read part 1 , part 2
“What a pleasant surprise! Where were you? I have been trying to contact you for the past six months, Sanjog…”
“Hush…don’t call out my name,” Sanjog cut him short, “ I’ll tell you the details later, but let me tell you something important before time runs out” he was almost whispering.
“What’s the matter Sanjog? You are scaring me.”
“I need your help. I am investigating a case. Some months ago, some inmates disappeared from Baba Gurudebji’s charitable home in Panchkula. No one took it seriously because, on the outlook it seemed like they had left on their own. But then it started happening on a frequent basis. More people started leaving. Just like that. Today they were here, tomorrow there were not.
It seemed like suddenly long lost relatives were finding their kin or companies had suddenly started hiring these guys! No one thought anything was amiss. But my friend Sonia who is a volunteer at the home felt something amiss. All investigations drew a blank and that is when I planted my bait at the home.”
“Yes, do you remember Alok?”
“Alok? Our classmate from school? He’s here?”
“He dropped out of school after 9th class and came here looking for a job. I helped him get a placement with a newspaper distribution office. Well, he agreed to act as an inmate and keep a watch for me.”
“What did you find out?” Sanjog was curious to know.
“After a couple of weeks he told me how some men had approached him with a job offer and the trustees had encouraged him to join. He agreed to the offer. They refused to divulge the details of employment and said they will come for him. A couple of days later they came to take him. It was weird, because who has ever heard of an employee being escorted to work? So I followed them from a distance. It brought me to Life Biotech…” he paused.
“You mean to the organization I work for?”
“So what’s the catch?”
“He never returned. I tried meeting him casually as a friend, but there was no one by that name on the payroll. I waited three entire days outside the building, hoping he’d come out but he never did. I wondered what trouble I had put him into.”
“I was sure all other inmates had disappeared likewise so I tipped off the police. They promptly raided the place. But even a thorough search of the place did not yield any results. There was no one inside, not one inmate, not even my bait. They had just vanished overnight! I took a beating from the cops and my boss alike for what they thought was false alarm.
I realized that this kind of bait would lead me nowhere. I needed concrete proof. I needed to enter the place. I befriended a new recruit from Life Biotech, a certain Mr. Debashis Roy. He agreed to find out the inside story for me. What he told me was shocking.
I was right that the inmates were indeed being lured to Life Biotech.
Why the police did not find anything was because the eight floor tower was completely clean. The actually activities were being carried over in the two basement floors! But the existence of the two basement floors is not known to the outside world. In fact only the top and middle management knows about the existence and had entry to the two floors.
The lifts do not go beyond the ground floor and there are no staircases to lead down. Those who have permission to enter have a special access card that has to be swiped in the lift and that takes you down.
Between 10pm and 10.30, everyone including the security are out of the building, only three people from the disinfection and sanitization company are let in to sanitize the research labs in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor and two persons are allowed into the basements. Debashis had managed to find out this and steal an access card He had tried to sneak in. But his bosses were in the basement that fateful day, and unfortunately they saw him before he could even step out of the lift or any evidence could be collected. He managed to get out and drop the access card with a detailed note in my post box. But I have never been able to locate him thereafter. God knows what they have done with him. Wonder if they have kidnapped him or maybe even bumped him off."
He paused for breath.
“You are meeting me to warn me off this supposedly dangerous place?” asked Abhijeet cautiously.
“Not exactly….I need you to help me find what goes on there. A lot of lives including Alok’s are at stake. Will you help me get to the root of the matter?”
“Why don’t you go to the cops?”
“Neither the cops nor my boss will believe me again. I have enlisted their help twice and they were convinced I was on a wild goose chase. I cannot approach them again, atleast not till I have concrete evidence. Will you help me Abhijeet?”
“And be killed like Debashis?”
“No this time we’ll be more careful, and not repeat mistakes. I was publicly in touch with him, and knowing my interest in the case, Debu got identified. I have gone underground since he disappeared, trying to piece the puzzle together, trying to work out a plan. I had to fake a serious accident and go off work for almost 5 months now. That is why the secret meeting with you. I have the access card to the basement floors, I have the plan; you need to help me execute it.”
“I have to think about it” said Abhijeet, not sure whether to get involved with such a dangerous mission.
“I understand," said Sanjog, placing an understanding hand over his friend's shoulder. "But please do not discuss this with anyone. I think you should leave now. You have been here too long. I hope Sahana doesn’t raise an alarm, not finding you on the other side. I’ll contact you again. I am usually at Hotel Blue moon around 8 every Saturday.. ”
read part 4
read part 4