Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dark Waves - Chapter 1

It has been more than a year now, yet Akshay Rajput could recall that night with all tragic details. It was freezing cold at that small town of Khosht. As the commander of Black Swords Batallion from Special Frontier Forces, he was leading few chosen men to a combing operation on a tip received an hour ago. The call had not come through the usual ultra-secured channel, it was a call to his personal mobile phone, he was hesitant to make a decision yet the information was of such a nature, he had to make a move, that too swiftly. Hundreds of kilometres away in Zaranj (Afghanistan), a company of American Soldiers will be wiped out in few hours, if he failed to act now. He knew he was taking an unacceptable risk by moving at this hour of night into such a dangerous territory, if something will go wrong, relief party will take hours to come to their rescue, but the time required for a detailed planning of this operation was something, he did not have.

Two earlier operations from his batallion in the same scenarios have saved numerous lives of coalition soldiers in Afghanistan, and captured key members from Taliban. The credibility of Indian Intelligence Agencies had soared high in the NATO circles. As a result, now there was a direct hotline from RAW Op Center in Khosht to NATO HQ at Kabul. As his men crossed LOC and entered into PoK (Pakistan cccupied Kashmir), he could sense this time something was wrong, very wrong. They had waited for 20 minutes before making their move, but throughout those 20 minutes there was no movement from across the border, that puzzled him a little, but his mind was more focussed towards the main objective. He knew, once he crosses the LOC, the might of Indian Army would be of no help to him, for them he and his men would not exist once they crossed from LOC into PoK. But this was the risk, he has taken umpteen times with some precautions, tonight he and his six men all were dressed as Pashtun Tribes. As he was about to provide further instructions to his men, night changed into day, heavy search lights were focussed onto them, all of a sudden they were surrounded by Pakistani Rangers, who have been waiting for them since that call was made to Akshay by none other than Ashfaq Khan, a dreaded ISI operative, whose younger brother was eliminated in an earlier operation from Black Sword Batallion. It was a trap.

All seven of them went through the inhuman torture throughout that night, he fainted after 2 hours. When he woke up there were six bodies riddled with bullets in front of him. His six men had been killed in cold blood, this was not the way Special Frontier Force men were trained to die. He has seen death from close quarters many a times before, but this time tears rolled by. A door opened and two uniformed soldiers entered into the room, he was dragged out into the sun light, and forced into a chair. When his eyes adjusted to sun light, he saw Ashfaq sitting in front of him with a wicked smile on his face. Ashfaq began "Major, my revenge has just started and you have given up in my first hit. Brace yourself Major, the best is yet to come, I think this is the time for you to go home, after all your wife will be waiting." Ashfaq then made a gesture and Akshay was dragged from chair and then thrown onto the back of a Jeep. A shooting pain went through his body which made him realise that his multiple bones have been fractured.

Captain Jai Chauhan was leading the BSF, Border Security Force, patrol party on LOC when he saw a Pakistani Ranger`s Jeep approaching, all his men took positions. Ashfaq came out of the Jeep with his hands in front of him, he shouted "We are here to return a man from your force, he was our informer but he tried to double-cross us. We are leaving him at the border to die." Jai replied "I don`t care what you want to do here, just make sure you do not cross the LOC, else ... "Saying that, he asked the driver to move. Ashfaq signaled to his men, Akshay`s limp body was thrown out and the Jeep sped back towards Pakistan.

Jai Chauhan lowered his binoculars and asked the driver to make a u-turn, soon they spotted Akshay`s almost lifeless body. He was quickly picked up and BSF Jeep raced to the Khosht Army Hospital. It was now Ashfaq`s turn to use his binoculars, he lowered them and look towards the sky "Brother, I fulfilled my promise to avenge your death, your killer`s horrible life will start now."

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