Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Jahangirs Journey - III

We talk details. Loads and loads of things to be tied up.

No one, not even in my organization, to know about him. Just Karan and me.

He will leave forthwith, before the HM get suspicious and re-establish contact with them, stating that he’s back from Srinager, post recovery.

All communication will be through Zarina. Towards this end, I will give her a radio set. But I also give the same frequency to Jahangir, for direct communication in an emergent situation.

No face to face meetings.

All this is ok. But I need a mortgage. What f he vanishes?

“If I betray you, you can kill my sisters”, is his answer.

Easier said than done, but I really have no choice. It’s a gamble, with very exciting possibilities.

At worst, I’ll lose him and a radio set, if Zarina also vanishes.

If things work, he should provide us with a lot. Kills, caches, OGWs.

The co-ord carries on and finally, the bro-sis duo leave.

Time goes by.

I get to know from Zarina that J is back with his group.

Fingers and toes crossed, I bide my time.

9 days later, I get buzzed by Zarina, passing on a message from Jahangir.

“Kal subah, S gaon ke bahar, kuch mujahideen milenge. Agar aap school mein ambush lagaen to faida ho sakta hai.”

That’s it.

I know S Village. A medium sized village with hills to the north. The school is on the northern edge of the village.

Does that mean that the bad guys will be coming down the hill? Or going uphill to move across the ridge line? How many will there be? Can Karan and I handle them on our own?

And other thoughts creep up too? What if it’s a trap? An ambush in the school, ready to hit us when we get there?

Damn ! And I don’t have much time. It’s nearly noon. Tomorrow morning isn’t too far away.

I buzz Charlie and tell him to get his butt over. Pronto. Along with his QRT .

He reacts fast, and by 1600 hours, Charlie is in my location with 8 guys.

I have a rough sketch of S village ready by then. A quick briefing follows.

The plan is that we all will carry out a seemingly routine patrol through S village at last light. On our way out of the village, we will go by the school, checking it out. However, Charlie, Karan and I will stay back within the school while the rest of the guys move away and go locate themselves about 1-2 klicks away in a suitable desolated spot, ready to come to us at short notice. It’ll be dark by then, so no one will be able to count how many guys went into the school and how many emerged. And therefore, the three of us will be securely in place to knock off the bad guys, without anyone knowing we’re there.

If it’s a scenario where Jahangir has planned a trap for me inside the school, our getting there early should beat his plans. And even if he/his cronies are there before us, we’ve got enough numbers and firepower to handle it.

So, all seems okay and around 1730, we set off for Village S.

An hour later, just as it’s getting dark, we enter the village. A walk through and we’re at the school. An L-shaped building, with an office at one end and four class rooms. A play field and a fence all around. That’s it.

We check out the building and finding nothing and nobody, the rest of the guys toodle off, leaving the three of us to settle down in Std II. It has two windows, but it’s dark to see anything. We put a couple of desks against the door and settle down on the floor.

20 minutes later, Charlie is informed by his QRT that they’ve got into an orchard and are lying doggo there. Good.

Now to wait it out and see what the morrow has in store for us.

The night passes by without any incident and we’re up at 0530. Soon, it’s daylight and slowly, we spot some villagers moving around. The two windows of the classroom give us a clear field of observation and fire right from the edge of the village to the lower slopes of the hills. Just as I’d remembered it from an earlier visit.

Weapons cleaned and checked. In addition to out AKs, Karan’s carrying an LMG and I’ve got a Dragunov (a sniper rifle).

God willing, in a little while, we should be able to use them to good effect.

0800 hours. Nothing of interest so far. Only, the number of villagers floating around keeps increasing.

0805 hours. F*** !!!!

A couple of kids has come into the school compound. From what I can spot through the gap in the door, it has all the makings of a cricket match because Std I is opened and two desks pulled out and placed 20 odd metres apart in the playfield.

Damn !! I hope the match, or whatever, doesn’t begin before we finish what we’re here for. I don’t want kids milling around all over the place.

0822 hours. A signal from Karan. I look out of the window.

A man’s come and stood under a tree. This is about 400 metres from us, between the hills and the village. Whats he doing there, all by himself? . Seems like a normal Kilo, in a salwar suit and a jacket of sorts. No weapon in sight. And no suspicious bulges under his jacket.

0850 hours. I observe this guy waving a handkerchief or some kind of cloth towards the hills. I pick up my binos and look in that direction. About a klik away, two persons walking down. Armed. I can clearly see AKs slung over their shoulders.

Cool.

Karan pushes a desk against the window, unlocks the LMGs bipod (a two legged foldable stand) and places it on the desk. I hoist the Dragunov onto my shoulder and get the Kilo’s head into my telescopic sight in order to work out the exact range and adjust my sight. Charlie keeps an eye out for any trouble from an unexpected direction.

“I’ll fire first. The militant on the right” I inform Karan “You take the other two.”

“Ok saab” is his reassuring whisper.

800 metres. 700 metres. 600 metres. C’mon lads. Walk fast !!!

I’m now tracking one of the militants through my sight.

The two get to the tree. As they are shaking hands I fire.

One guys lost his head and before the other two can respond, Karans let loose with the LMG. Down they go.


We rush out. The kids that were outside have scampered off. We can spot people running towards us from the village. Karan moves off to stop them at a distance while Charlie and I go check out the three guys on the ground.

Checked and found dead. RIP !

The cops are called and the corpses taken away.

Ghulam Hassan Mir of Village S, HM. The guy that had come to meet them. He had a pistol on him under his jacket.

Salamat Khan and Altaf Ahmed of Pakistan. Al Badr.

A silent prayer to God, a silent thank you to Jahangir, and we head back. Mission accomplished.

TO BE CONTINUED ......

4 Comments:

At 11:57 PM, January 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superb ...

 
At 4:20 AM, January 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why no postings after 20th Jan... ????

 
At 11:38 PM, March 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant ... guaranteed to keep the readers on the edge of their seats.

 
At 8:24 PM, April 19, 2005, Blogger Counter Insurgent said...

Anon, sorry ! got occupied elsewhere. thanks though, for ur patient wait n for ur encouraging words :+)

...Khalid

 

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