Revenge | Short Story | Sanjoy Dutt

Article Posted in: Short Story

Introduction to the Author:

Sanjoy Dutt storySanjoy, an engineer and linguist is passionate about traveling to historical places. He has written travelogues and short stories for various magazines like The Statesman, Grihosova, Flash Fiction Magazine, Indus Woman Writing, Ashvamegh, The Red Morgue, Dreaming Big, to name a few.






It was a pitch black night in the woods. The visibility impaired by a thick screen of fog. The heavy steps of two approaching forest guards on the dry leaves broke the monotony of the constantly chirping crickets.

“Ah!” One of them stumbled and fell.

“Careful,” the other cried as he rushed to help his fellow guard.

They both pointed their flashlights at the black lump and on close observation they were shocked in disbelief. It was the charred remains of a human body. They looked at each other and hurried back to camp to report their finding.




The bulky Ajit looks more like a wealthy businessman in his 5’10” structure and golden-framed glasses. On first look, no one could imagine he was a detective. Black trouser and white shirt have always been his favorite work dress.

He was sleeping peacefully in his undershirt and pajamas when the phone by his bedside rang aloud. Cursing the caller he reached for the receiver in sleepy eyes, “Hello.”

The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP’s) voice from the other side shook him up, he instantly sat up, totally wide-awake, “Yes, sir.”

Within an hour, Ajit started was on the road driving to the crime scene 40 miles away. Over the phone, the DSP had explained to him about the charred body.

The narrow road cuts through the mountainous tropical forest with scattered big and small tribal villages. Sandalwood mafia and Naxalite groups had been active in the area.


The charred body lay 200 yards from the road on a hillock. The local cops had scanned the area before Ajit’s arrival. They found a heavy stick and an empty bottle that smelled like gas thrown into the forest.  A car key, half burnt slippers, a silver necklace and a burnt wallet were found on the dead body.

Ajit walked away from the crime site to call the DSP, “Sir, terrorist kills to punish their victim and terrorize others. They would not destroy the identity of the person, who disobeyed them and got punished. I am also certain it has nothing to do with the local tribes. The body has been sent for forensic testing. We have to wait for the report.”

The forensic report confirmed the skull was smashed with a heavy stick from behind, also suggesting, it was the work of a left-handed individual.  The 50-55-year-old man was slain two days ago and the key was that of a motorcycle. It was most significant for the cops to find out who the man was in order to trace the killer.

Ajit looked thoughtful as he puffed on his cigarette emitting thick rings of smoke. He contacted all the nearby police stations for any complaint of a missing man and the search for an unmoved motorbike in the parking places.

Two days later a motorbike was found parked near a railway station, 15 miles from the crime site. The license plate helped to track the owner from the vehicle registrations office. The bike belonged to a 55-year-old man named Babu, who was missing from the day of the offense. Babu’s wife and two daughters identified the vehicle, necklace, slippers and the key ring.

A grieving Babu’s wife recalled, he departed on some business and told her that he might not come back home that night. It did not seem odd to her as he had remained out for a night or two, many times in the past and he did not possess any bad habits.

Babu’s mobile record showed he received some calls from a public phone at the railway stations where he parked his bike.

Ajit sprang the secret informers into action and they came back with their findings. Babu, a matchmaker, was dependable and had no enemies. Both his daughters were married, only the eldest was childless and lived with Babu.

“Why would a married Indian woman stay away from her husband?” Ajit thought.

Photographs of all the members of Babu’s family were collected, duplicate copies made and given to the secret informers. The move proved to expedite the investigation.

Babu’s eldest son in law Pillai’s photo was identified by the shop owner from where the phone calls were made to Babu’s mobile.

A tea seller at the railway station, where Babu’s motorbike was found, identified Babu and Pillai. He informed they were together on the day of the slaying and had tea at his stall before boarding the train.

The filling man at the gas station identified Pillai and remembered selling him petrol in a plastic jar.

Ajit rushed to Pillai’s house with a team of policemen in plain dress. Pillai was surprised to see the unknown guests.

Ajit threw his keys at Pillai and he caught it with his left hand.

“Bingo!” Ajit exclaimed.

When charged with Babu’s murder, Pillai tried to deny the accusations but wore down under police grilling.

“Why did you kill Babu?” Ajit asked.

“Babu turned my wife against me and separated us. He would let her come back to me only if I paid him forty thousand rupees. My friends and neighbors made fun of my wife’s refusing to come back. Friends and Villagers questioned my manliness every day. The male in me was humiliated and wanted revenge. I knew Babu’s greed for money would bring him wherever I wanted,” Pillai said.

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