Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Jahangirs Journey - II

A lazy bath and breakfast, a few minutes to ponder over how to deal with Mr J and then I’m all set to open the can of worms or, in this case, his head.

Easier said than done, it turns out. I spend a better part of the day with him (the proceedings are not being recounted here for obvious reasons), but at the end of the day he’s given me sweet f*** all.

One, he’s tough. But then every guy breaks after a while, so that’s a non issue.

Two, he knows that I’m not going to kill him.

Three, he believes that since I won’t kill him and will eventually turn him over to the cops, I won’t damage him in any manner that’ll show up on his body.

Four, and essentially the prime reason, his leg still isn’t okay and even a heartless, ruthless guy like me can only go to a point when dealing with a wounded guy.

Anyways, to sum it up, by the end of the day I’m tired but have nothing to show for it.

A good nights sleep and I wake up having decided to raise the ante and get a bit rougher. Humanitarian feelings be damned.

Around noon, by which time some progress has been made and Mr J has given out some tit bits, I get a radio call from Charlie.

He wants to know if anyones come looking for Jahangir, cos surprisingly, nobody has come to him either.

Very surprising, indeed.

Anyways, this gives me some more time with the militant. What he’s given me so far is okayish but nothing very exciting. Some caches, a few organizational details, names of a couple of OGWs, etc. But now that I have time, I’ll let him chill on his own and worry himself to death in solitude and then hit him hard.

I spend the rest of the day pottering around and after dinner, set off with Karan and Jahangir. We are headed for one of the caches he’s told us about. Time for a credibility check in respect of Jahangir Khan, HIzbul Mujahideen.

A 7 klik walk and we’re near Village G. Jahangir leads the way and takes us to a field. At one precise spot, which looks no different from anywhere else in that field, he stops and tells me that this is it.

Karan hands him a little shovel and asks him to dig. He does so and after about 10 minutes, pulls out a steel box from the hole he’s dug. We open it and flash a torch inside.

One grenade, older than my sainted aunt, rusted beyond recognition. Period.

Karan speaks up before I can, stating that we should dig the hole a wee bit deeper, longer and wider and dump this jerk in it.

Exactly my sentiments.

I don’t think Mr Jahangir has got the general idea. So, I make him sit down and I explain.

I tell him that no one in the whole wide world knows where he is. His sister tried her bit with the support of the villagers but achieved zilch. I also tell him that I’ve had enough and that I don’t want anything from him. We are going back and on the morrow, he dies.

All my tough talk still doesn’t seem to have any effect, so I get a bit artistic, using my shiny dagger to do so (details left out for obvious reasons again). He finally seems to get the ‘point’ that I’m serious. Starts yelling and crying and pleading. Says he’ll give me whatever I want. Militants, high value caches, important OGWs, the works.

I couldn’t care a flying f***.

We walk back and I leave him for the night, to suffer his wounds and to worry about the coming day.
Another day dawns. I call Charlie and give him whatever Jahangir has talked so far, asking him to check it out as he deems fit.

The day progresses. It’s afternoon and I’m sitting in my hut, reading Lawrence Sanders and listening to Neil Diamond wax lyrically eloquent about Sweet Caroline. Ah ! The pleasures of a simple, peaceful uncomplicated life.

Man Friday walks in. “Saab, ek Ladies aayi hai.”

Ek Ladies? I have no idea why, but that’s the way our jawans say it. Always in the plural.

Anyways, be that as it may, let me see who this is and what she wants.

Aha ! Who else but Zarina?

“Wheres my brother?” is her opening salvo.

“How do I know?” is mine.

‘Cut out the crap’ is what her expression seems to say. ‘I agree’ is what my expression replies.

She sits down, totally composed and collected. Asks me what I intend doing with her brother.

I tell her that I’ve decided. to kill him.

She says I won’t. I say I will.

She wants to meet him. I tell her she’s got a hope in hell.

She asks me what kind of information I would consider important enough to let him live.

Tell her I’d need him to get me militants, OGWs and caches – big time.

She tells me that’s not possible. He doesn’t know all caches, just the ones he’s used. And they won’t have much in them. He knows the other militants in the area and can give me names but how would he know where to nab them? They don’t live in camps like the army. OGWs. Yeah. He can provide the names of one or two guys, but they’re very low level.

Sigh!! Actually, she’s got a point.

“Fine!” I tell her “You’ve got a point. He’s abs worthless, so I might as well kill him.”

She’s not too happy with that and calls me all sorts of names. Ah well ! I never was a ladies man. So I listen to her without feeling bad about it.

But seriously, I think Jahangir is more of a dead weight rather than being useful. I decide to hand him over to the cops.

It’s almost as if Zarina can read my mind. “No, don’t hand him over to the JKP.”

“Why not?” I’m genuinely surprised.

A bit of silence, a deep breath and I get my answer. “He killed 3 policemen some years ago. They won’t let him live.”

Aha ! That accounts for why there’s been no hue and cry. Jahangir and his sisters are the ones stuck in a tight spot.

“So what do you expect of me? I ask Zarina.

“Allow me to meet with and talk to my brother and then I’ll tell you” comes the reply.

Hmmm !! I might as well see where this goes.

Karan is hovering in the background and I ask him to arrange the family get together.

Four hours later, Karan is back.

“Saab, dono aapse milna chahte hain.”

I roger that, they troop in and lay their cards on the table. All 52 face up.

“If Jahangir ‘turns’, works for you and gets you some results, will you let him go and pay him in order to re start a new life in Jammu?”.

Wow !! I didn’t expect that at all.



At 12:52 AM, March 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Intriguing ...


At 11:23 PM, March 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

compelling narrative... impossible to stop now


At 8:22 PM, April 19, 2005, Blogger Counter Insurgent said...

Alex n X_X, thank u :+)


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