"It's not adding up, sir. I don't think he's our guy and beating a confession out of him isn't going to help make women on the street any safer or this department seem any better, any better, sir," said the Inspector, who spoke in a clipped voice and stood almost as if at attention before his boss, having politely refused the seat offered to him. It was a fussy manner the young and ambitious Inspector always adopted when he felt he had either the moral high ground or the winning hammer with which to crack a case. This time he felt he had both.
"So, her friend, Vikram, says he was with her all day, helping her change out the supplies and collect the money in all her Connaught Place vending machines. He left her in the Barakhamba Road Cafe Coffee Day Lounge around 5:25pm, where she often worked on her laptop for hours. On the night in question one worker says she stayed for nearly two hours, another worker says more like two-and-half to three, fine. The street chai-wallah says sometime at the end of his day, which is around 8, well after dark and after the crowds had thinned out, he heard a minor ruckus on the street, two young men shouting at a woman, saying she's a bad mother and her son is sick. She tried to walk away from them but they pushed her into a waiting Ambassador, which is where we pick her up. We looked through all the CCTV footage along Barakhamba Road that night and found this," he handed the ACP his mobile phone on which he had downloaded the CCTV footage.
"You can't see the plates, but that road can only go straight into Connaught Place, so we were able to pick up the car more clearly later on, on other CCTV footage. We've tracked the car down to a Surdi taxi company, which says they only procured the car a year ago. But how could this Kunal, who's from Hyderabad and drifts in and out of Delhi with very few friends here, get a car that belonged to a family taxi company run by a bunch of Surds in central Delhi, who genuinely seemed to not know any Kunal let alone anyone from Hyderabad?"
"Is Kunal still in our custody?"
"Hmmph. And this Vikram fellow?"
"No, he's not a suspect, sir. But look at these pictures of the car, if you will. If you can just ignore those paan stains, and even the blood, and look instead at the floor. That's not just dirt, it's builder's dirt all over the floor - concrete, clay, even chips of brick, on closer inspection. Some taxi, huh? But forget the dirt, that just made me think, what has this car been used for and where? So we stripped the car down completely and guess what we found?"
"Several pieces of paper, most useless except these two piles. The first group was found in a wad, under the passenger's seat, as if it was part of a stack of papers that had been ripped up apart. Most presumably thrown out, but these sections left behind. It's looks like a legal document of some sort, maybe a business agreement, I don't know. We're getting it analyzed. But it's clear they're pretty new print-offs, the ink is not at all faded, see. But, more interestingly, shoved in the way back of the car, which we only found when pulling the interiors apart, was this - these two pieces of paper, which I believe are most crucial. An invoice from a business in Delhi, you can just make out there, see, AMC Food and Beverage, AMC Supplies, officially.
It's an old supply company. Shut down over three years ago. But the owners are two brothers - one has been running a tourist company, which explains the link to the taxi firm, but is also trying to open a fancy sandwich shop in a new business park in Gurgaon , which probably explains the construction dirt. But the other brother, the other brother has stayed with food and beverage supplies - specializing in running kitchens for office canteens, including a sideline in, most crucially, sir, vending machines."