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21st October 10:30 AM
Aisha, her pulse quickened, put the phone in speaker mode. "Hello, Julia," she said. "Are you all right?"
"Yes, I'm fine," said Julia. "Priya's Dad, Mr. Shekar Bedi is with me at the flat."
Mayur's chest lightened. It would be better if they took the body soon for cremation. He cleared his throat. "Julia, Mayur here. Can Mr. Bedi take the body to Bangalore today?"
"Yes, he doesn't want to delay," said Julia.
"All right," said Prakash." Please wait, we will come to the flat soon."
"Sure," said Julia. "Mr. Bedi needs your help."
"We'll help him out," said Aisha. "No need to worry." She ended the call.
Mayur turned to Dr. Sunil. "We need to go now. I know your findings will surely help us in the investigation."
Dr. Sunil handed the file to Mayur. "I wish you all the best. You can call or meet me any time you want. I'm at your service."
"Thank you, doctor," Mayur said. "We'll surely get back to you if required." He bade Dr. Sunil farewell along with his colleagues and then walked out of his office towards the Jeep.
"Dr. Sunil had some interesting findings for us," Mayur said.
Prakash started the engine and eased the vehicle out of the parking lot. "The fact that the perpetrator is left-handed intrigues me."
"Yes," said Mayur. "It'll help us in identifying the culprit after we prepare a list of suspects."
"But can we rely on what Dr. Sunil said?" Aisha asked.
"I think we should because Dr. Sunil has made the right judgments and has helped us in closing the cases successfully before," Mayur said.
"And what's the significance of the Pizza Hut cap found at the crime scene?" Aisha asked.
Prakash looked at Aisha over his shoulder before he fixed his gaze back on the road. "I was hopeful that Priya would've called the Pizza Hut and ordered the food."
"Don't worry," said Mayur. "I'm confident we will make progress in the case when we get the telephone call details about Priya."
"It will be made available by the end of the day," Prakash said.
He steered his car towards the right and entered Minerva's apartments. He parked his Jeep in a visitor's parking lot and stepped out of the vehicle. They all marched toward Julia's guest house.
Mayur was eager to meet Mr. Shekar Bedi because he has strong evidence in this case. Being the father, he would reveal some important information which Julia and Krishna might not know. Mr. Bedi had known Priya since she was born and knew her better than the other suspects in the case. Mayur would make use of this opportunity to find out more about the victim.
They arrived at the flat. Prakash rang the doorbell and waited for Julia to open the door.
The latch sounded. Mayur stared at the door, his pulse quickening.
Julia, in her white and purple night dress, opened the door. She smiled and stepped back, making room for them to step in.
Mayur shifted his gaze to the living room sofa. A middle-aged man was seated on the couch, his face pale. He rose to his feet when Prakash entered the room along with Mayur and Aisha.
Mr. Bedi had fair skin. His oval and long face was pale and his small deep-set eyes were red, showing grief. His flat cheeks were sullen, and his thick open lips were dry.
"Please meet Mr. Shekar Bedi," Julia said.
Mr. Bedi shook hands with Mayur and Aisha. He broke into tears while Prakash greeted him. Perhaps, his emotion breached its limit when seeing Prakash in a police uniform. Mr. Bedi continued to sob aloud.
"I never expected it would happen to my daughter." He touched Prakash's shoulder.
Mayur needed to console Mr. Bedi. "Steel yourself, Mr. Bedi."
Mr. Bedi turned to Mayur and wiped the tears flowing down his cheeks. "My daughter was well brought up, sir. I don't know who did it, and I want the police to find out who killed her."
"Don’t worry," said Mayur, holding Mr. Bedi's shoulders. "We're looking for the perpetrator, and we need your cooperation."
He sat him on a couch and gestured for Aisha and others to take their seats.
"We assure you that we will get justice for Priya," Prakash said, "as Mayur rightly said, you need to cooperate with us in the investigation."
Mr. Bedi nodded, staring at the floor.
"Is it okay if we ask you a few questions?" Mayur said. Though Mr. Bedi was grief-stricken, Mayur wanted to get some vital information from him. He signaled Aisha to take notes of their interrogation.
"Mr. Bedi," said Mayur. "As a father, would you like to share with us anything about your daughter?"
Mr. Bedi stared down, seemingly contemplating. "Priya was our lovely daughter. Being the eldest of two children, she was honest and innocent. She always concentrated on her studies and never quarreled with anyone - either at home or at school or college."
"Did she get along well with her mother?"
"Absolutely. As I said, she was the eldest daughter and Priya's mother took additional care of her because she was innocent and naive in nature."
"Did she study at college in Bangalore?" Mayur said.
"Yes. She completed all her studies at Bangalore."
"What was her response her employer asked her to work in Hyderabad?"