Off The Field

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Take 9 : The Mysterious Firings

"Good morning sir!" all greeted him one by one.

The police station was filled with almost all the officers. Another humid day in Mumbai had just begun. There were only a handful of complainants. The nearby tea stall worker was, as usual, serving glasses of tea and biscuits to the double shift officers. They wore yawning faces, receiving the hot beverage, as Arjun entered.

A young officer was seated on the waiting benches outside Arjun's cabin. He had a traveling bag along with him and the attachments on his bag suggested he was there straight from the airport. He looked slightly tired.

"Get in", Arjun ordered, walking into his cabin. The officer obliged as he followed Arjun towards the cabin.

"Seems like you landed only a while ago, you were to come yesterday at late night weren't you?" asked Arjun out of curiosity.

"You're right Sir. I am here straight from the airport. Our flight got delayed due to some technical issues, which took a few hours. We got down at around 7:30. I told the rest of my teammates to get home and take some rest", explained the officer.

"Rohan!..." , said Arjun, taking a breathe,"You should have gone home as well and taken some rest before coming here.... Anyway, have a seat and tell me what did you'll get out there in Delhi?" Arjun said as he picked up his tea for the morning.

"Sir, this man Aatish was far more mysterious than he seemed to be", said the officer.

"I know, even his brother is no less, look at this news report, he was pleading and crying for his brother only yesterday when I interrogated the family and, yesterday night itself he went to this producer's birthday party. These people think we are fools to believe their crocodile tears", Arjun replied, nodding his head sideways while opening up the morning daily.

"We went to Aatish's company's head office first. Everyone seemed pretty normal out there. We questioned a few people and, interestingly, even the company's secretarial department was clueless of any of his client meetings in Mumbai"

"What about his personal secretaries?" Arjun interrupted.

"We didn't get to question them, they were not present in the office. When we checked on to their addresses we learned they were missing from a few days. Apparently, if their neighbors and the security personnel of their buildings are to be believed, they have fled away, maybe they left the city or the country..."

"That means they know something very critical about this case. Well, anything about the land deals?"

"We asked the Directors and the other top brasses of the company about it, but they know nothing, since they say, he didn't do it in the name of the company. Those were his personal purchases"

"What did you get at his home?" Arjun questioned, placing his empty glass on the table.

"At his house, the servants out there look decent. They don't seem to be work efficient though. The two storey bungalow is pretty well maintained though. We questioned them. All of them said, they'd worked there for years, but they never really understood what was going on among their employers. They said, that the family was pretty decent at keeping secrets. Business was never discussed at home. Even though, the bungalow was big enough, none of the business meetings or parties took place at home. There were a lot of business related documents in Aatish and Aarav's rooms, we have got them all. Aarav's legal consultants were hesitant at first to let us seal those documents, but there the Delhi Police officials proved to be really helpful."

"Anything else?"

"Yes Sir. Since a few months, Aatish had all of a sudden fired some of his employees. No body knows why, or there's a chance, some of them are lying"

"Maybe, these guys weren't efficient enough, or maybe they might have done something unethical?"

"No sir. They had a clean sheet and they were rated among the best in the company. Their sudden ouster was surprising to all. He also revamped the accounting department. The firings are one of the few reasons why he was having constant arguments with the Directors of the company. They weren't happy with his decisions. Not only did he do this in one particular company or the parent company, but in all his companies"

"Absolutely, why would a near perfect Business Enterprise fire it's most efficient employees? Well, did you have talks with any of the fired employees? Why wasn't it in the news? "

"Nope, the Delhi Police are still finding them out and they'll question them, they are around 50-60 people... Don't know why the media guys didn't know about it. Aatish had taken a lot of efforts to keep it under the wraps and that's why, even many of the lower level departments don't know, this has happened in the company"

"This sounds a little strange. A business tycoon keeps buying dormant lands, visits different cities in the name of business and meets different people, fires a few of his efficient employees, revamps the entire accounts department of his office, for no reason? And then gets murdered all of a sudden?... Did Aatish suffer from some ill mental state?" Arjun gave a big stare to the table, thinking about all the possibilities.

"Didn't his family confess it? Well, the servants didn't tell me about any mental illness. The mental angle came to my mind as well, but the servants said, he was pretty fine"

"I never asked the family. Anyway, now you can go to your home, get fresh and then come back to work after lunch", said Arjun and proceeded to make a phone call...

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