Read the 2nd part here. 🙂
After Akeel makes it to the camp, he gets back to his training life. After a period of 2 months, they were theoretically trained for weapons like M40 rifles, 9mm hand guns and some semi automatic machine guns for the start. This was very interesting and the following practical sessions made it all the more interesting. Now there was no more of harassment as they faced earlier and things had started to cool down. The trainee commando’s were given lessons in fencing as a sport as well as other contact sports like boxing for recreation and were continually updated with technological facts and happenings.
By the end of another 2 years, the 7 trainees were ready to join the 7 commando groups containing 6 other commando’s making a team of 7 people. The group of 7 would be lead by a veteran and the other 6 would work in pairs giving cover to each other, and making the operation easier. They had a completely changed physique and their mentalities had undergone transformations. A perfectly chiseled body, with Iron wrought broad shoulders, bulked up arms and know how on how to tackle tricky situations. Every time Akeel looked in the mirror, he would have a smile on his face.
Before they join the respective teams, they were allowed a short leave of a month after which they will be travelling around India as part of knowing the country and training at different cantonments and regimes under various chief officers.
Jashoda couldn’t help notice her son’s transformation. He now looked a serious man, though he was as young as 21 years. His stances and body language had changed completely. But since their son was happy, they couldn’t be bothered. A month passed by soon. All the commando groups were separated and each of them was sent to a different place. Akeel started with the north-east India as a trainee commando, and he was supposed to obey orders of every other member of the group since the others were much senior than him. He was liked by everyone as he genuinely made an effort to learn and get better.
Maoist attacks were common in the north-eastern region. At times, the commando’s used to engage in fight backs and lend a helping hand to the army and police there.
Later after 4 months, their group was ordered to move to Rajasthan and stay in disguise. The commando’s had the privilege of not following the traditional uniform and a clean shave. They were supposed to be under cover and hence this was training for the same.
After the next 3 months, Akeel along with his team had their first assignment as commandos. Though it was not new for the other people in the group, they were not classified or treated as commandos earlier. It was a sort of pressing situation, where the underworld mafia had abducted a minister’s son and demanded release of one of their members in Tihar jail. The release would mean efforts of policemen have gone in vain. The kidnappers were on the run and they were moving quickly from north to southern part of India. Strict orders were passed that this would remain a top secret and not a single media would sniff this news and create instability in the country.
This was the first mission after commando groups were formed and hence the prestige of Indian Army did lie on Akeel and their team. They had permissions to connect to the top officers in police department of all the south Indian states. The kidnappers had called last from a place called Bramhavar, which is the in Karnataka. The police had blocked the highways using checkposts to Kerala and it was fairly difficult for them to enter Kerala. Kerala is said to have one of the best Police force in country. They would sneak into Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu as these were vast areas and full of difficult terrain compared to Kerala was the assumption.
The commandos were loaded with semi automatic pistols and other weapons for their operation. It was fairly difficult for them as the kidnappers were really hard to track, but the positive side of the things was that these were just local mafia as per the reports and not highly trained militants. All the south Indian law enforcements were instructed to monitor unusual activities of large groups without escalating the news. The first batch of commando group stationed themselves at Vishakapattanam, while two other groups of commandos were deputed in Tamil Nadu.
At the dawn of 4th day, the commando group in Andhra Pradesh got the word that some local people near Bijapur had noticed unusual movement of a north Indian group. The commandos set out to action and stationed themselves north of Bijapur. By the nightfall, the local police had arranged them the essentials. They had to act fast as one spark of doubt can see them leave the place or the life of minister’s son could be in danger. If they had to crack this in the dawn, they should have the details of the hideout at least before midnight so as to quickly but thoroughly plan. Hence Akeel along with an efficient young local police was sent in disguise as to check out on the gang when they arrive for the dinner at the hotel where locals had spotted them. As per the police report, they were 4 in number and had an additional 3 parcels made from the hotel which made it 7 on the whole. This meant 6 members of the gang along with minister’s son. That night, luck didn’t favor the operation and none of the gang was seen anywhere close by. That night was hence wasted.
The leader in command was adamant that no time apart from early dawn would be the best for a plunge. If it was not early dawn, the chances of a foiled mission was more than 50%, and even if they attacked in the early break of dawn they couldn’t guarantee anything more than 70% chances of success. The element of surprise would be the only factor that was in favor of the Army men. They had to make sure that at least by evening or night fall of the next day, they need to have all the details of the hideout of the gang.
The next morning, each of the 7 commandos moved in different directions in heavy disguise to make sure that they had the necessary information. Akeel was accompanied by the same local police officer. They went to all the adjacent places, but morning and afternoon gave them nothing but dismay. Before evening the army men, except Akeel and his counterpart, assembled to their place of stay, tired and hopeless. They hoped that the lad would bring in some good news, which does happen.
Akeel in the mean while was locked up by the police in disguise as a petty thief. It was his plan, in an attempt to know if any of the prisoners had any knowledge of such happenings. But that idea went straight out of the roof. In the evening, they get information from a secret informer of police that the gang was at the same hotel.
Akeel and his counterpart move to keep an eye on the same place. To their very surprise, a group of 5 were in the hotel. They were easily distinguishable from the locals as they had big boots on and had worn fancy shirts and jeans. This was it. The idea was to follow them from far and get to know about the hideout and once that was done, rest would be easy. But the greatest challenge in doing so was the stray dogs that swarmed around the place. They used to come in numbers and attack in numbers. If such an incident occurs the gang would be alarmed. Akeel had a fist knife handy to slit the throat of any stray dog attempting to attack, though all they could do is pray that they won’t be attacked in a group this night.
As the gang is done with their business, they step out and walk towards their place. Turning back from time to time making sure nobody was following them. This alone could confirm that these were the kidnappers. Akeel and the police officer follow them to a small house by the side of a narrow un-tarred road. After waiting out for around half an hour, Akeel alone moves towards the gangster’s location. In spite of being warned by the other officer he chooses to get more information so that the operation could be more smooth and effective. He walks around the house like a rabbit and marks the number of exits, also with the voices in the house and a quick view from a broken window he could make out at least 8 gangsters in the house. He walks back to his counterpart and then they move swiftly towards the commando hideout.
(To be continued)