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The wedding scanners

Deccan Chronicle | Govind Vijaykumar |
Captain D.K. Giri (right) and Detective Rahul Rai (left)
Captain D.K. Giri (right) and Detective Rahul Rai (left)

Among the list of very important service providers required for a wedding, you have the caterer, the florist and now... detectives Hyderabad is the second largest market for pre- and post-wedding background checks.

It was a match made in heaven... in the skies actually. He was a frequent flyer and she an air hostess. He would admire her from the first class and she would try to make airline food that bit more special. The folks were happy, friends congratulated the pair and everything seemed perfect.

Until a background check revealed that the man already had a wife, two kids and a history of credit card fraud. This plane had to land.

Then there was the case of a husband finding women's underwear tucked away in the cupboard.

Strange, because the garment wasn't the wife's and even stranger was the fact that she turned hostile.

Shocked, the man `ordered a tail' on his wife (of just four months) and soon uncovered a lesbian affair that had been on since college.

And what's a tail you might ask. Well, that term is part of a special kind of service that's fast-emerging in the city. For detective agencies nationwide, Hyderabad is the second largest market for pre and post-wedding background checks. The city has become so important, that, several firms have opened branch offices here.

“After Delhi, Hyderabad is the big one...,” reveals Rahul Rai, a senior associate with Veteran Investigation Services. Hyderabad pays more for `quality services' and we rarely get requests for rate negotiations, he says.

So, what are the kind of calls coming in?

“There's been a rise in the number of men calling, asking for background checks on wives or girlfriends,” Rai reveals.

“Recently, an industrialist from Hyderabad hired us to gather evidence against his son-in-law, who was suspected to be a bisexual... turned out he was.

But why? Why go to the extent of placing bugs and family members under 24 hour surveillance? A sleuth, who refused to be identified, explains, “We keep it very quiet. For influential families, wor ried about reputations, we offer an ideal way out of sticky situations.” But Rai adds a very human angle to the situation.

“Most families come to us shattered. They have nobody to go to, and they just need help.”

To get a better grip on the toll and costs, DC spoke to Capt. D.K Giri, founder and managing director of Sharp Detectives Pvt limited (Secunderabad), one of the city's largest such agencies, and fortunately for us, the only one with its 'rates' displayed.

The former soldier (whose agency was involved in the ops to catch Veerapan), he employs over 600 detectives, with a `Class A' operator charging `6,000 daily for surveillance, and that's the minimum.

A few times, the bill has hit lakhs. “There was this case that took me to Sri Lanka. The husband, was on an `adventure trip', but the wife was a little suspicious. I was paid $2,000 plus $1,000 for food and stay every day. That assignment was a holiday,” he reveals.

He also remembers the time a girl's parents walked into his office with vials of poison, threatening to kill themselves if he didn't help them.

The girl was in love with a boy, who the parents suspected was a cheat. He claimed he ran a dozen 'cable shops' But after three days we found out he was an awaara, still on a Rs.100-a-day pocket money from his mother,“ the detective reveals.

“On the fifth day of surveillance, we saw the `quarry' visit a few inmates at Chanchalguda prison. After further checks, it was revealed that boy was named in a murder case, and he was visiting three of his friends who were serving time.”

The girl was finally moved. And Capt. Giri, threw away the two vials of poison. The senior sleuth also took us through the tricks of the trade.

“What's different about Hyderabad? Well, for me each case is different. But Hyderabad presents a unique challenge. For example, at Jubilee Hills, we just can't stand outside homes, or sit in cars to take photos. I remember this case when we had to rent an entire apartment next to this serial cheater's home. It was tense. Old city is even tougher because of the proximity of homes and family ties.”

And finally, straight from the horse's mouth is Sagar Aggarwal's opinion. He got a `pre mat' check done on the guy who is marrying his sister.

“Peace of mind. That's the key. I'm now at peace knowing the history of my brother-in-law, and I can say now... he's a fine man,” Agarwal says.

SURVEILLANCE CHARGES

  • Charges for a 'Category A' agent is Rs.6000 a day.
  • The charges are 50% more for surveillance of six or fewer days, upto three days.
  • The charges are reduced by 10% for surveillance of 11 to 20 days.
  • The assignments once started are non-stoppable and the amount paind is non-refundable.

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