death to be between 8 and 9 in the night. The men start checking without putting on gloves. The presence of foam at the mouth confirms that the death is due to poison. Whether the lawyer was administered the poison or took it himself is the mystery they try to solve by finding clues. But the absence of any suicide note eliminates suicide and the presence of a blood pressure tablet sheet puts the entire police team on the trail of possible murder. This is because the doctor informs them that certain medicines taken before taking the BP tablet would kill a person. The senior officer notices the pipe used by the lawyer and the glass half full with milk. He thinks aloud about who could have brought the poisoned milk inside the room when the door was locked from the inside.
Talk with the sister:
The sister does not give much information to the senior officer when questioned. She keeps crying and wiping her face with the pallu of her saree. Calmly the officer tells her that if she doesn't give them the information who else would. As the officer moves to face her a quick view of the drawing/sitting room is revealed. It shows to be tastefully done with paintings on the wall and light coloured walls with long curtained windows. He firmly asks her if she hadn't given the glass of milk, would it drop out of the sky. The lady quickly tells that her brother never drank milk. The officer controls his anger as he takes this information and retorts that the room was bolted from inside, the glass of milk is half empty and wonders aloud about the incident. At this the woman starts crying loudly calling upon God and lamenting about her future.
At the neighbour's house:
Saroj the lawyer's neighbour in all sarcasm tells the senior officer in her husband's presence that the woman would get all the property and money. She tells that for 15 years they have been the neighbours and not a day went by without having to hear the woman quarrelling with the lawyer for the property. The husband tries to stop his wife from commenting further, she refuses to stop. One of the officers present there gently chides Saroj that having been a long standing neighbour, she shouldn't talk the way she had.
Back to the sister:
The senior officer tells the lawyer's sister that she was the last to see her brother alive as no one had come over. To this the woman tells that a girl had come. When asked about the identity of the girl, the woman tells that the s**t, her sister's daughter Radha had come by. She further adds that she is ashamed to call her as her niece; the reason being that the girl would always quarrel for the property.
The senior officer meets Radha, a nurse who denies vehemently her aunt's allegation. On being questioned she tells that she left around 8 O' Clock. The officer informs her that her uncle's death was around the same time. On being shown the short strip of tablets and being informed about the glass of milk, Radha thinks back and tells that there was no glass of milk on the table. She recalls that she had seen the lawyer's sister in the kitchen mixing something in a glass of milk when she had come out of the study to put a cup back in the kitchen. Quickly the lady would have stood in front of the glass and asked Radha the reason for entering the kitchen. There is a sarcastic exchange between the two women regarding money and property. With the remembrance over, a tear streaking down Radha's cheek she tells the officers that she had seen the other woman mixing something in the milk. Maybe poison. The senior officer wonders about this as the sister would be the obvious suspect. He waits for the Chemical lab to throw light about the poison.
At the laboratory:
To the surprise of all the officers the chemist reveals that the milk contains only sugar. The white coated chemist tells that a last test is left. He takes a conical flask with a white opaque solution made from the milk found on the table. 3-4 drops of the solution from the burette when added would indicate the presence of the poison in milk. He informs them that if the colour changes then there is no poison. If it doesn't change, it would show that the poison is present. They watch as 3 drops are added from the burette. As the colour doesn't change, the officers feel that the milk contains poison. The Chemist cautions them that they have to wait till the 4th drop is added. On addition of the last drop, the colour changes to pink. This shocks the officers.
The doctor who probably did the post mortem tells them that the cause of death is poison and the smell of bitter almonds coming from the mouth helped in identifying the poison to be cyanide- the king of poisons. He further informs the officers that the doctor doing the postmortem on the body that has cyanide has to be careful or he would die as well. The doctor places the time of death around 8:30PM. The senior officer tells loudly that Radha is above suspicion. The doctor brings their attention to the fact that a small amount of cyanide was found on the index and middle finger of the lawyer. Two nurses can be seen all along in the background in the cold blue lighting of the mortuary. All the bodies are covered in white sheets. He cautions the officers about their safety as they conduct their investigation in the lawyer's study. Hearing this, the senior officer comments that the case has him in knots as he cannot unravel the mystery.
Police officer's recreation room:
When the senior officer is playing chess with one of his men, the officer who is standing near tells that the murder was done through remote control. Just as television could be switched on and off so too was the crime committed. The senior officer chides him for talking like a fool. He wonders aloud how traces of cyanide came on the lawyer's fingers. He ruminates on the things the murderer could have smeared the poison and leave silently. The officer who had propounded the remote control theory starts the guess work by saying table, table lamp, chair, and pipe. The senior officer shakes his head and asks him to continue. The officer playing chess with him takes up the list as pen, paper, and paise. The senior officer mulls over this last word and shakes his head. He asks the other man to continue. Ashtray, telephone, glass continues the other man. The senior officer stops and feels that is the object they are looking for and orders that they should leave for the chemical lab immediately.
At the Chemical Lab:
The chemist unravels the glass that was wrapped in white tissue paper. He tells them that should there be any trace of cyanide on the glass then it would be revealed as he passes a gas over it. As he talks he keeps the glass with tissue paper on the table and picks up a test tube filled with chemicals and adds some chemical powder and the powder reacts with the liquid in the test tube and a brown gas is released. He holds the glass over the gas. As he turns the glass over the fumes, a black mark appears. He exclaims that the glass has cyanide and turns to show it to the senior officer. He takes out a magnifying glass from his pocket and shows that it is exactly on the fingerprint on the glass. The junior lab assistants look on. The officer remembers aloud that the finger print report said that along with the lawyer's fingerprint his sister's finger print too was found. He orders his men to arrest the sister.
Wailing the sister who is in a salwar suit and looking much younger than in the opening scenes swears by God that she didn't poison her brother. The senior officer tells her grimly that Radha had seen her mixing something in the milk. A woman constable is seen standing behind her. The sister denies vehemently about mixing anything but sugar in the milk. The officer without sparing her reminds her that the death of the lawyer benefits only her and Radha. The officer tells her that as she and her child would anyway receive most of the money why was she in a hurry to finish the lawyer. The woman with tears defends herself by reminding the officer that she had told him earlier that the property in Goa was in her child's name .That was done long ago. To this the officer tells her that as Radha was visiting daily, she got scared that the lawyer would transfer the property to Radha and not her child. This was the motive he said. So the woman starts telling a story that when Radha had come by the other night, the sarcastic exchange between the women revealed that Radha was after the property. She wanted to take the glass of milk to the lawyer and held her dupatta over her fingers to take it but the sister refused to give it to her saying that if she felt concern for her uncle she should get him admitted to a good hospital and get him treated. At this the younger woman warned that she wouldn't get a single bit of property. Hearing this, the senior officer thinks aloud to his officers that the poison might have reached through the chunni.The woman gets up from the chair saying that might be so.
The senior officer sitting on a rocking chair is in deep thought of the way the poison reached the glass. Did it come through the chunni? If that had been so Radha herself would have died. And the cyanide that was outside the glass how did it reach inside the body? He thinks the order in which the cyanide would have reached the fingers and the stomach. He thinks of searching the lawyer's study once again. Only then would they know who his killer is.
Outside the Lawyer's study:
The doctor from the day the body was discovered and the lab chemist are present outside the study. The chemist insists that all officers must use the gloves and the masks for their safety. He further holds up a bottle and tells that in case they have any suspicion about the presence of cyanide all they have to do is apply it and they would get the confirmation. When the senior officer asks the doctor to keep an antidote ready, he tells him that prevention is the only antidote as cyanide does not give time to administer any. He tells him to warn his investigating officers the same and the doctor tells the other officers to be alert and careful. The senior officer turns to his men and calls "Rajan, Shinde, Desai",Finds Desai missing and quickly rushes into the study and finds his officer standing in front of a small book shelf with his back to the door.
Inside the study:
He questions his officer of what he was doing there. The police photographer is ready with his camera. When Desai doesn't answer he sends the photographer out and calls out to Desai. At that very moment, Desai gives a choke and turns and a book falls from his hand. The senior officer shouts his name as the man falls down screaming in pain pulling down the book shelf on him. The officer rushes to him but the man is withering in pain holding his chest and throat. He has time to say "thera" and dies.
At the study doors:
As his body is taken out, the senior officer watches helplessly. He then turns to his man and the photographer and tells that Desai must have handled something in the study that had poison on it. The other two men look on in fear. He wonders aloud how the poison could reach the mouth. The other officer reminds his theory of remote control and murder. And in his fear tells that even if his job is at stake, he would not go into the room. The senior officer in anger asks him to control his emotions and tells him that if had such fear why did he join the police force. The young officer with fear writ large on his face insists that he would not enter the room as he has a family and small children. The senior officer in anger orders the man to get out and reminds him that he including all the officers have wives and children including the dead officer. The young officer controls himself and apologises. The photographer looks on in complete understanding. The senior officer turns to the photographer and asks him whether he had noticed what was in Desai's hand? The photographer says that he hadn't given attention. As Desai's back was turned towards him he couldn't see anything. But, he informs that he has taken two photographs.
In the dark room:
The police photographer shows the senior police officer the two negatives in the dark room. One has Desai in front of the book shelf with a book in his hand. The officer asks him if he can read the name of the book. When the photographer says that he can't, the officer asks him to enlarge the image much more. This done he asks the photo to be printed. As he dips the sheet in the developing solution, he tells of the other photo he'd taken. The officer asks to be shown that too. Seeing he comments on the position of Desai's hand near the mouth. Seeing both the photos he tells that in the first Desai's hand is on the book and in the second it is near his mouth.
Back in the study:
The doctor, officers, the police photographer and Radha are all seen wearing the mask in the study. The sniffling Radha is ordered by the senior officer to identify the book the lawyer was reading. Radha cries out how could she identify the book as all look the same to her. The senior officer urges her to remember. To help her remember he asks her when she came into the study, on seeing her, what did the lawyer do with the book? Where did he put it? Radha walks towards the rocking chair in the study in deep thought and tells that she remembers. Flashback- The uncle's voice questions who it was. And Radha answers it is her. As she enquires him if she had disturbed him, he tells her that an old man either prays or reads a book and closes the book in his left hand and a white sticker with black letters on it CL is seen. Present- She exclaims that she has remembered. She tells that it was a fat book with red border. She stoops down and picks up one such book and shows the officer that it was such kind of a book. She tells that it had CL written on it. They search but can't see it. Radha rushes to the other side of the pile and searches frantically and gets the book and holds it across to the senior officer. He appreciates this and takes the book from her. He gives the book to his junior officer and tells him to check each page. He turns to Radha who is still shaken and tells that she could wait outside if she wants. Radha takes the offer and goes out of the study. The officer keeps the book on the table and starts smearing the solution given by the chemist on each page with a paint brush. Nothing happens till he comes to the 13th page. One smear and the painted place turns pink. Excited the officer shows the book to his senior. The senior officer checks and finds the book belongs to citizen library and was issued a day prior to the death of the lawyer.
The officers along with the book dash to the library and question the librarian behind the counter if he recognizes the book. When he affirms he is asked to step out of the counter. Wearing his spectacles, a nervous librarian comes from behind the counter. The librarian identifies the book as the one he had issued to Mr. Mathur. Looking at the questioning all the readers get up from their places and gather around the men to see the goings on. When the senior inspector tells that he had issued the book a day prior to the death of Mr. Mathur, the librarian replies that people had told him that he the man had committed suicide. The senior officer opens the page and shows the cyanide smeared on the page because of which the death took place. He holds it up to the librarian's face and asks whether he had issued the same book. The librarian gets afraid on seeing the poisoned page and tells that he issued the book as Mr.Mathur had requested for it. On being questioned he tells that he knew the lawyer for 6-7 years. On further questioning the librarian tells the police that the lawyer was called to the library by the librarian himself. When the senior inspector asks who had the book prior to Mr. Mathur, he tells that the High Court lawyer Jattab Singh had it.
The lawyer sarcastically questions the senior police officer the fact that someone told his name and without giving it a second thought they had come to investigate him. When the officer tells him that he is not being investigated just questioning, the offended lawyer tells him that only criminals are questioned and not a criminal lawyer like him who has had 20 years of practice and who knows what the law says. He further tells that Mr. Mathur himself respected him. When the senior officer questions him whether he knew Mr. Mathur, Jattab Sing tells that they were adversaries in court but outside the court they were friends.
Back at the Library:
The librarian phoo phoos the idea that the two lawyers were ever friends. He tells the investigating officers that they were enemies even outside the court. And relates an incidence. Both wanted to read the same book. One day right in the library, they were both quarrelling. Mr. Mathur was accusing Jattab Singh that his arrogance would be his fall when all facts were placed in front of him the moment the proof that Jattab was hiding would be got by Mathur.
Jattab Singh again:
He denies knowing about any proof the dead lawyer had alluded to. When the senior police officer firmly tells him that this book was with him before going to Mr. Mathur, and cyanide was found on a few pages of the book, Jattab Singh tells him in exasperation that he had returned the book to the library and alleges the clerk to have lied. He urges the officer to question the clerk at the library what he did with the book after he had returned it.
Library once again:
The clerk tells the senior officer that the moment the book came at 12:30 he had called Mathur saab. Mr.Mathur said that he would come immediately. But the clerk said that he had told the lawyer to come at 2PM after lunch break. When asked, the librarian said that he went to the hotel downstairs. When asked if people were present during the lunch break, he replied that none stay as he locks the place. He further tells that the key is always with him. The officer asked him if Mathur saab came on time. He replied that the lawyer came at 3:30. When asked he the librarian tells that the library had a few people and he was not at his place for some time as he had gone to the bathroom. The officer asks him if the book was left at the same place. The man said it looked as though it had been handled and he hadn't seen the man clearly as he was at a distance. But he tells that the man was wearing a black coat like a lawyer does.
Jattab sing once again:
Jattab Sing shouts whether they have a search warrant with them to look around. The senior officer calmly tells him not to shout as the neighbours might wake up. He reminds him that it is a case of murder. So the lawyer tells him that if he had to kill to win a case, he would have killed 212 lawyers. To this the officer reminds him that each person has to do his duty. He also tells him that the lawyer himself had many a times reduced the officer's reputation to shreds. Jattab Singh arrogantly tells the officer to do his duty. The lawyer tells him that he is ready to challenge him that if he gets any proof against him in his house he would give up his practice. But if the officer doesn't get any he would have to give up his police job. The officer tells him that this time it would be difficult for him to win. Hearing this, Jattab tells that Mathur had told him the same thing once. He had got one of his clients arrested and sentenced. Singh was about to prove otherwise and break Mathur's arrogance and make him eat mud when, this couldn't happen. The jailed client had a fight with another inmate and died. He had been fighting the case for the wife, kids and the man's poor brother. His brother was removed from the post of the lab assistant as Mathur saab had proved in the court that Singh's client was a murderer in court. The officer is surprised on hearing this information. Jattab mistakes the surprise for disbelief and tells the officer to confirm the news from D M College the reason why Arun Saxena was removed from the chemistry lab. The officer starts leaving the place when the lawyer taunts him on losing the bet. But, calmly the officer replies that the High Court lawyer had lost the bet.
College Chemistry Laboratory:
The lecturer in a white coat in the lab talks to the officer walking in-between the tables where students are working on their experiments. He tells that Arun Saxena was removed from the job as he used to steal stuff from the lab and was a weird character not because his brother was a criminal. The lecturer informs the officers that he himself reported these thefts to the principal and as they maintained the register about the stock in the lab, it was clear about the thefts. He shows the register to the officers. While looking through the list he comes across Potassium Cyanide. On being questioned the lecturer tells him that it is kept under lock and key and that was not stolen. On the request of the officer they quickly dash down into the room where cyanide compound is kept under lock and key in a safe. On opening it, they find that the poisonous compound is missing. Seeing this, the senior officer orders the man to give them the address of Arun Saxena's house immediately.
Arun Saxena's house:
The investigating officers are greeted by a group of people who are around an elderly woman wailing loudly about someone poisoning her pet dog Raju. Inside a house a crude extraction set up to extract a chemical is in progress. A young man with a countenance that doesn't raise an interest, proudly with shaking hands holds up a beaker talking aloud to himself that if he didn't experiment it on dogs and cats, how would he know that Cyanide had been produced. Even though the lady is wailing outside Arun Saxena is busy talking about page no 13 and 13 was the cell number in which his brother was kept and page 13 was the number on which the particular rule that put his brother behind bars was written. With a maniacal look he takes a brush and smears the pages of a book with the cyanide he has extracted. He plans to kill the librarian the same way for telling the police about him. He picks up the book and a black coat and leaves his house. When the officers come they don't find him but find the crude extraction set-up. They find from a neighbour that he had left with a book in his hand.
Back to the library:
The librarian a nervous man is nervous on seeing Arun Saxena in the library when none are around. He questions why he comes when it is deserted. To this Arun replies that that is the fun and gives him the book saying it is from the library. When the librarian denies it, he tells that the seal is found on 8, 9, 10 11, 12, 13. When the librarian starts leafing through the pages by moistening his finger with his saliva, Arun Saxena is getting more maniacal and egging him to open page 13. The police officers are driving as fast as possible to reach the library and they reach it in the nick of time and warn the librarian. Arun Saxena is angry that his plan has been thwarted by the police. He quickly takes the book from the librarian's hands and runs up the floor. When the officers chase him up and try to catch him, he opens the bottle of cyanide and warns them that if they come near him he would throw it on their person. Like a mad man Arun Saxena shouts that he doesn't want to lead a life like his brother behind bars. He throws a bit of the solution and when they try to cover themselves, he runs and hides behind a shelf of books. The suspense heightens as the book with the poisoned page is still in his hands. The officers miss him among the shelves and come down. The librarian keeps shouting to the officers that the man is still upstairs as he has not come down. But, Arun Saxena comes from another stairs and comes face to face with one of the officers. He quickly tears out the poisoned page and threatens to consume it if they come near him. The senior officer urges him not to take hasty decision but to surrender himself to the police. In this struggle of capture and escape, Arun Saxena realizes the futility of his escape and pushes the poisoned page into his mouth. Though the officers try their level best, they are not able to remove it and Arun Saxena dies.
COPYING IS PROHIBITED
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