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A Tryst with a Terrorist 2
by Ramendra Kumar

Two hours later Mahesh and Nirmal were sitting in DSP's house drinking tea. The DSP was a tall, muscular man who appeared extremely confident of himself. He heard the entire story and looking straight at Nirmal asked him, "Nirmal, are you sure you have heard exactly what you told me?"

"Yes, Uncle."

"It is important that you tell me each and every detail, however minute. You know hundreds of lives are at stake."

"Yes, Uncle, I realize. I am sure I have told you everything."

"Okay, I believe you. You are a brave boy. In a few minutes my man will be coming with photographs from our rogues' gallery. We maintain albums comprising photos of all the people who have a criminal record. These include people who have been convicted as well as those whom we suspect. You have a look and see if you can spot our friends."

"Uncle I have seen only Bhai's face. If his photo is there I'll be able to recognize it."

Ten minutes later Nirmal was peering at the photos placed in three huge albums. After poring over them for more than an hour he shook his head.

"No, Uncle Bhai is not here."

"Just as I thought. These guys must be from outside the state. Anyway we don't have any more time to lose. Let me get things organized and then I will get back to you."

DSP turned to Mahesh, "I'll get Nirmal dropped home. You stay back, I'll need to consult you."

~*~

At three in the afternoon Nirmal was sitting the living room watching TV when his Mama entered along with the DSP.

"Nirmal the entire plan has been finalized. You have a very important role to play. A lot depends on you. I have already discussed with Mahesh. He is confident you can play your part. I'll tell you the details. It is then up to you to decide whether you want to involve yourself or not."

Nirmal nodded. He was feeling quite nervous.

"Tomorrow you and I will be on the over-bridge by eight thirty. Around hundred of my people, both men and women, in plainclothes will reach soon after the Supermarket opens at nine. They will spread out and mingle with the crowd posing as shoppers. On the over-bridge your job will be to keep your eyes open for that fellow called Bhai. As soon as you spot him you will quickly give me an indication . I'll take care of the rest. But Nirmal will you be able to recognize him?"

Nirmal thought for a moment and said, " Yes, Uncle, I think I will be able to.'

"Good."

In the meanwhile Shobha had entered the living room with tea and biscuits.

"Bhai saheb, how can you involve this little fellow in such a dangerous business. You know where the scooter is being kept. You can simply ask your people to look for it and remove the time bomb."

"Bhabhi, if I do that I will only be postponing the inevitable. The terrorists will escape and make an attempt at some other time and some other place. I want to catch them red handed and this is the only way."

"But aren't you taking a big risk? Suppose Nirmal is not able to recognize the leader - then what?"

"Bhabhi, I have thought of all that. If by ten forty five we are not able to nab Bhai my people will swing into action. We'll make an announcement that a VIP is going to visit our area and hence a security check has to be carried out. We'll request all the shoppers to vacate the complex for some time. My people will ensure that the panic does not spread. They will quietly guide the shoppers out in another half an hour or so. Simultaneously some of my boys will look for the scooter and take care of the bomb."

"Vikram, why don't you first try to locate the bomb? In case you find it then you need not take the trouble of clearing the crowd," suggested Mahesh.

"If by chance we are not able to locate it in time there will be a disaster. I don't want to take any chances. And the only reason why I have thought of waiting till ten forty five is I want to give Nirmal enough scope to identify Bhai."

"I.. I don't know, I am still very scared..." Shobha muttered.

"Come on Shobha, what is there to be scared about? Vikram will be there, I will be there. Nirmal is a brave young man. Don't treat him like a baby," Mahesh said.

Continued

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Image under license with Gettyimages.com

19-Nov-2006
 
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