Read the 4th post here.
The onward journey
The journey was a challenging one for Akeel, of course. He had completed 4 years and 2 months, initially as a trainee commando and then as a full-fledged commando. At 26 years of age, blood didn’t boil as much as it used to. He had seen blood spill and violence. In his whole career, he had completed 18 missions and 10 peace keeping operations. 18 successful missions and 9 successful peace keeping operations, except the last peace keeping went terribly wrong.
During a clash between the communities in the northern frontier, 5 commando groups were deployed for peace keeping. The clash between the religious fanatics had taken a turn when militant groups secretly supplied weapons to them. Death toll had gone above a 100 and several others left wounded. The only way to stop the clash was suppress the violent groups and the militant groups.
Since it was a peace keeping operation, the commandos had an acute shortage of weapons. During such a time, Akeel was at the wrong place at the wrong time. The youth group loaded with arms had launched an attack on the nearby school. In a bid to save children, the commando group comprising of Akeel was trying to retaliate the attack. The commando group fell short of arms and ammunitions badly but they were successful in scaring the young group away. But in the process of saving a child, Akeel got 3 bullet injuries; one on his left thighs and other 2 on his left arm and left shoulders. In similar incidents from other parts, two other commandos were shot dead and 2 others gravely injured.
The policy of the army chief and home ministry was highly criticized. For such a mass operation, commandos weren’t the obvious choice. Also the fact that it takes a lot of spending of man hours and finances on training them, got the army chief in soup.
For Akeel, the bullet injury on the thigh was not critical but the left hands and shoulders had damaged his tendons badly. All he wanted was that, his family be informed and he be allowed to go with his family. He preferred to stay at home. After the mandatory observations, he was discharged from the hospital. After the wound had healed, he was advised to go for ayurvedic treatment by the doctors if there are not any improvements in the condition of his left arm. It was hard time for him and his family. After 3 months, he could walk and move his left hand. But the strength of his left hands had reduced considerably. Even the physiotherapy couldn’t help much. He went ahead with ayurvedic treatments, which helped him gain a bit of flexibility but the natural speed and strength was missing. His family especially his mother wanted to him to get out of whatever he was doing. He was emotionally pushed to the limits and though he wanted to get back. The only concern he had was his family, if anything untoward happened to him. It’s been 1 year and 2 months since he was away. By then he made up his mind to stay back with his parents.
He consulted his army doctor and asks him to help and declare him unfit for the army operations, for which the doctor advises him to meet the chief of command and get his opinion on the same.
(To be continued)