Book: Kasab After 26/11 (A Crime Thriller)
BOOM! The power of the explosion close by took both Arjun and Sunil by surprise. Both instinctively realized how close death had been. Arjun’s trained mind went into high gear and he turned to Sunil to signal immediate retreat to safer grounds. Another bomb exploded which ripped their regimental colleague Surjith’s body. It was bizarre to see the disintegrated parts of his body flung all around by the impact of the explosion. As if dictated by destiny, the top portion of the ring that was worn by Surjith landed on Sunil left hand and it opened to reveal a very pretty girl’s face, that of his sister. On his right hand landed a bracelet from the hand of Surjith. In it was inscribed, “Love you Sur! Come back fast forever -Karishma”. It was in the high mountains of Kashmir during Pakistan’s invasion of India’s Kargil.



BOOM! The power of the explosion close by took both Arjun and Sunil by surprise. Both instinctively realized how close death had been. Arjun’s trained mind went into high gear and he turned to Sunil to signal immediate retreat to safer grounds. Another bomb exploded which ripped their regimental colleague Surjith’s body. It was bizarre to see the disintegrated parts of his body flung all around by the impact of the explosion. As if dictated by destiny, the top portion of the ring that was worn by Surjith landed on Sunil left hand and it opened to reveal a very pretty girl’s face, that of his sister. On his right hand landed a bracelet from the hand of Surjith. In it was inscribed, “Love you Sur! Come back fast forever -Karishma”.


It was in the high mountains of Kashmir during Pakistan’s invasion of India’s Kargil.


Tears welled in the deeply emotional Sunil’s eyes as he recollected the scene just before their departure to heights of Kargil. Surjith high on spirits, had stumbled over to Sunil who was enjoying a smoke and said, “Brother, your face is beautiful. You know why?  Because you share, the same beautiful face of your sister.” Sunil’s sister Karishma was married to Surjith. Sunil and Surjith were very close right from college to the entry into the Army. Both loved each other’s company and had great regards for each other’s strength. Their families were close as well. But little did Sunil realize that in his inebriated state, Surjith was trying to convey the desire of getting back to his love.


Realizing the danger in any further delay, Arjun started to move towards Sunil so that both could plan their retreat in a tactical manner. Arjun hadn’t taken a few steps towards Suni, when the ghostly silence was disrupted by another explosion of a greater impact.


Arjun saw the shrapnel as a result of the explosion, bounce of Sunil’s head. The next moment he was Sunil’s body crumble slowly and go still. However, it was obvious from the movement of Sunil’s eyes that he was alive.


Arjun had two options. He could either slither away to safety or try and reach Sunil and then take the chance of saving both their life, if possible.


Without hesitation, Arjun, whose love for his colleagues was beyond himself, swiftly moved to Sunil. He picked him up and ran with all his strength to a nearby bush that could provide them some cover.


As Arjun ran, bullets seemed to be tearing at them from all directions and he ran in a zig zag manner which was ingrained in him by rigorous training he had earlier been subjected to while he was taken on board in special agents’ program. He realized that it was only ten feet more to the bushes and felt that, they could gain a small reprieve to plan for further actions when a bullet tore through the ligament of his left leg.


Seething pain shot through his entire left leg. Starting from the knees his legs were going were going numb and he buckled headlong into a shallow pit in the way.


The spray of bullets that followed went over the pit and Arjun was thankful that his leg had buckled. He strained his eyes to look for a way out when he saw a canal leading from the pit to a dense shrub 200 yards away. Keeping low, he dragged Sunil and himself to the shrub with great pain.


As he had reached the shrub and had pulled Sunil over, a grenade dropped into the pit they had left behind, and it went up in flames. By now the pain in his leg was so intense that he felt they might not make it when he heard the thunderous roar of the helicopter descending. He was about to give up when he saw the Indian Flag on the helicopter. The helicopter seemed to be spraying bullets at the enemies a little ahead and finally seemed to be landing.


By now the pain in his leg was so unbearable, that he became afraid of passing out too. He realized that to ensure they were seen, he had to somehow come out of the shrub. But his whole body seemed to be paralysed with pain. Like the voice from heaven his Guru’s instruction resonated in his brains.


“Breath deeply; Concentrate on breathing and nothing else to a level, nothing else matters. Your will find the pain taking back stage.


As the pain retreats while performing the breathing exercise focus all your attention on those muscles that you need to perform what you have to do. Keep your concentration on them till you are in control and nothing else matters. Your final move to achieve your objective should be directed at executing the sequence of events under your control in one single swift moment so that the pain which will sear through you dose not have chance to impair your action. Do what’s required in one go since otherwise the pain will with revenge take over your brain and functions of the body and make your actions impotent.”


Taking a deep breath, he did what he had been taught. He cut out the pain from his mind and concentrated on getting every muscle brought to the fore control of his mind. The helicopter had landed, and the noise level fell. As he his mind started getting the control of his muscles, the paralyzing pain moved from the fore to the background.


It was now time to make the move of exercising all muscles in concerted sequence before which pain would take over again. In one swift movement, he jumped and shoved with all his might and screamed as loudly as possible. As he started landing, he realized that he still would fall back just inside the shrub and as a final move ripped his star from the uniform and threw it high towards the helicopter and passed out.


Seeing nothing of interest the helicopter team were just about to board. They turned around when they heard Arjun's scream and saw the Corporal Star spinning up from the shrub and it hit one of them.


Hours later, Arjun woke up to find Sunil Singh sitting very thoughtful in his bed. When Sunil saw Arjun waking up, he got up from his bed went to Arjun’s bed and hugged him.


The words poured out of him. “Sala Madrasi" I will never forget you for saving my life and will pay you, when I have the first opportunity”.


Arjun smiled and said, “I will take a rain cheque from you, SardarJi!”



Chapter 1


Protectors of Pakistan (POP) Headquarters -Pakistan


In the neighbourhood of Abbotabad where the elite of Pakistan’s Military Commanders lived, it was no surprise when the former ISI Chief Ghani, decided to come back to his family bungalow and spend the rest of his retired life.


It was a large plot, but a simple bungalow and he seemed to lead a retired pious life with his family. The Pakistan High Command respected his desire to be left alone, had made all arrangements to ensure he was safe and could lead a normal life. The ISI was entrusted to take care of the family.


However, what was not known but to a very few is that, the bungalow had been constructed a long time ago for the very specific purpose of the ISI Chief’s retirement. It had a completely hidden basement with the latest state of art telecommunication facilities.


The basement was connected by an underground tunnel to a mosque in the centre of Abbotabad where the elite of Abottabad went to pray.  Apart from the revered former ISI Chief and the mosque caretaker Jaffar Khan, only very few selected knew of this entrance.


Jaffar Khan, was not only the most trusted person of Ghani but also a man of multiple talents. Khan’s family had not just served his father but also his great grand father and had grown up more like a brother in his house. Once the tunnel joining the two building had been completed, it was Jaffar’s job to ensure all the persons involved in building the tunnel were eliminated and the secret, remained a secret.


What was also unknown is that, though Ghani had retired officially and was out of the picture, it was he who continued to reign in on the ISI through a puppet Chief absolutely sworn to Ghani.


Ghani over his tenure as the ISI Chief, realized that, the elected Prime Ministers were weak due to the diplomacy imposed on them by world politics. So, if at all Pakistan had to take over Kashmir, it had to be an altogether different game plan. It would have to be a plan that would destabilize India to such extent they would be forced to negotiate with Pakistan for peace. Devoid of the UN’s backing due to Afghanistan complexity, Pakistan could force India to give away Kashmir.


He had worked hard on the politicians to provide the Americans assistance regarding countering Taliban. The Americans had fallen into his trap of countering Taliban’s with their forces. He knew once the UN soldiers were in Afghanistan, they could never afford to go against Pakistan, since, it would compromise the safety of the entire UN forces based in Afghanistan. After all, the only viable route through which supplies, and reinforcement could be made to the UN forces was through Pakistan territory.


In continuity to his plan, he almost got the Prime Minister to invade Kargil. The weak Prime Minister however had rejected the idea.


But Ghani had not come this far to give in. He had immense respect from all three Chief of Staff, and they all had at different times mentioned to him that he should take over governance of Pakistan. He called the Chief of Staff the Army, Navy and Air force and took them through his thought process. He finally concluded that, if this was not done, it’s better to give up Kashmir and pursue some path that was economically better off for Pakistan.


His idea worked. Since all three had been regimentally brainwashed that Kashmir was the sovereign of Pakistan, they swore all support to him and the war on Kargil had begun without the approval of the Prime Minister. Everything went as per plan and Pakistan soldiers had occupied Kargil. However, what went wrong was that Ghani didn’t expect the resilience with which the Indian Military acted and took back Kargil. Moreover, he had over estimated the pressure on India from world powers, to show restrain.


Unable to accept defeat, a seething Ghani in glove with the ISI Chief, planned and meticulously executed 26/11. The day the Taj burned, Ghani with the ISI Chief and the three Chief of Staff partied and rejoiced. The only set back was that Kasab had been captured alive.


Kasab was the only loose end which could help the investigators trace the attack back to the ISI and this was dangerous. His entire subterfuge movement in Pakistan could be exposed and come to an end. He realized Kasab had to be taken out, “dead or alive”.


There was only one person whom Ghani felt, could mastermind an operation of this order successfully. He called in his friend the ex-army chief Qureshi, who had the reputation of a ruthless planner and executor.


Ghani set up POP with Qureshi heading the Organization, ISI Chief and the three Chief of Staff being its other members. He was waiting for the right opportunity.


He realized timing was running out. Headly the other perpetrator of 26/11 had been caught in US intelligence web and had started singing. The implications could be so damaging that this entire siege could expose his complete project.


Deep in thought about what to do, he was pacing up and down in the basement office when he heard the special secure line ring. Could this be it, he said to himself and picked up the phone.


Came the terse voice of the Indian Mole, “Are you aware that your prime minister’s daughter is making a trip to south of India.”


So, “said Ghani.”


Don’t you think it’s ideal to have the daughter kidnapped in Indian soil and demand release of Kasab for her return to safety, came the Mole’s voice? This way, there would be tremendous diplomatic pressure on India which would ensure we achieve our objective.


The mole continued, however we must ensure adequate pressure on the Indian Polity for which I have thought out a plan and went on to detail it completely.


Ghani felt the plan was brilliant and asked, how much? 10 Million USD to the same Swiss account, came the Mole’s reply. The Mole cautioned, be sure that there is no folly while kidnapping her.


“Done “said Ghani”, and the line terminated.

Chapter 2


New Delhi


As the driver wound his way towards the International School, he said to himself, another 5 minutes and he could be free of his responsibility and could head straight to the hospital where he was expecting his first child.


As the car approached the school, he got a little worried by smoke flames engulfing their destination.  Well, today to him was very important and he got over the inhibitions that he was normally subjected too when he found something wrong and he accelerated the Sumo towards the School.


In the back seat, Raj Kiran, a standard one boy sitting in the back seat got excited by the huge flames leaping into the sky and said, wow! This is like the movies I see.


The driver turned into the street of school and slowed down the vehicle considerably when saw the fire raging in the school ahead. Some of the buildings of the school were on fire. Parents and children seemed to be running helter skelter.


Just then, something exploded ahead of them throwing up a huge ball of fire. Realizing that his rear was blocked the driver brought the vehicle to stop and got out of it. The little Raj Kiran got out from the back seat, the fear, clear on his face seeing the scene unfolding in front of him


There was gunfire and explosions all around. Blood gushing out from the severely injured was staining the recently laid white pavement and colouring with its ominous deep red. The whole area was engulfed in smoke.


From the smoke appeared six uniformed jawans with AK 47’s. They took positions around the driver and the boy and they seemed to be shielding the driver and the boy.


One of them ushered to the driver, “Move quickly. Get into the back seat of the limousine immediately. We will also get into the car and drive the vehicle to safety.” He further said, “Please hurry, the whole place might blow up any minute”.


The driver was hesitant; Raj Kiran was the grandson of the Prime Minister of India. His mobile buzzed and the driver could see it was from his mother. He realized that today he was wanted by his family the most.


Terribly unsure and not being able to see the usually black cats who were assigned to take care of the security of the Prime Minister’s grandson, the driver inquired of the one who spoke, “Where are the regular pilots?


The jawan replied, “All of them are wounded in the gunfire. We are a fall back command in such emergencies assigned to take Raj Kiran to safety. Very recently, the intelligence had unearthed a plan to kidnap the grandson of the prime minister. Hence, we have been deployed to step in and take care of Raj Kiran at such crucial times.


Another bomb exploded close by and fearing more, the driver seeing a gateway to his family took Raj Kiran’s hand and got into the vehicle with the boy in his tow. All the Jawans got into limousine and the vehicle quickly made its way out of the area at high speed.


At Karol Baug, the Jawan driving the limosuine turned into a side lane and stopped in a parking area which was desolated. One of the Jawan's took out from his pocket a handkerchief which was sealed in a plastic bag. In a swift movement, he opened the bag and plastered it into the driver’s face with it while another Jawan held him to the seat. The driver passed out. As the boy’s mouth opened, a hand gagged his mouth and stopped him from screaming out aloud.


One of the Jawan’s seated in the back pushed out the driver, dragged his body to the shadows and quickly got into the vehicle after leaving the unconscious body behind. The limousine geared up moved made its way out at high speed.


Chapter 3


Delhi - Indian Home Minister’s residence


Rani was ready to go to the medical college.


Rani was a girl of slim poise with a face and supportive body so attractive that she left no face unturned where ever she went. Her caring nature stood out in all her interaction. This won her many friends whether be it in the club she visited, or in the school she used to go to.


However, these friendships never lasted. The moment they came to know that she was the daughter of the Home Minister’s Mistress, even the people closest to her drifted away. It was as if she was cursed and had no choice but to live with it.


On the other hand, she simply adored her parents who were lavish in their love for her. There was not a moment when they were not there for her but for the times when her father couldn’t simply make it. If she ever wanted anything, all she had to do was point and it would be got for her. Moreover, the love she got from her mother was so intense that she could never even see her mother cry.


She was always left with the feeling that she had the most caring parents anyone could ever have and could never even think of hurting their feelings.


So intense were her feelings that sometimes, she wondered, why God had punished her by placing her in such a predicament.


In due course of time her father and mother were her only friends and she really cared for nothing more.


Her father who frequented rifle shooting club always took her there on Sundays and given the influence he enjoyed, she could also practice. She became a pretty good marksman and started dreaming of a career in the Indian Army till that wonderful afternoon when her mother announced to her, that, she will soon have a brother to play around with.


The anguish that always haunted her was submerged by this new development.  Her hurt feelings had a new world to look forward to. She stopped even going to the shooting club. To her it was a very divine intervention. “So, what if she didn’t have any friends. Her brother will be her friend whom she will never stop playing with”.


Rani became a different child. Every moment she used to dream and be ecstatic about the arrival of her lovely brother. During the period, every night she used to put her ear to her mother’s stomach and enact a conversation, till she was totally drained and slipped into a dreamy sleep.


Monica was for the first time was happy in years, seeing the void in her daughter’s life being charged with such happiness. Both mother and daughter were floating in a new-found euphoria till the day, disaster struck.


Ten days prior to delivery Monica went for her usual check up. The doctors ordered for the usual tests to be taken and due a spurt in her sugar level, panicked. Monica had earlier shown traces of diabetes, but it was in control. However, this sudden spike in sugar levels unnerved the junior doctors who felt that the best thing to do was to induce pain and get the baby out before the situation went out of control.


In absence of the chief doctor and not willing to take any chances, they admitted Monica and induced the pain drips. Monica all along kept telling them that her lower abdomen had not come down and it was too premature for the actions being taken.


The Home Minister who was away on an official visit to a remote village close by rushed back and went straight to the hospital to find Monica, lying in utter pain. The doctors in the ICU, assured him that nothing was wrong and it’s the usual for a lady to have this kind of pain when pain was induced.


Against his wishes, he took the plane to Chennai for an important political meeting, mainly on Monica’s insistence.


At 11.00 P.M. the mobile rang, and the Home Minister took it at the second ring to hear,” Dear I cant bear this pain any longer and the phone went dead”.


Aghast, the Home Minister decided to drop his next day’s appointment in Chennai. He dressed up quickly to catch the first night flight back to Delhi.


About 6.00 A.M the next day, a senior doctor who had just delivered a baby was making her way out through the ICU. As she was about to exit, the agonised wail of woman pierced her ears and she could instinctively make out some thing was seriously wrong.


She turned around quickly and approached the woman whose whole body seemed to twitch in pain. Seeing the sheer agony on Monica’s face, she called for the head nurse to give her the history of the patient.


The head nurse came and updated her about the sudden spike in sugar levels of the patient and how a decision was taken to admit her and induce labour pains. The doctor asked, how long? The head nurse replied two nights and one day.

The doctor gasped, “what, two nights and one day”, and screamed, “you fools get the emergency crew ready for a caesarean. The doctor, whose adrenaline was pumping, realized the emergency on hand and took a deep breath to control herself and commanded the head nurse to get the permission from the husband for an immediate caesarean. Doing that she she ordered for an ECG to be done immediately.


The Home Minister had just landed in Delhi when the call from the hospital came asking him to immediately come to the hospital. The tired Home Minister immediately redirected his driver to the hospital and wondered if it was his sins that were catching up to destroy the small world, he had created within himself to capture some joy in life.


By now Monica turbulent and no longer able to hold the pain was wailing loudly. In somewhat an inebriated state because of pain killers, she could see the ECG machine being rolled in and a new doctor giving stern instructions all around. Rani’s anticipatory happy face came weaving in now and then and she said to herself “it’s ok”. All this will be over soon and tried to compose herself.


The ECG straps were on to her and she felt confident that the new doctor who looked to know her job will take care of the situation. An experienced ECG technician went about his job professionally and the doctor whose eyes never left the ECG monitor suddenly shouted, “move the patient into the Operation Theatre” and decided to take the risk of a caesarean without the signature of the father.


Having given the order, she was just about to move into the OT area to change her dress, when the Home Minister barged in, anxiously enquiring what happened?


The Doctor explained to him that the baby’s heartbeat had suddenly reached an abnormal stage and therefore it was essential for them to perform a caesarean operation immediately, for which his signature was essential. The Home Minister was just about to scribble his signature when the wail from Monica shook the entire ICU.


In front of all of them, the entire body of Monica went into a spasm and blood started staining the white sheets. The baby was gone.


Events after that were bizarre. Only thing that the fatigued home minister could do was to gather Rani into him arms and incoherently make his way to their home.


Time went by. The Home Minister and Monica tried to reconcile with the situation and went about their usual work trying to take away Rani’s pain.


What they didn’t know was that, Rani had overheard nurses talking that the doctors have goofed it up. When she heard it, she couldn’t initially believe it.


She lost herself in the internet trying to understand what all could happen in the delivery of a baby and by the time she satisfied herself, she decided that destiny had curved an objective for herself.


She decided that she will become a Gynaecologist and Obstetrics and never let any baby (her friend) go away due to wrong diligence.

Though she had shown no signs of interest in Science, her parents were surprised to see her choose science in the stream determination class of +10.


They were equally surprised by her marks which got her into the medical college simply on merit alone.


And today was the beginning of the final examination that will take her to that objective of her pursuit to take care of ensuring that never did any other woman had to bear what her mother had to bear.


Rani and her mother were waiting for the car to return after dropping the Home Minister for an unexpected appointment. The car had to take Rani to the college, and it was getting late.


Rani’s mother Monica was growing tenser by the moment about the delay.  In her assessment, the car should have come back, 15 minutes earlier.


She couldn’t stop exclaiming loudly “Where is the dammed car”.


The familiarity of their car honking was welcome, and the car made its way into the compound.


Monica and Rani came out the house and Rani got into the car.

Noticing a change in the driver’s voice when he wished them “Good Morning”, Monica asked “Gopal, what happened to your voice”.


Gopal replied, “Madam, I have a bad throat and therefore not able to speak properly”. Stating it was getting late for Rani’s exam he gestured Rani to get into the car quickly and told Monica that he will come back after dropping her.


Just then Monica’s mobile rang, and it was the home minister from the airport. The Home Minister asked Monica to the phone to Rani so that he could wish her best of luck


Rani took the phone and heard her father wishing her all the best for her examination. She said, “Thank you, Daddy” to which the HM said, “I will see you tomorrow”, and disconnected the phone.


Bye mummy, said Rani, and the car started moving.  Rani’s mother noticed something odd about the driver’s behaviour but since the car’s front was shielded from the back with a shaded film, she was not able to make out anything.


Rani noticed that the driver took a different road and told him “Chacha, you are taking the wrong road”, as she sipped her usual energy drink.


As Rani sipped her drink, she became drowsy and went into a deep slumber.


Chapter 4


Mumbai.- Chief Minister’s office


The Chief Minister of Maharashtra – Kestikar, was relaxing in his office at 10.30am during his coffee break. He was a people’s man and his only ambition was to serve the people honestly and diligently.


He had never aspired for a political position. He was more than happy to shoulder the heavy responsibility of running a complete branch of a huge multinational company which he revelled in.


It was then that his close friend Shinde, who was the earlier Chief Minister of Maharashtra, invited him to join his endeavour in serving the people. They were not just friends. They respected each other’s views which were very strong though they disagreed in many matters. However, their maturity was such order that they never let their opinions go beyond discussions and continued their friendly relationship earnestly.


All was well till one day when his wife had asked him to use his relationship with his friend to get them a plot which was being auctioned. He pointblank told her that he can never do that. It snowballed into a week’s fight between them.


The Chief Minister was aware of his friend’s predicament through their wives’ interaction. He felt that, maybe, his friend was unnecessarily adamant. However, he was unwilling to do anything that might damage their relationship.

Finally, to him it looked like God favoured his decision. The management of his company rewarded his tremendous contribution with such a bonus that easily allowed him to buy a private property close to the one that was being offered at concessional rate.


Even though the rate was far higher than what the auction would fetch close by, he made his decision. He didn’t inform his wife about the bonus he got but negotiated hard with the private property close by and bought it at a price far higher than ones prevailing. He was happy that he had bought the plot on his own efforts and did not have to compromise on his integrity.


Having finished the formalities to buy the property, he gathered the documents and went to the temple to thank God for the timely help. From there he made his way home.


His wife neither opened the door nor was to be seen. Neither could he find his son anywhere. His wife had gone to the drop their son in the school as he was scheduled to join his school mates on a wild life camp.


The prasad he got the temple for some reason had satisfied his hunger and he had no further appetite. Despite their indifferences, both he and his wife had always sat together with the son for dinner. They made sure that Vijaykar never felt anything was wrong between them. However, today, for the first time he felt if he did not express his unhappiness with the situation he had been put in, his family might never understand him. He felt lonely and somehow let down.

He sat down on the table and penned down a note to his wife. It read:


“Hi dear, I have got you something more than what you wanted. But please never ever ask me to compromise on integrity of the position I hold, since it will reflect on my family as well on you. The foremost to be affected would be you and then our precious son Vijaykar, God has blessed us with. I have had a hard week pursuing all these and therefore have no more energy to sit even for dinner. Forgive me because for the first time after the discord between us I have resorted to my earlier habit of having a couple of drinks. I am drunk and do not wish to do anything untoward, especially in front of you and Vijaykar, who mean the world to me”.


Dropping of Vijaykar, his wife came home to find the note written by her husband.


Initially, she couldn’t believe that they had a property in that place which she had always dreamt off. However, the substance of the note hit her deeply as she read through it. Slowly, it overwhelmed her that her husband had without compromising on his integrity had made her dreams come through. Though she had no idea what the cost could have been she realized that the difficult predicament she had put her husband in to satisfy herself.


She opened the door to her bedroom and could instinctively feel that her husband was not asleep. She changed into her night suit did something she otherwise could have never done. She placed her head on her husband’s feet and cried out loudly, I am sorry my love. I have learnt. I will never ever act the same way again.


Since their union had become so strong that nothing could ever even create the smallest of discord between them. They were an extremely close-knit family and Vijaykar to them was a gift of the God. He was after all, born to them after 15 years of marriage and many a penance by Vijaykar’s mother.


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