Dispensing Death for Pleasure– Prequel of Dispensing Death for Pleasure
Siraj was the single name he had. He was a child of destiny. At the age of two or three, most probably he had come with his parents to visit Kutab Minar in New Delhi, and got lost. His parents could not be traced, and no one really tried to find them.
The Head Teacher of ‘Madrasa Jamia Arabia’ of Mehrauli, New Delhi, had brought him up as a caring foster father. The kindly teacher, who was a single man, brought him up like a Muslim child. Siraj did not care to know if he was a Hindu, a Christian, or a Muslim by birth. His foster father was everything to him.
At the age of sixteen, he worked as the assistant of Mohammad Rashid, a truck driver. At the age of 22, he became a licensed truck driver. He got employed with Perfect Logistics Solutions, Mahipalpur, New Delhi.
The transport company hired him for a monthly salary of Rs.15000 a month plus incentives. Siraj lived all by himself in a single room at Kishangarh Village near Mehrauli.
At the age of 25, the desire to get married and settle down crossed his mind several times. His foster father had expired by then. In the absence of parents, there was no one to take care of this matter. Moreover, he knew that in the marriage market, he had almost no value.
A truck driver was not sought after by parents for their daughters. Everybody knew that a truck driver’s life was uncertain besides being risky. The drivers picked up addictions to cope with the loneliness and boredom of long drives on the highways.
In fact, they were married to their trucks rather than with their wives. His foster father’s strict and traditional upbringing did not allow Siraj to try and propose to a girl himself.
Siraj was very familiar with the roads from Delhi to the Southern States of India. As a reliable driver, he used to be sent to long-distance destinations in Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore or Kochin. He did not mind these long routes since there was no one at home to wait for him.
After a long trip, the company used to offer him two off days. He used to spend these free days assisting Karim Miyan in his butchery and earn some extra bucks. There was another attraction too.
Deep inside his mind, Siraj used to feel pleasure in slowly killing sheep, goats and chicken for Halal meat. He was perfect in skinning those cases and cut them into pieces, as that too gave him a lot of pleasure.
Butchering animals gave him a sense of power over the lives of the livestock he killed.
Mr. Suren Mehta, the owner of Perfect Logistics Solutions, was fond of him. The reason was that Siraj would consistently deliver his load in the correct address and return to his office in record time. Siraj made minimum halts en-route and had an accident free record.
Mr. Mehta never pondered over the question as to how Siraj managed to drive the truck without rest. For him, faster turn-around time meant more business and more income. Therefore, he always rewarded Siraj with some incentive after every successful trip.
The secret behind this superhuman endurance was that Siraj used to take Marijuana and Opium on long hauls to ward off fatigue and retain total concentration.
He was aware that these narcotic drugs added to tobacco were ruining his health in the long run. But the lure of attractive incentive was irresistible.
With this, he could afford small luxuries in life, like a bottle of ‘English’ wine once in a while.
Life was going on an even keel, and then suddenly, his destiny intervened. His life literally took a sharp turn. It happened like this. Once he had delivered Maruti Suzuki Car Spares from Gurgaon to a big dealer of Maruti cars in Chennai.
On the way back, he had to bring back a truckload of industrial tools like Electric Welding Machines, Electrodes, Power Saw, Chain Saw, Power Drill and what not. This trip had been special for him in another way. His company had just purchased a New Leyland Ecomet 1214 truck which could carry 10 tonnes payload.
Mr. Mehta personally chose Siraj to drive the truck on its maiden journey.
Driving a brand new truck was a special treat for him. The vehicle had the latest soft-touch controls, power steering and a large air-conditioned cabin. The ultimate luxury was a 7′ X 3′ bunk at the back of the driver’s cabin for sleeping comfortably.
In short, the comfort factor for the driver was superb in this truck. At Chennai, cargo delivery and loading went off smoothly. By the time he was crossing the city limits of Chennai, the darkness of evening had descended. The bright city lights faded out when he drove onto NH 44. However, the highway was still busy in the early evening. So he parked his truck near a Punjabi Dhaba for his meal.
He took a good bath in the Dhaba’s bathroom, and leisurely, he ate his supper of tandoori roti, rajma and freshly peeled onions in silence. After finishing the meal, he ordered a cup of tea. Then he told the serving boy to bring some ‘Gum’. It was a code word for Opium Drug.
Siraj was a regular customer of that dhaba; he knew the coded name of the stuff. Therefore, it was brought to him without any fuss. He had a dose of opium and allowed the intoxication to take a grip over his senses. By this time, the traffic on the highway was thinning out. He started the truck.
Opium had narrowed down his concentration only on that part of the highway, which got lighted up by the truck’s powerful pair of headlamps. There was nothing else in his mind, not even the usual post supper drowsiness.
As he crossed into Andhra, a light drizzle started. But it intensified as he crossed into Telangana. By the time he reached the outskirts of Hyderabad, the rain turned torrential. It was around 1.30 a.m.
The combination of the monotonous drone of the engine, the fast swish of the hyperactive windshield wipers and howling wind carrying raindrops colliding against the truck’s body created an unearthly atmosphere in the truck’s cabin. Yet, Siraj was oblivious to all these things. He had kept his eyes peeled to ensure the safety of the galloping track.
Fortunately, at this hour, there was not a single soul on the highway.
At the far end, where the twin beams of headlights melted into darkness, Siraj noticed some unusual movements on the left edge of the road.
As the truck closed up, he could recognize it to be a dark human figure running along the road. Siraj rubbed his eyes. Did he have some overdose of opium, or was it a ghost? He started chanting Bismilla.
As the truck caught up with the running figure on the road, he saw a thoroughly drenched young girl was running breathlessly. He applied the brake, and the truck stopped a little ahead of the girl. He opened the door of the truck and inquired what the matter was with her.
Between heavy breaths, the girl said in broken Hindi that people were chasing her in a jeep and will catch her any time. Siraj looked at the rearview mirror and saw, indeed, a pair of headlights was closing in fast.
Instinctively he extended his powerful arm, which the girl caught, and he heaved her up on board. There was no time to waste. He stepped up on the gas pedal, and the girl sat behind on the driver’s bunk behind. Water was dripping from her tattered dress, and she was sobbing silently.
The jeep at the back broke the chase after about five kilometres.
Siraj drove on for another 10 KMs and stopped the truck in front of a Dhaba. By now, the rain had stopped.
Siraj went down to the Dhaba and brought a plate of rice and dal for the girl. The girl lapped up the food like a hungry wolf.
Siraj apologetically told her that he had no women’s dress in the truck. But he had a spare lungi and a shirt. If needed, she could change over to those dry clothes. Silently she agreed. He waited in the dhaba, allowing her enough time to change. When he returned, the girl gave a grateful smile.
He asked her if he could drop her at the nearest Police station. Instead of answering him directly, she asked him where he was headed to. When he said that he was going to Delhi, she said she would want to go to Delhi. Siraj’s mind was tense.
On the one hand, he could not leave the girl on the road in the dead of night. But, on the other hand, he was also afraid that she could also blackmail him with the threat of entangling him in a false kidnapping case.
He knew that no one would listen to him in that case, even if he told the truth. So, most reluctantly, he told her to sleep on the driver’s bunk and let him drive on.
In the morning, over a cup of tea with breakfast, the girl came out with her story. She was Fardeen Abbas – one of the six daughters of her father, Zulfikar Abbas. Zulfikar was a well to do businessman and a fanatic Muslim. His oppressive dos and don’ts as per code of conduct of Muslim girls were oppressive, that Fardeen felt suffocated.
About a week ago, she found an opportunity and eloped with a good looking guy who promised to marry her. But he took her to a vacant flat and confined her there. Merciless beating and rape became a regular affair. Last night she had overheard the guy negotiating a price for selling her to an Arab man.
Tonight taking advantage of the rain and storm, somehow she could escape through a window. But while running to the gate, unfortunately she toppled the wooden stool meant for a guard. That sound alerted her captor, and he started chasing her to recapture.
She got into a jungle on a hillock. But he caught her up on the other side with his jeep. He would have recaptured her had Siraj not helped her.
She did not want to return to her father’s home. She was sure that he would definitely kill her for her misdeed, which was against the dictates of Islam.
Siraj found her to be a cultured but innocent and hapless girl. He agreed to take her to Delhi. Once in Delhi, she had nowhere to go. He took her to his home and, after deep soul searching, married her in the local Mosque with consent from Fardeen.
Siraj and Fardeen became man and wife. Being saddled with this new responsibility, Siraj worked harder than ever before – driving trucks and helping the butcher Karim Miyan. But driving up and down to the distant Southern States, Siraj could spend hardly one week in a month at home. His off days were in parts of one or two days at a time, totalling up to one week.
Neither Fardeen nor Siraj could complain. Siraj could never hope to get married if he did not find Fardeen. And she shuddered to think what would have happened to her had Siraj not rescued her on that dark night. It was their destiny that had brought them together, and they were happy with whatever they got.
Instead of sitting alone at home through the month, Fardeen picked up a small job in a local beauty parlour for women. This supplemented the family income too. But their story was not like a fairy tale for living happily ever after. She lost her health after delivering three boys in three consecutive years.
They named them after famous Muslim rulers of India – Humayun, Akbar and Jahangir. While the boys grew up, Siraj’s health also started declining. The drugs gradually got better of him. No longer he could drive on long-distance hauls. He was employed on local assignments as a favour from Mr Mehta. When he could not even drive locally, he would be in Karim Miyan’s butchery. It reduced his income considerably.
At forty, he worried endlessly for the future of his sons. He knew that he would not survive long. So he taught driving to his sons, the only skill he had. When they got their license, he managed to get jobs for them too.
Humayun was lucky to get a job as a helper in the Haryana State Transport Corporation. Mr. Mehta accepted Jahangir as his personal chauffeur. Their jobs brought financial relief to the humble family.
The middle son Akbar was different from his siblings. He was like an ugly duckling among swans. He was short and delicately built unlike his tall and robust siblings.
As a child, he communicated less and mostly kept to himself. But when he spoke his language would be very rude. He would be constantly bullied by his brothers and friends. But even if beaten, Siraj would never cry. The only quality that went in his favour was, he was a bright student. While his brothers took to their father, Akbar was very close to his mother. It seemed that he inherited more of his intelligent mother’s genes than his brawny father’s.
Unlike his brothers, he showed no aptitude for driving automobiles. But whenever Siraj took him to Karim Miyan’s butchery, Akbar felt happiest. The glee showed in his young face when he would slit the throats of animals and birds.
He would enjoy watching goats flailing their legs till death mercifully made them motionless. His one other favourite game was to make the chicken run around with half-cut head hanging from the neck till they fell lifeless.
He would skin them with such perfection that no hair or feather would remain on their meat. When he would curve out pieces of meat by removing internal organs, he would make it look like a work of art, done with the precision of a surgeon.
He gradually became inquisitive about looking into the organs, intestines and muscles of a human body. He realised that only a doctor was permitted to do that. Therefore he wanted to be a doctor.
Read the Rest of the Story in Book CRAFTY KILLERS: Who Almost Got Away!