80 kmph! 100 kmph! And then 120 kmph! Three adrenaline junkies were speeding on their bikes. The road towards TAPMI was usually empty at eleven during the night. Tushar was the fastest and most reckless of them all. Bad family history and substance abuse did not help. Manas and Junaid were comparatively saner but then a person is known by the company he keeps.
They came to a halt at the gates of TAPMI and started to smoke. Quite night breeze blew and no one said a word. The sound of insects and a fountain saved them from an eerie calm. The only light which came was from the children’s park nearby that was a demonstration of apt electric use. The trees were high in the road ahead and the sound of some villagers playing drums nearby was audible distantly. The night was moonless.
Junaid said, “Let’s go ahead on foot!” It was pitch dark ahead of the TAPMI gates and the night seemed to be chilly. Manas said, “No need. I had enough excitement for the day.” Junaid looked towards Tushar and quite surprisingly he said no. Tushar never used to say no to things like this. “Why? Afraid she might follow you in there?” jeered Junaid, pointing at Tushar. Tanya was Tushar’s girlfriend. She was one of those people who could never trust anyone. Continuously pestering and following Tushar everywhere, the couple was clearly heading towards a break up. Manas was helping them get back together. This comment fueled Tushar up and he was ready to go. Manas was adamant about not going in there at first but finally he agreed.
They started to walk towards the dark. It was very eerie and scary, even for those guys. They were walking meekly for some time and then it became boring.
“I suggest we split up! It’s getting boring!” said Junaid. After some weak arguments by Manas they decided to split up and after sometime everyone was alone. Then there was a power cut. Everything went pitch black and the visibility was zero.
Seconds later, there was a high pitched scream of a girl and then everything went silent again. Everyone made their way towards the scream using the cell phone torches and they found Tanya lying dead there. She was strangled.
Tushar said, “Looks like she was actually following me!”
Statements of the three of them to the police:
1. Manas: I was telling them not to go there! I was scared myself. After we split I ran towards the park which was well lit up. I couldn’t hear any scream because of the fountain in the park. Tushar came running in front of the park and asked me about a scream. His foot was bleeding. I ran behind Tushar after that.
2. Tushar: I was sitting under the tree and smoking when I heard the scream. It was completely dark and I tripped while running. That’s how I hurt my foot. I met Manas in front of the park where he was scared and covered in sweat when I asked him about a scream. We ran towards the spot after that.
3. Junaid: I was walking back on the road when I heard the scream. I was alarmed at first but then I made my way towards the scream using my cell phone torch. I found Tushar and Manas at the spot when I reached.
The forensics would definitely reveal the criminal. CAN YOU SOLVE IT BEFORE THAT?