Tehelka reporters Harinder Baweja and a foreigner colleague introduced themselves to actor Shyan Munshi as representatives of an English movie production house.
During conversation the foreigner asked about Shyan Munshi’s proficiency in Hindi. In reply, Munshi who swore in court that he could not read Hindi claimed that he has studied Hindi in school.
Tehelka: Where you have done your schooling?
Munshi : Don Bosco, Kolkatta.
Munshi : There is a minor difference between grammar of Hindi and Bengali. Like in Hindi word `car’ is feminine gender while in Bengali it’s neutral gender.
After learning about his grip of Hindi, Tehelka asked him about the Jessica Lall murder.
Tehelka: What happened on that night ?
Munshi : Everybody knows. …………………. ?????
Another eyewitness in the case was Karan Rajput, maternal uncle of Jitendra Raj. Jitendra was manager of Tamarind Court where the murder took place. On the night of incident Rajput had gone there to meet his nephew. As Raj was busy he made him sit inside the bar room asking him to wait. First nobody knew about Rajput, but later on, Raj’s discloser Rajput was enlisted as an eyewitness. First Rajput confessed that had seen a boy in white T shirt shooting at Jessica. Later in court he turned hostile and denied his presence on the spot. Karan died in January 2005 because of his severe alcohol problem.
Tehelka: Was there some uncle of yours present ?
Jitendra: Mama Ji
Tehelka: Had he come to meet you?
Jitendra: That day guard told me, your uncle has come to meet you. As I was busy I told the guard to make him sit inside. When the party goes, it takes place in open, so I asked him to sit inside…near piano.
Tehelka: Was he an eyewitness?
Jitendra: Yes, indeed.
Tehelka: What did he say in court ?
Jitendra: They had bribed him to turn hostile.
He was always like this. …. He had no money… Those people might have contacted him.
Tehelka: Did he ever tell you?
Jitendra: He might have received money…. might have turned greedy.
Tehelka: Are you sure?
Jitendra: You can make out the source of sudden money.
Tehelka: Had he ever told you something?
Jitendra: Once he offered to talk for me.
Tehelka: You didn’t ask who he’d talk to?
Jitendra: I never felt the need to go deeper.
Jitendra: You see he had several problems. He was undergoing treatment at Sitaram Bhartia hospital, who was bearing the expense? Where did 70 80 thousand come from? Who paid the bills ?
Tehelka: What was his disease?
Jitendra: He was an alcoholic.
Tehelka: Was he married?
Jitendra: A divorcee.
Tehelka: Was it because of drinking problem?
Jitendra: Alcohol and unemployment.
Jitendra Raj took us to his uncle’s friend Surendra who narrated the tale of Karan Rajput’s changed fortunes.
Raj: Where all you travelled with him?
Jitendra: Manali ?
Surendra: I never went. Rajveer and his brother-in-law had gone.
Jitendra: You went to Chandigarh?
Surendra: They (Rajveer and his brother-in-law) went. They stayed in Sharma’s hotel.
He got lot of …but he never saved it.
Raj: Do have any idea about how much he might have received ?
Surendra: Around 30 –35 …
Jitendra: 30 -35 lakh.
Surendra: He would also go to Safdarjung Enclave.
Question: To meet Sabrina? He even took 50 thousands from her.
Surendra: He even offered to record his actual testimony on a CD for me.
Question: Is it!
Surendra: He said that I could use it after he dies.
Question: Did he give the CD to you?
Question: You should have taken it.
Surendra: I was prepared. But left it later.
Question: You should have done it.
Surendra: Now nothing can be done. I saw him taking receiving money at Okhla.
Question: Where at Okhla?
Surendra: From Sharma’s place. In front of Okhla depot there is a building. Sharma owns entire building. We used to collect money from there itself.
Question: How much money?
Surendra: Whatever we needed?
Question: Whatever you say!
Surendra: Whatever we demand. We used to get 20 25 thousand every month just like that. His number is in mamu’s ( Karan Rajput) diary.
Question: Whose number?
Surendra: His manager’s.
Question: How would you take money?
Surendra: Money would come on the name of Arjun.
Surendra: They had code named Karan Rajput as Arjun.
Surendra: In Jessica Lall case.
Question: Would you accompany Rajput when he used to go to collect money ?
Question: How would they pay, cheque or cash?
Question: How much money would come?
Surendra: They gave twice in Nepal.
Question: In Nepal ?
Surendra: When the King’s curfew was clamped.
Question: Were you also there :
Question: When you would go to Okhla was the amount fixed?
Surendra: Later they fixed it at 20 thousand. Initially he would 60 thousand sometime up to one or two lakh. Sharma had taken his (Karan Rajput) life’s entire responsibility.
There was another person who knew the secret, Rajbeer, Karan’s landlord. Tehelka’s reporter went in pretending to search for accommodation to rent. After whiling some time, the reporter came to the point, Rajveer initially avoided talking, but later parted with the real story.
Rajbir: I went to Okhla several times with Rajveer.
Question: Whom would you meet there ?
Rajbir: Mamu (Karan Rajput) used to see.
Question: He would meet Sharma.
Rajbir: He would meet Sharma
Rajbir: I went to Piccadilly Hotel, Chandigarh.
Question: Is it a nice hotel?
Rajbir: It is very nice. I went to Manali as well. Manu Sharma’s father had agreed to pay Mamu money.
Question: Did he pay well to Mamu?
Rajbir: About 20 lakh rupees. Mamu took money from his sister as well. I accompanied him. She lives somewhere in Safdarjung Enclave.
Question: To Sabrina’s house?
Question: Why did she pay?
Rajbir: Madam that I don’t know.
There was another eyewitness, Shivdas, Tamarind court’s electrician. At the time of crime he was standing near Jessica. First he identified the killers, later he turned hostile in the court.
Jitendra: Shivdas was certainly there. He was present behind the counter. But, later he said that he was on terrace.
Tehelka: What happened with him?
Jitendra: Look, he used to work like us. I have been to his house… not very well off. After leaving job he started his own shop. You can’t open shop like that. You need money to start a shop.
Tehelka reporter, pretending to be Sabrina Lall, rang up Shivdas.
Tehelka: This is Sabrina. Sorry for bothering you. I am very upset…daily I read same news in newspapers.
Shivdas: What can I do for you.
Tehelka: Can you come for ten minutes?
Shivdas: I cant, please forgive me.
Tehelka: Why are you so scared?
Shivdas: You need to, can’t help.
Tehelka: Who is scaring you?
Shivdas: You know everything, that’s why I can’t meet you.
Tehelka: Initially you told everything correct to the police that it was Manu Sharma.
Shivdas: Everybody did the same, you see it yourself. I am telling you
Shivdas: I can’t help you. I live in UP. Now you can make out yourself.
Tehelka: You are telling that they have big business there?
Shivdas: You can understand the situation of UP and Bihar. My entire family lives there. I also have farming there.
Tehelka: Did they reach your relatives?
Shivdas: Now what can I tell you Madam?
Tehelka: Did you see Manu Sharma shooting Jessica ?
Tehelka: But you said that in your earlier statement.
Shivdas: Whatever I said was correct.
Tehelka: Please for the sake of humanity?
Shivdas: I told you for the sake of humanity. Let others show it first. I will follow.
Translated from the original programme transcript by Avinash Dutt