"Hello, police?," the Director inquired over the phone.

"Yes, this is Lalbazar Police station. Any complaints?," spoke someone in a shrilled voice.

"Oh, yes! you've guessed it. I am reporting a case of theft which occurred here in my office. I am the Director of Geological Survey of India. Today, during office hours, someone seems to have stolen some items from our office."

"Okay, kindly give us your office address. We will reach your office very shortly," the man gave an assurance.

Take it down.

B/4, Harish Mukherjee Street, Cal-4.

Okay, we will be reaching soon.

The police did reach the spot quickly.

"I am SP Dipankar Saha, I am here to investigate the case. What actually happened?," the superintendent queried after introducing himself to the Director.

Today, one of my staff, Mr. Bannerjee noticed that a couple of our modems and a couple of UPS were missing. Mr. Bannerjee had gone to the canteen for Tiffin, and after returning he found them missing."

"How many staffs are working in your computer section?," SP Dipankar asked.

"Four. Besides Mr. Bannerjee, there's Mr. Lal, Mr. Niyogi and Mr. Das."

"Where were these gentlemen at the time of occurrence of this incident?," Dipankar asked.

"They were away on some official work around that time. But they have all returned now. If you want to ask them something, they're available," the Director replied.

"Yes, I would like to interrogate them," Dipankar said. "Please call them one by one."

Dipankar: "Mr. Lal, where were you this afternoon?"

Mr. Lal: "I had gone to procure some consumables for our center."

Dipankar: "Can you give us some lead in this case?"

Mr. Lal: "No. We had just these two modems and the two power supplies. Now we won't be able to send/receive emails or browse Internet. I had so many important things to communicate via emails for my work."

Dipankar: "Okay, Mr. Lal, you may go now. And kindly call Mr. Niyogi"

Enters Mr. Niyogi.

Dipankar: "Mr. Niyogi, where were you this afternoon? "

Mr. Niyogi: "I was out on field duty. I had just returned a few minutes back."

Dipankar: "Do you suspect anyone who might have stolen these things?"

Mr. Niyogi: "No. Moreover, these items aren't so costly either. Each would cost around Rs 5,000 or so. Anyone who has stolen it must be a kleptomaniac. Those who are working here are in officers' grade. I can't think of anyone stealing these items."

Dipankar: "Do outsiders enter your computer room?"

Mr. Niyogi: "Ahaa! Outsiders are prohibited."

Dipankar: "Mr. Niyogi, kindly call Mr. Das"

Enters Mr. Das.

Dipankar:  " Mr. Das, where were you this afternoon?"

Mr. Das: " I had gone to collect some samples from my geologist friend."

Dipankar:  "Can you give us a clue?"

Mr. Das: " No. I am still surprised that only the modems and UPS have been         stolen. Some other items like CD Writer and Line drivers are still intact."

After the questioning, SP Dipankar Saha and his men departed.

Three weeks have passed. The police still remains unsuccessful in cracking the case. SP Dipankar dropped in one evening dressed as a civilian in the GSI office. He and the Director have become good friends and are often sighted together in the evenings in some cozy bars guzzling whiskey.

Director: "So, you couldn't solve the case Dipankar. You police fellas are thoroughly useless"

Dipankar: "I am sure I will be able to solve the case and catch the culprit, but it may take some time."

Director: "But I am getting restless"

Dipankar: "Patience pays"

Director: "I am going to drop a bombshell"

Dipankar: "What?"

Director: "Guess?"

Dipankar: "You have found the culprit?"

Director:  "Yes. It was I who had kept aside the modem and the power supplies"

Dipankar: "What?"

Director: "You have heard correctly."

Dipankar: "But why?" Dipankar insisted

Director: "Because my staff spend most of the day surfing the Internet. As a consequence, they're spending less time for office work. Moreover we are receiving    excessively high telephone bills on account of this"

Dipankar: "But you were the one who lodged a complaint?"

Director:  "It was to free myself from any suspicion. My staff will never even think I could be the criminal"

Dipankar: "But you have to pay a price for this"

Director: "what?"

Dipankar: "you have to throw a gala party tonight"

Director: "Okay, okay. But please don't disclose this to anyone."

Dipankar: "That's a promise."


More by :  Subhajit Ghosh

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