Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-08-31 11:01 Even after a fortnight's serious efforts, there were no traces of the absconding couple. The teams which went in search of them returned empty handed. And media was writing nasty things about Bangalore police mishandling the case. It was rumored that the liquor barron Vijay Mallya hosted a dinner to the couple and Michael was trying to trade in horses with Mallya and was also believed that he was carrying expensive diamonds to do business with local elites. ACP Iqbal was under tremendous pressure and was not able to face the press and the superiors. He wanted the couple to be caught at any cost soon and clear his name from the mess. One day ACP Iqbal in his despondent mood called me and asked "My boy, why don't you try this case? Please do some thing". Saying so he handed over me a file and said “Good luck." The file contained · a faded Xerox copy of the Photograph of the cheating couple · a copy of the warrant issued by the Judicial Magistrate’s court at Bangalore · a bunch of letters written in German language. But was that enough to track down a couple who had acquired so much of notoriety? A criminal case was registered against the couple in the High Grounds police station. ACP Iqbal suggested, “We go to an astrologer, quite possible we might get some clue”. I was laughing to myself at the proposal. But he was desperate and wanted me to try at it. I said “OK.” He also suggested that I take anyone of my colleagues to assist me in the assignment. Then, he volunteered and suggested Ashok Kumar for assistance. Suddenly Nagaraj PA to ACP Iqbal who was sitting in front of him said “Sir, this is a case where you have got to tread cautiously because the couple seems to be very sophisticated criminals and we need to do a lot of ground work before we make any move. Therefore please leave the choice of selecting the officer Lava Kumar himself.” This remark from Nagaraj, I presume was because by then Ashok kumar had earned the name as a “trigger happy” police officer. It was of course a nice complement to him. I had a good rapport with him. He is my good friend even now. In order to have a frank and friendly discussion and exchange of views on the project, I just thought I would take one of my batchmates with me for the job. The first name that came to mind was ND Mulla, who was the sub-inspector of Cubbon Park Police Station, then. ND Mulla was not only my batchmate but we were good friends too. I continue to be his good friend till today. He is a post-graduate in English Literature and a very cool person to deal with. We worked together in the city for many years. Currently, he is the Asst Commissioner of Police, in Bangalore city. So, he became my natural choice. I asked him to join me in this task. He readily agreed. I told Mulla about the suggestion made by ACP Iqbal about contacting an Astrologer. He said ‘why not we do it and give a try’. Mulla contacted some of his friends about the astrologer and someone referred us to an English lecturer of Christ College, Bangalore. I faintly remember that he was Shankar. A nice gentleman. Astrology was just his past time. We managed to trace his house in Wilson Garden and took an appointment from him and called on him. He received us affectionately and asked us “ Please tell me in what way I can be helpful to you.” We were a bit hesitating to tell the incident. Normally, as police officers we cannot believe in astrology and occult practices in our investigations. We need to investigate any case only by using scientific aids, circumstantial or corroborating evidences. But Iqbal was particular that we meet an astrologer and take a chance. We didn’t want to displease him. So, we narrated the entire sequence of events to the lecturer. He gave a patient hearing to us and then asked us to get the dates of birth of the missing couple and any other details available with us. We told him that we don’t have anything other than the documents which I mentioned above. The lecturer laughed at both of us. It was expected. In the meantime ACP Iqbal wanted to know whether we had approached any astrologer. I rang him and told him that we were with astrologer. When I told him there were no hopes of getting much help from him, ACP Iqbal asked me to check with the astrologer whether the couple was still in India or not. So, when I asked the same question to the lecturer, he said "In the absence of details like date of birth of the absconding couple, it will be difficult for me to tell any thing but I will do one thing - I will try to relate it with the time at which you approached me for this task and from the direction and position of your sitting in my house." He made some calculations by referring to some books and said "The couple is in still in India, somewhere in southern India and they would be soon caught by the police." I called up ACP Iqbal and told him the astrologer's gamble. He was thrilled and said “Go and catch the fellows." ACP Iqbal told the Police Commissioner that he has information that the couple was still in India and they would be caught soon. When we met ACP Iqbal he said "I don’t know what you guys do, but I want them soon to refurbish my lost image. In my 25 years of service I have not come across a situation like this. You guys must put your sincere effort and get them soon." It was a very challenging job. I looked at Mulla. He smiled as if in approval. (To be continued) Author: Lavakumar is a native of Mysuru but currently residing at Bengaluru. An Arts Graduate from Rani Parvathi Devi College, Belgaum, Karnatak University. Joined Karnataka State Police as Sub-Inspector of Police in 1974. Served in the Districts of Kalaburagi, Mangaluru, Karwar, Mysuru, Mandya and Bengaluru. Also served in Corps of Detectives Bengaluru. Retired as Assistant Commissioner of Police Bengaluru City in 2005. Lavakumar is a recipient of Karnataka Chief Minister’s Gold Medal.
Con couple: Gambling with the idea of meeting astrologer and how it was right
In the first of a series of articles, retired police officer Lava Kumar takes us behind the scenes of sensational cases that posed a challenge to the Bengaluru police
Suresh Jangir | Updated on:2016-08-31 11:01:00.0