CID sleuths interrogating Bangalore 'Sex Swami' Swami Nithyananda came close to realising what a dangerous thing half-knowledge can be.
When the officers were done with their questions for the day, they played the tape and found it did not have any sound. The tape ran like a silent movie in colour. Hours of effort had gone waste.
When the CID officers brought the swami from Himachal Pradesh, after arresting him from his alleged hideout in Solan district on April 21, they took him to their new interrogation cell in Bangalore.
The Ramanagar local court had handed the swami over to police custody for four days following his appearance in court on April 22.
"It was very difficult to make him speak. And then our efforts went waste thanks to our poor technical knowledge. We had to repeat the entire exercise on Sunday," said a source in the CID.
When they decided to interrogate the Swami in the cell, the CID authorities called for local technicians to fit CCTV (close circuit TV) and the equipment was installed hurriedly, on Friday.
"There was a problem with the audio output of the recording. The video was just fine," explained a technician who fixed the problem. When the statement was recorded the sound was audible but the output on the computer was considerably muted."
The technicians had to be called in on Sunday and the same questions were asked again. The swami smiled at his interrogators as usual before getting into a trance-like state.
"He was either slipping into sleep every now and then or kept chanting mantras whenever we asked him an important question," said the source.
"It was horrible. Imagine having to repeat the entire exercise! It was like a punishment for us."
HS Hussain, the deputy superintendent of police, CID, who was in the team formed to arrest the swami, refused to comment. "I am not supposed to discuss the interrogation," Hussain said.
"You will come to know the details once the investigation is over and we present the case before court."