sister reveals that eyewitness Karan Rajput was in touch with her and
told her he was taking money from the Sharmas
Tehelka:I will just start with the night. Who called
you? What happened that night?
Sharmas met my parents. Nobody said anything to anyone. I presume
it was their way of saying they were sorry on behalf of their
I got a call at about 2:30 in the morning. I took me a while, finally
picked up the phone. I friend of mine pradeep, he told me that Jessica
is hurt. Hurry up and come. I didn’t the gravity of the situation….Jessica
used to get scraps all the time….i said its OK take her to the
doctor. Finally he said, no! she has been shot. That’s when it
hit me…shock! Complete shock! Rushed straight to the Ashlok Hospital.
and that night other witnesses told you what happened, how it happened?
Sabrina Lall: at that point when we reached hospital lot of people
had come Tamarind Court. Out of them one was Shayan. Shayan Munshi…had
worked with her. I knew him. I recognized him. And he was one who was
hurt, very upset….and he was relating to the police officer who
was standing next to him. We stood around him, we were keen to know
what had happened. He related the incident. How he walked in and demanded
a drink and then had some words with Manani manani left, took out his
gun,I know how to get what I want,.shot one in the air and then apparently
Jessica told him to calm down we cannot serve the you the alcohol. Bar
is closed. That’s how the attention shifted t Jessica. And then
he shot her. And then we tried to find out who he was and then he described
him, this is the kind of body he had, ….so things weren’t
working at Ashlok hospital, we then took her to Apollo. But then she
died on the way to Apollo.
Tehelka: Shayan that night was clear in mind…
Absolutely. No doubt in the boys mind. Because must have been young
at that point in time. Could be 19 or 20 years old. He was visibly shaken.
But he was relaying the incident very clearly. He was talking in the
broken mix of both Hindi and English. And explaining to the police what
had happened that night. They read it back to him and he signed on it.
Four or five of us were standing around him.
Tehelka: he was also speaking in Hindi to the cops?
Sabrina Lall: see! For example my Hindi is not very
fluent. But if someone ask in Hindi, I would break into bit of English
here and there. He was basically replying like that.
Tehelka: he knew exactly how she was shot?
Sabrina Lall: Of course! He told us very clearly that he could recognize
the boy. And subsequently, next day, identified Manu Sharma and signed
on the photograph.
Tehelka: what then happened to Shayan Munshi?
Sabrina Lall: well to my mind it is evident that he
got some major financial inducements. Everybody said how can be blame
the boy, he is scared for his life, he is young. Attitude of Shayan
Munshi pulls apart. The walked into the court-extremely confident- it
was like a rehearsed play, like a rehearsed situation, scene where he
come and says no I don’t speak Hindi so kindly question me in
English. Rehearsed one to one. And he mentioned how two different boys
came and one shot there and the other shot at Jessica. Again given credence
to the defense theory of two guns. Things they introduced. So the boy
scared …so when it came to recognizing Manu Sharma, fair enough,
was a sketch, wasn’t he. But why would you make all this up and
go completely in the favour of the defense. ..so all this is because
of the financial inducements.
Tehelka: you were completely shocked…….
Sabrina Lall: NO! Lets put it like this. I tried to
get in touch with Shayan Munshi. Long time I have been trying to get
in touch with Munshi. Days; weeks after the incident. Wasn’t returning
the calls. We were told lie low at the moment. Nothing to worry about.
He is fine. When later we tried to contact him, he didn’t reply.
Then my business partner went to the Guide Hotel to find out. As a family
member you can understand any one being scared when such people are
involved. What wanted him to say was hello! I am too sacred I am not
going to do it. Or I have it in me I can do it. But he went and spoilt
everything by supporting the defense theory. Messed up the case completely.
That is one thing that will hole against Shayan Munshi more then any
body else because he really nailed the coffin as they say as far as
the case is concerned. So theer was no comeback from it. After which
we met up with Karan Rajput he is the other eyewitness in this case.
And he quite blatantly told me that accept nothing form Shayan Munshi,
he is got couple of crores in his back pocket. So do not expect anything
from him. Again one doesn’t mind, you take your couple of crores
but just stick to the truth. Why do have to mess up by talking of two
different people with the gun when that wasn’t correct.
what about Karan Rajput why did he also turn hostile?
Sabrina Lall: Karan Rajput is very much in touch with
me. And from day one he kept insisting that he would take money from
the Sharmas but he will testify in our favour in court.
Tehelka: did he take money from the Sharmas
Sabrina Lall: he said it in the sense that he will take
money from the Sharmas but testify in your favour. This was the game
he was playing. At particular point in time when he needed money we
paid him the money. Ten I gave him some money. Because he wasn’t
working at all….at some point in time he needed help so I gave
him the money. And he used to keep telling what was happening on the
otherside, how they gave him the money. What all they told him. Step
to step…talk to him to find out whats going on.eventually when
it came to him testifying in the court..he was not in town. I mother,
hey kidnapped my mother. So that’s why I got scared. Whatever..of
course manoj Sharma wouldn’t have picked her up..but somebody..related
to that side.
Tehelka:so basically he played a smart game took money
from both the sides…
Sabrina Lall: one wouldn’t tell with Karan Rajput
what he would actually want to do. or what he would eventually …sometimes
now I feel in retrospect that every time those guys paid him he would
come back to us …and tell them ..or may be they would offer more
money. I do not know what it was. Or may be somewhere doen the line
he genuinely want to help…haven’t figured out that as yet.
After he gave his testimony I came to know that. Very apologetic. Once
he landed up in the hospital called me, and mummy, we both went to meet
him, he was extremely apologetic because he felt that he is about to
go. His liver was in bad shape. But I will make it up to you call the
police now; I will give correct testimony. Chain and money…this
is the money I have taken from you. Of course we did not take anything
back. So with all this tone feels that there was a shred of conscience
in him that he felt bad about what had happened.
Sabrina Lall: I did. I used to speak to Surinder Sharma
on a daily basis ..very often.. surinder Sharma told my dad that he
is fed up. He is playing on both the sides.
Tehelka: Karan Rajput named Anil Mahajan
Sabrina Lall: Yes. A gentleman called Anil Mahajan.
We used to see him in court we knew who he was talking about. So this
gentleman met Karan Rajput and asked him to meet at Chancellor?? Club.
We asked him to tell what happened? He said I will go a step further
I will record the conversation. So we brought him cassette player. He
took it and went off. Next day we called up: what happened? He made
us hear that cassette..where the gentle clearly telling him that you
have seen what you have seen. girl has died. she is gone you can’t
bring her back. Why don’t you take money from us and help us out.
so that out boy is saved.
Tehelka: you didn’t ask a copy of the tape?
Sabrina Lall: he didn’t give us. We kept asking
for it. Why don’t you give copy to us. I will keep it for a while,
Give you later..later and then somehow we didn’t get it.
Tehelka: the cops don’t know about the cassette?
Sabrina Lall: Surinder Sharma I was talking to on the daily basis must
have told him this. I am not very sure about that. One knows that it
is not admissible in the court. You know! I didn’t make a bige
deal about it. It was for my own knowledge because everyone was talking
about …it was very evident tha way they handled Karan rajput and
threat that they wasn’t used. It was financial.
Tehelka: was he blatant we he came and asked you or money
Sabrina Lall: Karan Rajput?..Not so blatant. I he didn’t demand
money from me. I am going through some tough time..short of money…that’s
it..I felt bad about it.. we all felt eventually he would get us ..not
that I could afford very much but whatever I could 25,000-30,000 he
wanted that point in time I gave him…whatever one could come up
Tehelka: on the hind side what about the police investigation.
Sabrina Lall: at that time I had no option but to believe them and trust
them…I actually developed some rapport with the investigating
officer. He was decent chap. The way he talked to , the way he portrayed
things to me, spoke to me I thought he is on the right direction. There
was a time bullet changing came up. I talked to Mr Amodh Kant because
he was at the helm of the investigations and he was like little short
with me on phone..no no you have trust somebody somewhere you have to
put your trust on police officer..we are looking into it and that was
the end of it. So at that point of time I thought they were doing okay.
Hindsight it is coming to me that they didn’t do good job.
Tehelka: emotions..what did you feel about the judgment..
Sabrina Lall: like in most of the situations one could
presume somewhere in the back of your mind you can feel things are not
in the right direction….but it still hits you. its hard because
it puts a closure on something you were waiting for a longtime. Somehow
you get above it. That’s it. There is no where else to go, then
on. This is the end. Due to all the problems in my family, in my own
personal life, it was terrible, you feel let down,…it was not
like bolt of the blue…one was expecting it.
Tehelka: how did your father take it?
Sabrina Lall: dad was not very well. He had two or three
strokes by then. So how much of it he actually absorbed one cannot tell
but he used to roam around looking quite upset. and if you speak to
him and asked what he wants ..Something of what on stung him, sink into
him ..Shortly after that he felt more sick and then he died. all this
resulted in that. We don’t know if the person doesn’t talk,
can’t bring out their thoughts clearly what’s going inside
(New file) 0595
Tehelka: Manu Sharma bail??
Sabrina Lall: the moment Manu Sharma got bail in 2002
January I stopped going to the court. I told my father I m sorry I am
not up to it anymore; I am fed up. I grieved with my father. That up
set my mom, she said Sabrina you got to go. you cannot give up so soon.
You know! Shortly after that she was detected cancer and she passed
away in September 2002.
Tehelka: out cry after judgment, people took to streets;
tat gave some hope, solace?
Sabrina Lall: of course it did because it was complete
unexpected. Like most situations there will be a coloun somewhere in
the newspaper-lie sown and you will have to live with it for the rest
of your life. You look up to the god and say this is what you wanted,
this is what has happened and there is no control over it.. and then
with this sudden outcry and public opinion , suddenly you know things
stirred up ..you felt now something will come out of it. You felt that
now your sister sitting up their, your mother sitting there, so now
may be they are making something happen, they are not letting it go.
What is this you never know, this is unprecedented, I have never seen
or heard a case where people have taken to street to anybody’s
acquittal. Sometimes you feel that there is a bigger force, a bigger
picture one feels for second win, there is a chance.
Tehelka: relations with Malini
Sabrina Lall: perfectly fine. Malini and Jessica were
friend you must understand. That’s the reason why Jessica was
there serving behind the bar.. we have not been family friends, one
has only been in touch post this incidence ..first couple of months
just discount that because something were not clear at that point of
time. Some sort of misunderstandings but ever since then they have been
perfectly fine. Malini would come over and meet my mom, they would come
over..jessica’s death anniversary Malini had comeover. No problem
what so ever with them.
Tehelka: now fresh investigations. ..cops giving special attention what
sense you get out of the current investigations?
Sabrina Lall: initially I was in touch with the investigating
officers, surrinder Sharma, Gogia or Yadav. I ahd a better feel of what
was going on at that point of time then now. I am completely lost. This
tiem I have no first hand information as to what is going on. Only information
I get is what you write about. So I don’t know. My only apprehension
is that recently there has been lot of talk about Bina what she ahs
done. Legal or illegal. Fair enough, someone has done something wrong
action should be taken. Though, it should have been taken many years
ago. Fair enough. I am just hoping that they are not shifting their
attention or focus away from Manu Sharma because at the end of the day
. personally it makes no difference whether she goes to jail for forgery
or not. She is a friend I hope not. Make no difference to my life. My
basic focus, everybody focus should be the main accused Manu Sharma.
I want to see him convicted.
Tehelka: has Sharma family tried to reach ..
Sabrina Lall: to me? No but they came and met my parents when I was
not in the town way back in 1999. I was out of station. Both Venod Sharma
and his wife came over and met my parents.
Tehelka: in your absence??
Sabrina Lall:I presume they were waiting for me to move out, I am not
in town. Waiting for me not to be in house. …opportune moment
when I am not in the town.
Tehelka: how they reacted???
Sabrina Lall: my father was shocked when he opened the door. Papa used
to recognize him because he used to some to court with me. Mom may or
may not have recognized this gentleman. He was standing at the door.
Obviously he said some in and sit down. So they sat down, called my
mother, no body said anything to anyone. It was uncomfortable silence
because no body knew what to say.. They were silent no body wanted to
say anything. They had a two bouquet of flowers; there was huge photograph
of Jessica up there in the drawing room so they say one of her.
Tehelka: what could be the reason?
Sabrina Lall: I presume it was their gesture, their way of saying that
I am sorry for their son. What else could be the reason.
Tehelka: what was
Sabrina Lall: I remember calling to my mother, and when she told that
they came with flower. I said, they came to our house and you let them
in? You had tea with them. I said, are you mad? What would you do, caught
unaware. One emotional way of looking at it, there is another way of
looking at it. My parents are not the kind of people who do things like
that. My problem is not that they are the parents of Manu Sharma, you
cannot blame them entirely for the child you have. They were paying
the money. They were buying off . paying for all the buy off. Manipulating.
Get him the best lawyer and let the law takes its course. It’s
a question of drawing a line. That’s the problem I have with them.