[Trigger Warning]: The following reading contains potentially distressing information about suicide and murder. The reader is advised to use their discretion to continue reading. This is a fictional, locked-room murder mystery


Just one week to go before the Convocation Ceremony. Word was out that it was Kabir, SC president vs Rana, the Vice-President for the ”Student of the Year” award. Two days before the event, Kabir was found dead, hanging from the class’s fan. The news of the suicide sent shockwaves throughout the college. Why would he kill himself when he was about to start a bright future in just about a week? The police were immediately called to the scene. At first, they assumed it was an open-and-shut case. But it was not going to be that easy. If it was a suicide, how was the door locked? This was not a suicide. It was a murder. The murder of MKIT’s top student. And this happened just days before the Convocation Ceremony.


The investigation started at the crime scene. They found a long scratch on Kabir’s forearm and blood traces on the fan blade. The police thought it was his, nevertheless, a sample was taken. A key was found in his pocket. The body was sent for post-mortem. There were no signs of breakage and it was concluded that someone used the keys to get inside. The police would’ve checked the CCTV footage, but there are no cameras in 408. Upon questioning Kabir’s friends, it was found that Kabir was a student liked by both the management and the students. But he once had a huge fight with Rana about the SC elections and the Student of the Year award. The police got their first suspect. Rana was called for questioning. He said that he hated Kabir, but not so much that he would kill him. The bandage on Rana’s hand caught the police’s eye.


 Rambabu, the college attender was questioned about the incident. He said that he found Kabir hanging in 408, early morning. As far as he remembers, he had locked all the doors and kept the keys in the office the previous day, and the office keys were always with him. The police asked if someone had taken the office keys in the past. It was found that Kabir took them a few days back to bring his bag which he forgot in his class. The police showed the keys they found and Rambabu said that those were the office’s keys. Later that day, the police found a few blood drops on the fence near the Badminton court. They looked around and saw blood drops near the boys’ washroom back gate. This grew their suspicion of Rana. He was called again and questioned about his cuts. Rana said he got it yesterday evening while removing his bike from the parking lot. They checked inside the washroom and found Kabir’s ID card broken and some peculiar bandages. They took all the samples and then called the watchman and asked him if he knew anything about the fence. The watchman said that it was fine till yesterday. 


The forensic reports arrived the next day. It was found that the blood sample found near the washroom was Rana’s. But there were two blood groups in the samples found on the fence and the fan blade. One was Kabir’s. And the second was of a new person, not Rana’s. Moreover, Kabir’s cause of death was neck compression, but not by the rope to which he was found hanging, instead, something flatter, like a ribbon. The police decided to check all the recordings regarding this case. Srikar, the Project School Head heard of this and he offered the police to take Fani’s help. Fani was a student working on a Face Recognition project, where teachers’ and students’ full-day activities are recorded. This would help him in the case, as well as his project and the police agreed.


Fani used to collect recordings from the office and then show them to the police whilst using them for his project. The police checked all the recordings but they found nothing but a few glitches in the recordings. They believed it to be the camera’s fault. They also wanted to check recordings when many students came to the office. Rambabu said that many students came to submit their scholarship documents. The police asked for the list of all students who came on that day and the camera recordings. But this happened 2 weeks back and the recordings would be in another database and would take 3 hours to arrive. Meanwhile, the police called Arjun and asked if he knew about Kabir having the office keys. Arjun, Kabir’s best friend burst into tears. “He had a copy with him. Kabir was anxious to know who would be the Student of the Year. Yesterday, while dropping me off, he said he would go to the college and check the results.” This was confusing, if Kabir had the keys, how was he locked inside? Someone else had also taken the keys; the only evidence was the video recordings. The recordings came in some time and the police played it immediately. THE CULPRIT WAS FOUND! They rushed to the class and saw him removing the bandage from his hand.


 Fani was caught. His blood samples were checked and they matched the ones found in the washroom. He was arrested and asked why he killed Kabir. Fani confessed. From the beginning, Kabir always taunted Fani for being extremely silent and not having many friends. Fani always smiled it off, but deep inside, it hurt him. It was all bearable until one day, in their second year when Kabir crossed the limits and insulted his parents’ upbringing. That one incident changed his anger into hatred. And when everyone started talking that Kabir was also nominated to become Student of the Year, Fani couldn’t stand it. He wanted to take revenge for those insults. He followed Kabir that day, and when he saw him going to college, he thought this was the right chance. He followed Kabir and saw him go to the office. When Kabir returned to the washroom, he strangled him to death with his ID tag and hung him in 408, where it all happened two years ago.  


But Fani was no different from others, he left clues. He cut Kabir’s hand, edited the videos, and used all that he learned for PS to help his escape. His mistake was using scholarship as a way to take the key’s imprint. He thought he would edit that too, but by the time he learnt how to, the video was in another database. Fani was found guilty. But this was also a lesson for the college. What happened with Fani was nothing more than ragging. Though Kabir might have felt that was just “fun”, it had a lasting impact on Fani. Though Fani is a murderer, who made him into one? And if ignored and made fun of, many more could end up like Fani.


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