Сафар Каттабоев

IMG_4374Я родился в 1954 году в Яккабагском районе Кашкадарьинской области Республики Узбекистан. Узбек. Женат. Образование высшее юридическое. В 1975 году окончил юридический факультет ТашГУ. 38 лет проработал в органах прокуратуры в различных должностях, в том числе следователем, прокурором. Имею звание «старший советник юстиции». Член Союза писателей Узбекистана. Прошлом году вышел на пенсию. Мои произведения основаны на материалах уголовных дел, по которым я вел расследование или которые изучал. Творчеством занимаюсь с конца 1990-х годов. Единственная моя книга «Галати угри» («Необычный вор») вышла в 2005 году на узбекском языке. В книгу вошли одноименная повесть и 4 рассказа под рубрикой «Рассказы следователя». Еще одна книга под названием « Я следователь» давно готова, однако отсутствие у меня средств мешает ее издать. Несколько лет как готов киносценарий, основой которому послужила повесть «Галати угри» («Необычный вор»), однако, опять же отсутствие средств мешает продвижению и этого проекта. Являюсь соавтором видеофильма «Бир обида сири» («Тайна одной цитадели»). Победитель международного литературного конкурса «Новеллазия».Финалист III OPEN CENTRAL ASIA BOOK FORUM & LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2014. Пользуясь тем, что нахожусь на пенсии, работаю над давно начатыми статьями, произведениями в других жанрах. Хобби – библиофил.

 

Synopsis  to  “ An unusual  thief”        

The hero of the story, Tukhtamurod worked as a mechanic at the garage of a farm. However, the manager of the warehouse  could not pay him salary on time. Therefore, instead of money workers on the farm took products  such as pasta, rice and vegetable oil. And that was  not on time and in the right quantity.

His wife worked for Avaz, the farmer. He also couldn’t pay a salary, but after the cotton harvest, he promised to give guza-poya (bare bushes of cotton-plant used as firewood in the household). In addition, Tukhtamurod’s wife was sick. Doctors said that she had a stone in the gallbladder and it could not be done without surgery. That year his son was going to school. He needed money for his son, the future first-grader, to purchase textbooks and other supplies, as well as on his new clothes and shoes.

“ …Last week, he took a loan of half a sack of grain from his father. He hadn’t listened to what the miller said and added the same amount of corn to the wheat. As a result, all the corn was ruined. He should have added one-third corn to one wheat as the miller had warned. However, he’d decided to make it his way – and wasted the corn in vain. A whole week that could have fed them!

      With those thoughts Tukhtamurod crawled out from the combine, which also needed repaired, uncertain how much time it would take.

Looking it over, for the umpteenth time, he stopped for a moment at the warehouse and outhouse. Previously it had been a shop. When it was liquidated, the site had been divided in half by a wooden fence. One side had a warehouse of spare parts. However, there were not enough wooden planks for the fence and the top of the partition was open. The gap was so big that people could easily clamber through. If you opened the gap, you could easily get inside.”

        The working day had come to an end, Tukhtamurod waited till all workers went home and stole the pump.

 At first the storekeeper didn’t pay attention to the loss of the pump because of great many things that were kept in storage. However, a few days later he noticed the missing pump. He questioned the workers but they ignored him. He appealed to the conscience of the thief, saying that if he hesitated to confess his crime, he could leave the stolen thing “here in the box…” but it didn’t help. The next day  the box was filled with old shoes, torn overshoe and all possible other stuff, but not the pump.

Lost all hope Kosim was utterly dejected and had to call the police officer.

                “ Norkizil, the police officer,  walked into the warehouse and looked around with a dissatisfied air. What a problem, everyone was disturbed due to the disappearance of some kind of pump! So the men had lost their shame. Well, they knew the rules, if someone steals from you, find the item and put it back, and if it isn’t returned, steal it from somewhere else, and if you cannot steal then learn to protect your things! Guarding the storage was too expensive now. Well, it would be fine if the thief was found. Maybe he had already sold the pump. With so many unsolved issues, the priority is this pump. The officer became quite furious. How could he get rid of this storekeeper? He was staring at the officer as if he was responsible for the loss of his pump. They were all the same! They never remember the police, only when they need help.

                Norkizil shrugged, placed his hands in his pockets, and held his folder under his arm. So he left without taking a statement. The storekeeper got quite upset.  He called after the officer, but he ignored him.

               Kasim was bereft, he could not think of anything more than sticking it to the workers again. The workers when they saw the storekeeper, tried to avoid his stare. They had already nicknamed him, ‘Pump.’ When they saw him, they said: ‘The Pump is coming.’

No matter who was under a tractor or a combine, they felt the same, – Damn the parents of this thief!’ They all wanted the robber to be found.

            At lunch, Kasim again gathered the employees. He again made his proposal, or to be more precise his demand, – All these years we have lived cheek by jowl, worked and fed our families with our earnings. Each year, we never forgot to sacrifice a cow to Hazrat Dawood, the protector of our craft. So let’s all get together tomorrow morning. We will place a piece of iron in a circle. Let everybody step over it and swear by the name of Hazrat Dawood! The thief will need to step over but, if we still can’t find the thief, I will pay for a new pump. I tried to enjoin the police in this situation, but as you see, it did not work. This is our last chance.

The men looked at each other. Some agreed at once, some scratched their heads…”

                The next day Kasim was the first to step over the iron. Then he stated: ‘Let the spirit of Hazrat Dawood punish me if I stole this pump.’ The rest began to follow him and walk over. Soon it would be Tukhtamurod’s turn.

He started to sweat, with his trembling fingers he wiped his forehead.

It felt like everyone was looking at him… Five people left, four, three…

              Tukhtamurod backed away, as if being dragged, but there is no way back, only forward toward the iron. So now it was his turn, if he wanted he could jump over. He didn’t even need to jump, just step over the iron chain of the tractor, he could just lift his feet…

            Neither dead nor alive he approached the iron. Somehow, he couldn’t hear any voices around, his ears were completely deaf. Such a thing had never happened to him before.  There was the piece of the iron: you just walked four steps, three steps, two steps, one step, then, jump! No, you just needed to step over with your usual step as if you are walking. It did not matter whether you stepped with your left or right foot, you just had to step over, come on. Why had he stopped?

           Tukhtamurod’s feet were not following him. There was only one thing in his head, – Jump, jump! –  but his feet felt like lead. What should he do if his feet did not obey him?

           Tukhtamurod stopped at the very edge of the iron and glanced pleadingly from side to side. For some reason, everyone was yelling at him. – Why are they yelling? –  he thought, – Oh yeah, he had to jump over,

          Tukhtamurod looked around, and then back. At his back and in front there were workmates and they would not let him pass or leave. Either he had to jump or admit what he had done, there was no other way out.

     – I… took it ” .

         Tukhtamurod returned the pump, however, utterly ashamed, he did not go to work the next day, or the day after. Rumors reached police officer  Norkizil and he decided to use this case to his advantage. On his territory, five cases of theft  had been  committed in the year  and in not a single case the thieves or stolen items had been detected. And here and the thief and the evidence were obvious. This was a good occasion to improve its results. In short, we are talking about commonplace in police work – humbug and postscript reports.

             Norkizil initially tried to return Kosim’s statement. Kosim replied that he had torn the statement  into small pieces on the same day as he had refused to take it. Then he asked to write a new statement with the same date  but the storekeeper disagreed with this: why do we need a statement if the stolen thing has been found ?!

              However, Norkizil was a man who achieved his goal by hook or by crook. The storekeeper had to write the statement  that he asked for help in finding  and bringing to justice the thief who had stolen a pump from his warehouse.

               According to the statement, the investigator of the local police department instituted criminal proceedings. In short, the machine began to spin justice. Relevant operational activities of the investigation team brought to the suspect- a garage mechanic Tuhtamurod Olimov. The next step was to search the house of the suspect. In the meantime, the pump, returned by Tuhtamurod, was taken back to the house of the suspect by the order of the police officer. During the search, the investigator entered to the records the fact  that   the pump was found in the house of the suspect. It was an important real evidence that spoke in favor of the version of the crime committed by the suspect.

             As it should be, and finding a pump in  Tuhtamurod’s hayloft   and his penetration in the warehouse and out of it with the stolen pump and the other, the presence of witnesses were recorded on photographic film at the presence of the garage workers.

              After all documents had been  prepared, the investigator detained Tuhtamurod, as already accused, on two days and then   turned to the local prosecutor  for the sanction to extend the selected preventive measure against Tuhtamurod. However, the prosecutor, to his credit, did not agree to extend the period of  Tuhtamurod’s  stay in the prison, because the defendant  sincerely repented of the crime, as well as due to lack of material damage, the presence of a particular place of  his residence and work. The court also, in its turn, decided to sentence Tuhtamurod  not involving deprivation of liberty.

              So, maybe, and nothing happened , but formidable commission, arrived from Tashkent, considered the punishment  too lenient and Tuhtamurod  was sentenced for a term of three years.

                     A group of criminals in the place of detention of Tuhtamurod  in prison ,in contrast to the simple rural guy, were adapted in criminal cases and they deceived him and gave the belt which changed his further life. In the new place of detention he received exactly the same belt in return. It turned out  that the belt was sewn with a cargo of drugs inside. It was found out when they examinedTuhtamurod  in its transition to another colony. He was appointed  an additional penalty- three years in prison.

                     The story  depicts simply and truthfully  spiritual torment of  the hero before and after the crime, the details of his communication with fellow inmates which bring  him mainly spiritual and physical torture.

                     The ending of the story is meeting of  Tuhtamurod  with his wife and son from  afar in the courthouse after he was imprisoned for a new term of three years. Reading this part of the story, it is difficult to hold back the tears. The author finds apt and accessible parts to illustrate feeling, overwhelmed by the members of a small family.

                    Before assigning him a new sentence, Tuhtamurod , which had very little time to stay behind the barbed wire, asked  one of the prisoner - master of wooden chess, backgammon  and other popular crafts ,to make him two pens.

A gift to his son.  He wanted to give his gift when he went back his village. However, fate played the cruel joke with him. As noted above, experienced criminals used the naive  rural boy  for their own dirty purposes, sewing eight grams of marijuana inside the belt.

                  At the end of the story the compassionate  guard helped him  to give his son a pen, handcraft of a prisoner.

                “The pen was astonishing. A beautiful pigeon floated in water at the base. When you bent the pen, the pigeon floated, but it could not come out as it was enclosed.”

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