Friday, February 25, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXXIV

Previous Part

0409 Hours
2 November 2010
Falcon 1 AWACS
Skies near Pakistan's southern coast

News of successful interception of M11 had just came in and the atmosphere of anxious gloom disappeared. MC allowed himself a wry smile and said a silent prayer in thanks. Their work was not yet over though. They were still monitoring anything that could be of interest. The silence was broken by voice of radar operator, “Sir, we are detecting multiple missile launches from the sea.”

“That must be our boomer. “ MC answered excitedly. “How many launches ?”

“Still counting, 7,8,9,10.” A white faced operator turned towards MC, “My god ! They've launched almost everything they had. Weren't they carrying nukes ?”

MC glanced at the young technician and answered, “I don't know. That's above my pay grade.”

“Pay grade or not. Even a kid knows that at least half of those missiles were nuke tipped.” technician thought silently.

“How much time left to impact ?” MC asked.

“Still tracking their trajectory sir. Can't say anything right now.” came the reply.

MC nodded, “Alright. Only nukes serve these Paki buggers right.” then thought to himself, “Only 6-8 nukes wouldn't be enough.”

He need not have worried. An armada of ballistic missiles was pouring down on various other Paki targets from Indian mainland. Unfortunately for Pakis, they didn't have any kind of defense against this kind of attack.

0410 to 0600 Hours
Terrorist Islamic Mullahcracy Of Pakistan

First to go was the Omara naval base as it was the nearest. A Plutonium based 10 KT warhead exploded 300 m above ground and every structure that existed turned to ashes within a moment. Two Agosta submarines which were moored on the docks were thrown meters away like toys by the shock wave. The heat also vapourised a large quantity of sea water and a massive cloud of steam bellowed upwards. The crumpled submarines lay like broken toys on the newly dried sea bed before
water came rushing in and washed them ashore like soda cans. All the civilian vessels unfortunate to be near by disappeared like they never even existed.

Next to go was Gawadar port. Warhead and yield blast were identical, but effects on ground were much more spectacular. Dozens of ships, most of them Chinese just vanished after the heat from the blast turned them in to vapours. A major fuel and gas dump, most of which was underground caught fire and the ground was rocked by 100s of sympathetic explosions, wiping out every indication of the fact that something man made had ever existed there.

Effects were similar on Karachi port. The three strikes on 3 naval targets wiped out every naval asset and most of shore based defences of the Pakistani armed forces.

Next target was the the nuclear weapons storage base at Wah. Constructed almost entirely underground on a rocky soil, it was considered to be almost impregnable. This base like a few others was targeted by three 20 KT+ nukes. But instead of exploding in mid-air,the specially constructed warheads made out of depleted Uranium and Tungsten penetrated nearly 30 meters underground before exploding. The resulting explosions hit every structure over ground and under
ground with the force of Richter 10 earthquake. The structures that happened to be in the middle of two or three shock waves crumpled like sand castles burying everything and everybody under tons of concrete and rock. Even the structures hit by 2 or less waves were damaged irrevocably. Within seconds of the explosions, the ground exploded upwards like a volcano, throwing up enormous amounts of radioactive and molten dirt and rock hundreds of meters in to the air. Not a single person was left alive. The adjoining air force base was laid to waste by 2 short range Agni-I missiles

All the other major nuclear weapons storage sites in Dera Nawabshah, Sargodha, Gujranwala
Fatehjang, Masroor, Quetta and Kamra were taken out almost similarly by a mix of nuclear and conventional explosives.

Sui gas plant, target of numerous Baloch nationalist attacks was taken out by a Prithvi missile carrying a thermobaric warhead. All that was left of the multi-million dollar facility was a scrap heap of twisted metal.

Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Lahore cantonments were devastated by a mix of nuclear and non-nuclear air-burst and underground explosions. Causalities in these 3 cantonments were near 70%, the rest being too seriously injured to be of any threat to anybody else or any of use to
Pakistan. Numerous terrorist camps near LoC in Muzzafrabad, Gilgit and other parts in Pak Occupied J&K were razed to ground using artillery and air strikes.

Paki Army men and Rangers deployed on Indo-Pak borders were one of very few survivors to escape from the armageddon. Even then, their efficiency was severely compromised by near complete destruction of their leadership, bases and supply lines. A large number of such survivors abandoned their positions or surrendered to Indian armed forces all over the border.

Civilian causalities although high by the numbers, were comparatively light considering the scale of attack. Even then, almost 10 lakhs (1 Million) civilians perished in the attack. Thousands more kept dying every minute after that for want of medical and material aid. Already weak civilian infrastructure of the country collapsed and riots and mass flights from populated centers started happening. All pleas of help from international community fell on deaf ears as aid agencies were wary of sending their workers in a nuclear war zone.

Four Chinese bases in PoK were not spared either. They were targeted first using Brahmos missiles to neutralize most of their anti-air assets then bombed to dust by repeated air strikes. Dazed survivors, many of them civilians had no where else to go as Indian SF had cut down all of the communication lines. With most of their defences destroyed and facing gruesome executions by mobs of locals thirsting for revenge, most of them either ran away in panic or chose to surrender to Indian army wherever they could find them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

LCA (Tejas), JF-17 Thunder turn rate, roll rate and loop comparison

Monday, February 21, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXXIII

0357 Hours
2 November 2012
70 Km South East of Gilgit, POK

Two figures atop the mountain waited anxiously for the planes to appear. Without turning his head from the sky that he was scanning with his binoculars one of the men said, “Wish the birds were here already.”
His companion who was manning the laser designator just grunted something unintelligible.
“What?” first man asked.
The reply was drowned by the ear splitting thunder as two Jaguars flying a few meters above the peaks passed overhead and dropped 2 Sudarshan laser guided bombs each on both mouths of the tunnel. Guided by the laser spot, all four bombs found their mark and exploded with loud noise. Every person near by felt the earth shaking as the powerful explosives tore through the tunnel entrances. The explosions caused a large volume of rocks and concrete used in the construction of tunnel to collapse on the tunnel entrance and blocked it completely from both sides.

“That's what I was talking about.” 1st man shouted exultantly.

“I can't hear you. I think I've gone deaf.” Other man replied rubbing his ears.

“You are a whining bitch.”

“Shut the fu** up or I shove this MANPADS up yours.”

“Hah! You heard THAT all right.”

“Shh..can you hear that ? “

Both men stopped their banter and looked upwards. A distant noise of jet engines was coming closer and closer. “Looks like PARA guys are here.”

Picking up his binocular he looked up to the sky and sure enough he could see the outline of a C -130J Hercules transporter getting closer every second. It was supplemented by small dark specks that grew larger and larger into parachutes.

Within minutes the area was swarming with Indian PARA soldiers. Except 3 soldiers who received injuries while landing on the rough terrain, everybody else landed safely. The soldiers rapidly converged on both sides of the tunnel and took positions. Leader of the PARAS, a veteran Lt. Colonel Megh Singh contacted the Stalkers on radio, “Stalker Alpha, Jumper 1 and Jumper 2 are in position. What's the status of that bridge. We don't want any Chinese arriving with reinforcements before we are finished with the ones inside the tunnel.”

“Jumper 1, the bridge has been destroyed and all Chinese personnel within a 2 KM radius neutralized.”

“Thanks for the help Stalkers.” Lt. Colonel Megh replied and turned to his soldiers. “All right men, time for action.”

0357 Hours
Missile Defence Force HQ

Inside the underground bomb proof bunker, Brigadier Rajinder Singh was staring at the long range radar console. Warning of an impending missile strike had came in just seconds ago jolting everybody in to action. Not that they had been slouching earlier, but the sound of klaxons always has some strange effects on people who hear it.

“How much time ?”

“370 seconds before it becomes terminal. Rakshak 1 ready by for launch, Rakshak 2 in 10 seconds” one technician on deputation from DRDO replied.

“You sure there are no other bogies ?”

“Yes sir.”

On the screen they watched as the Pakistani M11 came closer, waiting anxiously for it to come within the kill-zone. They did not had to wait long. Within seconds a beeping sound let every body know of the fact. “Launch Rakshak 1.” Brig Rajinder Singh ordered with a calm voice that belied what he was feeling inside. He started a countdown on a timer and ordered, “Launch Rakshak 2 on the 0 count.”
He again went on to staring at the radar screen as one small blip of Rakshak 1, a PAD missile rose from it's launcher and started it's journey to intercept the enemy missile. 5 seconds later, another blip announced the launch of Rakshak 2. Seconds seemed like hours as the two blips from Indian side gained altitude and converged on the M11.

“10 seconds to Rakshak 1 intercept, starting now. “one technician announced. “9 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ,1.” then silence as the two blips merged.

“What ?” Brigadier Singh shouted anxiously then smiled as data was updated on the screen in front of him.

“We have a successful intercept by Rakshak 1. Rakshak 2 will self-destruct in 20 seconds.”
Brig Singh jumped up from his chair and congratulated the grinning DRDO techies by slapping them on their backs. “When all this is over, I'll throw a grand party for everybody in this bunker. What's your favourite booze son ? Anything you ask for.”

One of the technicians replied apologetically, “But I don't drink sir. “

“But you will when we have that party. Better start preparing now.” Brig. Singh laughed.

Aero India 2011: Flight display - HAL LCA Tejas

Friday, February 18, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXXII

0340 Hours
2 November 2010
6x Su30-MKI Flight
Skies over Gujarat sea coast

Mission Controller aboard IL-76 based AWACS took a look at the radar screen and picked up the mouth piece to contact Striker formation, “Striker team, this is Falcon 1. Guardian will join your formation over WayPoint 1 in 3 minutes.”

“Roger that Falcon 1.”Wing Commander Narendra, flight leader replied and craned his neck to catch a glimpse of the approaching 3 plane formation of Su30-MKIs tasked with providing air cover to his Striker formation. Right on time the Guardian flight took defensive positions around the other 6 Su30-MKIs that formed the Strikers.
He strained his eyes to catch a glimpse of the Air-to-Air missiles that the Guardians were carrying. In low light of the half moon, all he could see of the Guardians was flames of their engines. He wondered if they could see the much bigger payload his formation was carrying from that distance.

He took a deep breath as the Sukhois approached next waypoint. Voice of the MC came through radio once again, “Striker formation, increase your altitude to 8000m. Time for payback. Falcon 1 out.”

“Roger that Falcon 1”. WC Narendra replied and put his plane in to a steep climb. “Time for payback indeed.”

0345 Hours
2 November 2012
70 Km South East of Gilgit, POK

The two Chinese soldiers were standing guard over the unnamed mountain for two hours in to their shift. Their 2 comrades were asleep inside their cleverly camouflaged bunker. The two sentries were fully alert, backs erect and fingers on triggers as they stood guard . A HN-5 MANPADS, Chinese copy of Russian 9K32M Strela-2 lay in between them. Every 10 minutes, one of the sentries would put a small night-vision binocular to his eyes and scan his surroundings. Each time special attention was given to the railway line that passed through the foot-hills of their mountain and vanished in to a tunnel of another bigger one adjacent to theirs. The tunnel marked entrance of railway line in to the lush green valley just behind the massive mountain. Every 30 minutes, either one of them would pick up the small hand held radio placed on the ground and report the situation. Each time he received replies from 2 other watch positions placed similarly on adjacent mountain tops. This chore done, the soldier would walk back to his position and again start scanning the area below him.

Two dark figures lay as still as rocks behind them, watching and marking their every move. It was not the first time they were doing that. The 10 men team divided further in to smaller groups had been collecting intelligence for 2 weeks now. But tonight was different. They had been lying face down for an hour on the cold hard ground while a cold breeze chilled their backs. One of the figures whispered in to his small mouth piece, “Stalker alpha in position and ready. ” He received immediate replies from two other teams . He looked towards his team mate lying besides him and nodded. Then whispered softly, “It's a go.” Both men brought out silenced Tavors and took aim on heads of the two Chinese.
“On my mark, 3,2,1.” There were muffled popping noises as the two guns fired and slightly louder thumps as the two Chinese soldiers dropped unceremoniously to the ground. The two men broke cover and raced towards the bunker trying to be as quite as possible as possible. A small battery powered light illuminated the entrance. Their rifles drawn and eyes to the sights they tip-toed inside to find 2 Chinese fast asleep inside. Without pausing they put 2 shots in to each man's head.
This work done, both came out and contacted their mates on radio. The two remaining Chinese posts had been neutralized too. All that was left was report from 4th team which came in 3 minutes later , “Fireworks attached. “

Most difficult part of their mission complete, the men slightly relaxed and checked their watches. They still had 12 minutes till the delivery of airborne package. The man with Tavor took out one small gadget from his backpack and placed it on top of the bunker. It was just a small radio marker that could be used to identify the correct location. 2 of the other teams on other mountain tops did the same. In the meanwhile, his compatriot had placed a laser designator and started adjusting it's aim. His target was entrance of the tunnel. Other mouth of tunnel, the one facing the valley was marked similarly. 9 minutes still left and they waited.

Chapter 28

0347 Hours
2 November 2010
Phalcon AWACS
Skies near Pakistan's southern coast

Concrete intelligence regarding remaining 3 missiles had came in minutes after the meeting between GP, Angad and military representatives had ended. Two of the missiles had been detected at the Omara naval base. The base was approximately 230 Km west of Gwadar and had come up in the last 2 years with active but hushed Chinese assistance. 3rd one was further east on Chama, a small island less than 40 KM west of Karachi. The coordinates were hurriedly forwarded to the Air Force which had plans to neutralize any such target ready for years. Striker flight was the one chosen to destroy those missiles.

The six Sukhois engaged afterburners and put the planes in to a steep climb. The engines screaming and the airframe under quite a bit of stress, pilots waited till they reached 8000m and then leveled out. One by one they fired off their Air to Land version of Brahmos. The missiles dropped for a few meters then the booster kicked in propelling them to near Mach 3 speeds. Their work done, all Sukhois turned over and started racing back to their base. Personnel aboard the Phalcon watched as 6 blips started racing towards their targets, 2 missiles against each target .

“Missile launch ! We've just detected a missile launch from Chama island.” Excited voice of one of the radar operators broke the attention of technicians concentrating on six Brahmos flight.

MC rushed to the console and looked. “Damn it all to hell. They've launched that fuc***** missile ? Keep tracking it's trajectory. Send alerts to HQs immediately. Any idea where it's going ? Dilli ?”

“Looks like it's going south. If it's M11 then Mumbai is one prime target.” radar operator replied without taking his eyes off the console.

“What about missiles at Omara and how long till that satellite feed is available again?” MC asked getting more scared with every passing moment

“No sign of launch yet. Satellite will be in range in 60 seconds.”

“20 seconds to Brahmos impact.” radar operators tasked with tracking Brahmos flight announced.

MC bit his lips willing the Brahmos to destroy the Chinese missiles before they took off. His charm worked with the rest. The 4 Brahmos directed towards Omara base slammed in to their targets without any of the M11s launching. The ones directed towards Chama island destroyed the empty launcher killing only the personnel on ground. MC walked to his chair staring at the just launched M11 missile coordinates. “Assh*** launched it even before they knew we were coming. They were going to launch it no matter what !” He stared at the screen connected to satellite feed wishing the images via satellite could come sooner. He clutched his chair's arm rest tightly as the satellite link was established. Images at first blurry, then more focused and sharp started streaming in. He could see columns of smoke rising out of the Paki naval base, but couldn't confirm if the missiles were destroyed.
“Well ?” he inquired loudly.

“It's a kill. We've destroyed the remaining missiles.” was the reply.

“Only if we could destroy that bitch too. Shit !” he groaned.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXXI

Previous Part

2335 Hours
Onboard AF1
Skies over Agra

DM reacted to the news same way Angad had. He immediately barged in to the PMs cabin where Dr. Rudra was busy examining him. Both men looked at him with identical alarmed expressions. Dr. Rudra opened his mouth to protest but kept quiet on seeing how flustered DM looked. He in turn sprinted to PM's bedside and poured out the whole scenario without pausing for breath.
“That can't be true.” PM said with wide eyes even before DM was finished.

“Wake up sir. It is true.” Turning to the doctor with an irritated expression he asked, “Have you given him a narcotic or something ? “

“No. Nothing yet.” Doctor replied in a surprised way.

Turning to Pm with even more irritation he said, “He has not given you anything ! Then why are you behaving like you've been drugged ? Wake up and smell the coffee. The nuclear threat just got worse. We have to take action !” He almost shouted out the last sentence.

“What do you want me to do ?” PM stammered.

DM took a deep breath and started speaking, “ You are the chief decision maker for us. DyPM should've been here to take your place if you are sick but he is in Japan on a tour. That means either you give our military permission to take out those nukes right now or give somebody else the authority till you get back on your feet. As of now, I'm the senior most person who can make the best informed decision. So let me decide what to do.”

PM kept staring blankly at his DM for a few seconds and started speaking when DM opened his mouth to say something, “Alright Shivendra. You do what you think is right. “

0030 Hours
2 November 2012
Arabian Sea

Captain Vikram Batra read the encrypted message again and took out a small laminated photograph of Lord Ram out of his pocket. Clutching the small photograph he closed his eyes and whispered a short prayer. Lord Ram had commanded his army across the sea to fight against an asur Ravan who had kidnapped Sita. Although Cap Batra will not be commanding any army across the sea, his work did have some passing semblance to what Lord Ram did. Like the ancient King, in a way he too will cross the sea and bring the righteous wrath upon the enemies. The thought made him smile and feel stupid at once. “This is no time to harbour any illusions of grandeur old man.” He said to himself and looked around the bridge of the ship he was entrusted to command. In a way, he could afford to feel grand. After all, he was only the first officer to command Arihant, India's first nuclear submarine. His chest again slightly puffed with pride on remembering that he was also going to be the first officer to lead India's first nuclear submarine in to combat.
“Back to work, back to work.” He commanded himself as he put the small photograph back in his shirt pocket.

Around him, the crew members were engaged in their work with full attention. Taking in a deep breath, he picked up the intercom and started a short address to his crew men, “Hello everybody, This is your Captain speaking. As you all know, our country has been attacked by nuclear weapons. Even as I speak, our enemies are preparing for more attacks on our country and our loved ones. Right now, it's not about anything like money or religion or politics, it's about our survival as a nation with a glorious history and a prosperous future. For this purpose, we've been ordered to destroy certain enemy targets. From this moment onwards, we are officially at war. I expect each one of you to remember your training and behave accordingly. That's about everything I have to say for now. Man all battle stations.”

He cut the intercom and ordered, “Make depth 100m.”

“Depth 100m, aye.” Navigation officer responded smartly.

“Helm turn One-zero-zero.”

“Turn One-zero-zero , aye.”

“Make speed 18 knots.”

“Speed 18 knots, aye.”

INS Arihant turned slowly and started it's journey towards Pakistani coast. It was only a matter of hours before it reached close enough to make it's name come true literally.

Enathu Desam Karthick Part 1

Tejas at Aero India 2011

A Tamil documentary on Arjun MBT

Monday, February 14, 2011

War Scenario. part XXX

Previous Part

2310 Hours
1 November 2012
Udyog Bhavan

“Are you fuc*** kidding me GP ? “ Angad never swore and bit his tongue as soon as he realised that he just did. “Sorry for that. But are you really sure about this ? “

“There is no doubt sir. Take a look at the pictures that I've sent you. I've marked everything of interest.” GP was unnaturally calm about the whole issue

“I'm looking at them right now. But have you confirmed it from our side too ?” Angad asked with ever increasing excitement.

“Checked, double checked and checked again sir. Do you want me to explain ? “

“Wait for a moment. Let me get some military people on the line. ” Angad replied hurriedly and went offline to arrange a video conference. He was done within five minutes slightly out of breath. “ You still there GP ? I've called for General Vaidya, Air Marshal Nirmal Jeet and Rear Admiral Kailash Nath They have those pictures too. Now start explaining.”

GP was ready, “The pictures marked 1 to 21 were taken by Israeli satellites over the span of last 3 weeks. The rest are ours. I'll begin with Israeli ones. Picture one is of a Chinese missile manufacturing plant in ShirChu, Jhiangsu province taken on 11th October. It's one of the main production centers of M9 and M11 missiles. On 2nd picture, take a close look on the area circled in red. You can see a small group of vehicles that look like container trucks except for their size and design of the cab. Next picture is a blow up of these vehicles. Here you can estimate the length of these trucks which comes out to be nearly 14 m, much longer than any container truck in use anywhere.
Next picture in the series of is of coastal docks in Tiajin, a naval base around 20 KM from Shirchu taken 3 days later. Here you can see these trucks lined on the upper right corner of the photograph. Satellite pictures taken same day show that the trucks had vanished from Shirchu So these are the same 4 trucks that we saw there. Next 3 photographs are of the ships which were docked there that day. “
GP paused and looked at his screen, “Are you following me ?”

“ I see that you've marked one of the ships. Anything special ?” General Vaidya asked without taking his eyes off the printouts of the images.

“That's the most interesting part sir. But I'll come to that later. As you can see in next picture, the trucks are not there. The parking area is empty. Either they drove them off some where or placed them on one of the ships. 2 of the ships docked there are destroyers, one is a refueling tanker and the rest small tugs. The ship that you noticed is the only civilian ship big enough to carry all these trucks.

That ship left the base on 17th October. It docked once in Malaysia for refueling a week later where it identified itself as Xajing, owned by a shipping company based in Hong Kong. It was on it's way to unload some toys in Pakistan. We did background checks of the company. It's just a shell company for CGBC group, a conglomerate of businesses owned mostly by senior members China's politico bureau. “

Seeing the expressions on their faces, GP realised that his audience was slowly catching on,. He paused for breath and began, “Every thing's clear till now ?

“Yes. Please continue.” Angad replied somewhat impatiently.

“ Next picture is of Gwadar port in Pakistan where the ship docked on 28th October. It's again marked in a red circle on the left. In the same picture on it's upper left corner, you can see two of the trucks that we saw earlier in ShirChu and Tiajin, again marked in red.”

“What's you point GP ? These trucks could carry anything. They could really be transporting toys for all we know.” Angad said cautiously.

“I can bet my year's salary that it was certainly not toys. First thing, if you are shipping something, only containers are used, not the whole truck. Second, size of shipping containers is a standard all over the world and these containers do not match anything. Third, cab part of these trucks too much like the trucks Chinese transport their missile upon. Fourth, dimensions of the containers are just right to contain one M-11 missile each. Fifth, trucks originating from a Chinese missile plant are unlikely to carry toys. At least not the kind my kids play with.”
he paused then added, "Not to mention, I sincerely doubt Pakis having the money to buy toys, even Chinese."

Air Chief Nirmaljeet looked frantic, “Mot******. By hell, you are right GP ! But there was only one missile strike. There are only 2 trucks in this picture and there are no trucks in the rest. Where the hell are they ? The ship has not left the port yet. Has it ? “

GP shook his head, “No sir. According to our sources, it's still docked. Even if two of the original four trucks are on the ship, one is still missing. We are still looking for that one.”

General Vaidya looked really grave “Shit. That's not good at all.”

GP paused for a while before beginning again, “Actually that's not all. Take a look at the other set of pictures. “ He waited while the others looked over them.

“Damn ! This train looks like it's transporting at least 2 missiles. But where the hell is it ?” Nirmaljeet asked with visible alarm.

General Vaidya looked like somebody had punched him in the gut. Without waiting for GP he answered the question himself, “That's on the railway line Chinese have constructed through PoK.”

“Correct General. We saw this train vanish in to one of the tunnels on that line this morning. It's still in that tunnel inside PoK.”

A shiver went down GP's spine as he said that. It had taken all of will power to control the tremblings in his body ever since he first understood the meaning of the pictures. Now he felt his self control weakening he went through the pictures again. “We're in real deep shit.” He muttered under his breath.
Booming voice of General Vaidya broke his reverie. “GP, where are these missiles now ?”

“Train mounted ones are being stored in a tunnel in south of Gilgit about 110 KM from LOC. We believe that particular tunnel is being used as a storage site for more weapons and barracks for at least 240 soldiers at any given time.”

“A train tunnel being used like that ?” Nirmal Jeet asked with some incredulity.

“Yes. They've been digging that particular mountain for 4 years. We have reports from our agents on grounds to confirm this fact. The last three photos of 2nd batch are of this particular tunnel including one taken from the ground of one of it's exits. Chinese have long terms plans for this region.”

“What about the other three missiles in Gwadar ? “

“It's entirely possible that all 3 have been unloaded and hidden somewhere safe. We are searching for them with everything we've got. In fact one of our satellites is scheduled to make a pass over the region in 20 minutes. We've alerted our men on ground too. I hope something will come up soon.”

Angad was twirling a pen his hands nervously, “It's not good enough GP. Not good at all. Lives of crores are at stake. We need to find those missiles and neutralize them yesterday.”

General Singh intervened, “Let him do his job Angad. This situation is much more dangerous than we previously imagined. Let's call up the ministers and get the permission to take these missiles out. ”

“But we don't have information about all the missiles yet.”

“That's why we start right now. There is no time to waste.” Nirmal Jeet replied for General Vaidya, then addressed GP, “GP, you have to contact us as soon as anything comes up. There can't be any slip ups now. Use everything you've got. Do you understand ?"

GP nodded as other participants of video conferencing broke the link. He stared at his screen for a few seconds apparently lost in deep thought. Then he looked at the watch and started waiting for the satellite feed about to start in 15 minutes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXIX

Previous Part

2130 Hours

1 November 2012
Udyog Bhawan
Kolkata, India

The 3 story inconspicuous Udyog Bhawan in Kolkata was completely unimportant to everybody except for the RAW and ARC people who worked there. GP, Deputy Director NTRO was going over the latest satellite images and intelligence reports gathered over the day when the red phone on his table rang. He felt a irrational fear creeping up his gut as he looked at the instrument. The news of the nuke attack had came via this phone minutes after it happened. It was going to be be quite some time before he could go back to answering the calls on this secure line normally again. Nevertheless he let go of the pictures and lifted the phone. “GP here.”

“How're you doing GP ?”

The subdued voice of Meir, Directorof Mossad's Research Department felt felt a lot different from it's usually cheerful tone. “What do you think old friend ? This hasn't been exactly a good day.”
GP heard Meir sigh on other end of the line, “I'm really sorry for what happened today GP. I wish that whoever did this must rot in hell for all the eternity.“

Was Meir trying to pry some information out ? Although India and Israel were allies and the two intelligence officers good friends, but intelligence business is unlike all others. Countries spy on enemies as well as their allies alike. GP let out a bitter chuckle, “Only if wishes were horses.”

Meir replied in a mysterious voice, “But I do have something for you to ride upon.”
GP's ears perked up a little. “ Do I need to pay rent for the ride ?”

Meir chuckled, “Well, if you insist. How about a bottle of scotch and a fried fish from your kitchen next time we meet ? “

GP was mystified, “ That'll be my pleasure. You, of all the people should know that.”

“That I know very well my friend. The thing is that you guys have already done us a favour. We are just returning it.”

“Suits me.”

Meir turned serious, “You remember the small payload that your ISRO launched for us in April ? “

A bulb just clicked on in GP's mind. PSLV launch that month had carried a satellite designed and made by Israelis in complete secrecy. It's capabilities and applications were a well guarded secret. Apart from a select group of people that included the satellite's designers and some in intelligence circles, nobody had any idea. GP replied in a slightly reproachful tone, “Yes I do. You guys have been awfully shy with that one. “

“ It's time that we let this complain sorted out. Can you check the mail ? There is a surprise for you. Please let me know if you like it.”

GP was suddenly inpatient, “What is it ? “

“What else it could be GP ? We deal in information and information it is. I hope you keep your end of bargain when we meet again. Till then, take care and Namaskar.”

“Shalom friend”.

Gp replaced the phone on it's cradle and opened his secure mailbox. A mail with blank message body and an encrypted attachment had just arrived.. He put in the decryption key and extracted the files. There was a small text file and a bunch of high resolution satellite images. He opened the text file first and read it through. With mounting excitement he clicked on the images and started browsing through them. It was with a shaking hand that he picked up the intercom and called for his best analysts to come in to his cabin.

Friday, February 11, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXVIII

Previous Part

2120 Hours
1 November 2012

Scheduled TV programming was interrupted on almost all TV channels as the ashen face of Defence Minister appeared on the screens. He started reading from a prepared speech,

"My dear countrymen, I'm here with a bad news for all of us. Today we came under a surprise nuclear attack. Mirwai, a small town in Rajsthan with nearly 55000 population was devastated by a nuclear bomb delivered through a missile. The attack happened at 6 pm today without any warning. Although the missile was launched from Pakistan, a military spokesperson speaking on behalf of the Pakistani authorities has denied that they were involved. I can't tell you the exact figures right now, but more than 20000 people are believed to be dead and many more injured. We are doing everything we can do to help the stricken people. Even as I speak, supplies and relief material are being rushed with utmost speed. Indian army which operates a small base there and Air force, have pressed in all of their resources to help the survivors in every way possible.

As of now, no one has taken any responsibility for this dastardly attack, but I'd like to assure all of you that whoever did this will dearly pay for this crime against humanity. Our forces are now on the highest alert and are taking every action to identify the culprits and also to prevent any further attacks. Our chain of command and most importantly, will to fight are still intact and will remain so.

Our country needs help of every single citizen in these troubled times. Irrespective of our differences, every single one of us needs to support the government and armed forces. I appeal to all of you to remain calm and follow the instructions provided to you by local authorities. Please do not panic or try to relocate unless absolutely necessary. The government will take whatever steps are necessary to protect everyone.

Jai Hind"

Cameraman signaled end of transmission and DM slumped limply in to the chair. He ran his hands through his thinning hair twice and got up to his feet. His aide came up a cup of tea which he waved away. He was in no mood to eat or drink anything.
He opened the small door of the media room and started walking towards the PM's cabin in the special Boeing 747 informally known as AF1. PM and DM along with some senior defence and civilian officials had been bundled in to the special plane within 20 minutes of the time when first warning of the missile attack came. An IL-76 based AWACS on a patrol over Rajsthan had first detected the missile as it's reached it's terminal stage. The crew had immediately sent warnings, but it was not enough to help Mirwai. There was little any one could do anyway .

DM was visiting PM at his residence when their bodyguards burst in to the room and bundled them off in to a chopper and then to AF1 with little ceremony. Much to consternation of every one, PM had suffered severe chest pain moments after plane was airborne. On board doctor, a middle aged Air Force Major Rudra had treated him and put him under observation. News of the country's PM collapsing on hearing such news, even of this magnitude would've been really bad for morale. So it was DM who had to go on TV instead of PM to read the bad news. He had done so with much reluctance but had kept the fact to himself only. He walked slowly towards the PM's cabin and stopped in front of the door, apparently lost in thought. Two guards on the door smartly saluted him and that caused DM to come out of his reverie.
"I wish you guys stop doing this every time you see me. " he smiled tiredly at the young soldiers.

"I'll keep it in mind from now on sir." Older of them smiled back politely.

"Thanks. Is doctor still inside ? How is PM feeling now ?" DM asked.

"Yes sir. Mr. PM wanted to see you as soon as possible. He is waiting for you." with this, he knocked on the door once and on hearing the permission to enter, opened the door and ushered the DM in.

PM was lying on a bed apparently sleeping while his wife and Maj Rudra were sitting on chairs besides him talking in low voices. Both stopped talking on seeing him and Maj Rudra got up to salute him. PM opened his eyes and looked at him with resigned eyes.

"How are you feeling now sir ?" Suddenly not sure whom to ask this question, DM asked with a slight hesitation.

"Much better. Thanks to Dr. Rudra here. " PM replied looking at the doctor who looked on impassively. "Any new developments ?"

"A little. Some of our people are standing by on a video conferencing call. Are you feeling well enough for this ?" DM asked with some concern looking at PM and the doctor in turn.

"Sure. Lets begin right now." PM replied with some display of energy.

DM gave the doctor a questioning glance to which he replied, " Yes of course, he can do anything he wants short of strenuous physical activity right now. But please be sure that he doesn't get too stressed. My work here is done anyway. I'll pop in from time to time to keep an eye. I think I should leave, if I have your permission."

He gave everybody in the room a quick bow and left. PM's wife also left the room after instructing both men to be careful about her husband's health.
PM watched her close the door with a tired smile and then turned to DM, "So, what did you find out ?"

DM in the meanwhile had called for some senior officers and analysts on board the plane to enter the room and had turned on the video conferencing screen for other people to join in. Faces of people, some old and most of them new to both the ministers filled the room. After hurried introductions, everybody quickly got to the business. Chief spook Angad was first to begin via a video link,

“The missile was launched from a location somewhere east of Karachi. Our analysts believe that it was a Shaheen, just a repainted Chinese M-9. The bomb was Uranium 235 based with yield of slightly less than 20KT . It's copy of an old Soviet design that was stolen by China. Apparently they also sold the same design to Pakistan and North Korea. The missile has a possible range of less than 700km with this kind of warhead. If anybody is wondering why didn't they try hitting New Delhi, Bombay or any other big city, then I assume it's because of Shaheen's limited range only. Mirwai is one of the very few possible places that can be hit with that missile when fired from that distance.

"Do we know who actually launched it ?"

"Unfortunately, not yet. Control of Pakistani nuclear arsenal was supposed to be with General Beg only. But the missile was launched from the area under control of General Asgar." Angad answered.

DM jumped off his seat and begin in an excited voice, "That can mean only one thing. If General Beg had full control of every weapon, then it's entirely possible that he had launched the missile. That way he can injure us as well as gather support for his fight against Asgar." He started pacing the small room as he spoke then his voice trailed off, "But.."

Curious at his behaviour, PM asked "What ?"

DM shook his head slightly and said, "Same thing can be said about General Asgar too. He too is a prime suspect just as Beg is. If he proves that it was Beg, not him that launched the missile then Beg is screwed beyond redemption. Even him being the American poodle wouldn't help him then."

HM butted in before DM had chance to finish, "Screwed how ? Pakistanis have already started celebrating this strike against the kafir Hindu India. In my opinion,the culprit will gain support of Islamists and gain power, not get screwed as you said it."

DM gestured defensively, "Hey, I'm just thinking aloud. Either way, you can't have everything. You win some, you lose some. For either of them, there are going to be benefits as well as repercussions. The perpetrator took his chances and I'll be damned if I know who did this just by talking and guessing like this. "

PM who had been listening quietly asked, "If it's like what you people are saying, don't you think that either of them will try to take the credit ?"

On the screen, HM just stared blankly while DM shrugged his shoulders trying to think of something. "Could be terrorists." he added.

Angad cleared his throat and said, "True. But they would've taken the responsibility as soon as it had happened. Not a single one of the rag head terrorists out there is going to miss an opportunity like this. Strangely, no one has. But most importantly, an attack like this is beyond he capability of almost all of terrorist groups out there. There is no way that a bunch of terrorists could have pulled this off without Paki army help."

"What about a rogue military commander acting independent of every one else ? DM asked

General Vaidya, a 3 star general replied, "Same as with terrorists. Possible, but highly unlikely without either of the two Generals knowing."

For a few seconds, everybody involved in the meeting fell quiet having reached a dead end. Then voice of PM broke the silence, "Excuse me for the silly question, but didn't Beg had full control of all the nukes ? Then how can Asgar be possibly involved in this ?

"He could've taken the control of one or two missiles that Americans didn't knew about." HM took the bait.

DM was quick to pounce on it, "And launched it on us without trying to take any advantage ? If he really had those nukes then he could have bargained with Beg and Americans for anything. This doesn't makes any sense."

HM challenged him, "Well, tell me one thing that does."

DM shrugged and slumped back in chair, " I don't know."

Angad looked slightly uneasy on the screen“ I don't know if it seems important, but Gwadar is not too far away from the launch site. For what it is worth, Chinese seem to be awfully busy lately there. Far more than what seems normal.”

“Busy ? How ?” DM asked.

“According to our intelligence reports, number of ships docking there has increased by 15% during the last 3 weeks. Of course it could all be unrelated, but somehow I can't shake off the feeling that something fishy is going on.”

“You don't have details ? It's your job to get this kind of information. We can't do a single damn thing based on your hunches only.”

Angad took the remark as the unneeded insult as it was. He was still bitter over the fact that his proposals for more intelligence satellites and human intelligence had been gathering dust for years now, “ What else would you expect on the money that we actually spend on intelligence ? “

DM let out a sigh and rolled his eyes. But he knew that Angad was right. Intelligence organisations had been demanding higher budgets and more freedom from political intervention for years, but successive governments including the present had been dithering on many important proposals. Who knew this attack could've been avoided if they had advance warning.

HM piped in, “Please leave all that for the moment. What's done is done. We have to do something right now. We can't just sit here and yap away. Thousands of our people have died in 4 attacks, one of them a nuclear one. All in a single damned day. Nations have gone to war on much less. Why are we still not bombing the hell out of those terrorist pigs ? The missile was launched from Paki territory, it's a Paki missile as well a a Paki bomb. What other proof do we need ?“

“For starters, identifying who actually gave the orders.” DM replied.

HM opened his mouth to say something but then kept quiet. With the condition Pakistan was in, nobody had any idea whom to punish. In frustration he banged his fist on the table and groaned loudly, “Damn it all. I say we launch everything we have on those bast**** and be done with it. Do you realise how bad it is going to be for our economy, or prestige, everything that's precious to us ? We lose the confidence of everyone in the world and our own citizens. We get nuked in broad daylight and can do nothing except twiddling our thumbs inside our collective asses. “

General Vaidya cleared his throat and begin, “ We can take steps to neutralize their remaining weapons.. Actually it's going to be suicidal if we don't. We just need your permission to do so.” He finished looking at PM directly who appeared to be lost under deep thought.

He took a deep breath and replied, “I'm afraid that I can't allow that without positive proof General. We need concrete evidence of who actually did it.”

Most of the people presented in the meeting groaned inwardly.

There was a knock on the door and Dr. Rudra asked for permission to enter. DM broke up the conference for a while and called him in. Doctor entered the cabin glancing at the video screens once and then faced the PM, “Sorry to interrupt the meeting, but some more medical tests are needed and I can't do that on this plane. I'm afraid that we'll have to get you to a hospital.”

Both ministers were slightly taken aback and PM asked with surprise in his voice, “But why ? I feel absolutely fine.”

The doctor had heard this line many times. He replied impassively, “May be you do, but you heart doesn't. I believe that one of your arteries has some degree of blockage. We need to get you to a hospital without any delay.”

“I'll be damned. Just what the doctor ordered.” DM thought to himself. Then asked, “Where can we take him ?”

“I checked with the pilots. Agra is the nearest place with sufficient medical equipment.”

“You came in all prepared, didn't you ?” PM asked with a slight resentment. But I can't go to any hospital right now. Our country is at war right now. “

DM's eyes widened a little at this, “Good to know that he realises this.” While the PM continued to argue with Dr. Rudra who kept shaking his head like a stubborn mule on every argument that PM put forward. Finally he said, “Sir, I don't have the authority to make you do anything. But as your doctor I strongly advise you to get yourselves examined in a hospital. We may not need to operate yet. If everything is right, you can still be in action. The tests wouldn't take longer than five hours.”

Pm looked towards DM with exasperated eyes. “Do you believe him” ?

“There is no harm in getting you examined on ground. I'd rather do it as soon as possible.”

“Ah well. What the hell ! OK doc. Five hours on ground. That's the maximum I'm giving you.”

Doctor smiled slightly, Thank you sir. I'd better control my temper if I were you in this condition.” He gave a slight bow and went out.

DM looked at the departing doctor with arched eyebrows then said, “Looks like we'll have to break up the meeting for a while.” PM started to protest but he went on regardless, “It'll give our guys time to gather more intelligence. Not too bad of an idea after all. What's your opinion General Vaidya ?”

“Agree completely. I'll go and check security arrangements.”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXVII

Previous Part

1815 Hours
1st November 2012
Mirawi, Rajsthan

Mirawi was a small town around 70 km south-west of Bamer and 40 Km from border. Until 2009 it was just an ordinary small town when Indian Army decided to base one regiment of it's latest T-90 Bhishma tanks there. For this purpose army acquired 1100 acres of land and started construction of whole tank related infrastructure there.
With efficiency typical to armed forces, the base was up and fully functional by late March 2010. The base now boasted of one of the largest workshops for tank repair and maintenance in Western command. A part of acquired land served as training ground for the tank crews .Although not as big as Pokhran, it was an ideal place to train the tank crews on desert warfare.

It was not officially stated, that tank regiment formed one of the most vital parts of much discussed Indian Cold Start doctrine. As such no effort was spared in order to keep the base as well supplied as possible. Existing highway was widened to 4 lanes and strengthened and an extra railway line was laid down apart from the existing one .

It's effect on town was largely positive. Within 2 years the town's civilian population had jumped from less than 50000 to 58000 thousand, most of it due to people from surrounding areas moving in to takeadvantage of the money being pumped in to local economy by increased army presence. A lot of these new migrants were civilian contractors, suppliers and labourers who set up their shops there.

Tushar Aggarwal was one of such contractors who had shifted his business from Jaipur to Mirawi. He had realised the significance of army raising a brand new tank base and had opened an office in Mirawi in December 2009 itself, much before other people had the sense to do so. His business flourished due to his early bird advantage and soon his earnings from his new office eclipsed what he had been earning in Jaipur. Assigning one of his employees to take care of his Jaipur office, he moved in to Mirawi along with his family which consisted of his wife of 11 years, Sushmita and their 8 years old son Krishna. They rented a small house with a big yard about a Km from the army base.
His business was growing steadily and family had taken well to the new town. Specially Krishna who had never seen military life from so close. He had been granted admission in the local Army School and had made a lot of new friends. Their class had been taken on tours of the new base and given a ride on one of brand new tanks. Ever since his visit he had been obsessed with tanks and had been begging his father to get him one too. His mother managed to placate him by buying him a toy tank much smaller in size and the one which fired up a small light in it's gun instead of a high explosive shell.

Although not quite as good, he had satisfied himself wih his 'tank' and was playing with it in their yard with some kids from their neighbourhood. His tank had a good aim and had 'destoyed' a car and aLego brick castle of his two playmates. Slightly miffed, both had packed up their own toys and left for the night. He played alone for a while after they left until it started getting too dark. He too picked up his tank and proceeded to go back inside the house when he heard the sound of an army convoy passing on the road. He rushed back to the main gate and peeked outside at the procession of T-90s being transported on their carrier vehicles. He opened the gate and stepped outside, watching excitedly as the massive trucks rolled by one by one in front of his eyes. He waved his hand with much enthusiasm and some of the soldiers smiled and waved back. He kept watching as the last truck drove away from his sight. Smiling contently he put his tank on the ground and started to steer it towards the door of his house.

His attention was diverted by sudden wailing of the air raid siren. He stood up to attention slightly puzzled listening to the oddly discomforting sound. He had heard this sound only once before in the school. The teacher had told them to at once ask the nearest grown up for help and take shelter on hearing this sound. But what could actually go wrong. He was perfectly safe in his own house. His chain of thoughts was interrupted by the band of screen door of their house as his mother rushed out looking for him. Seeing him standing right outside, the troubled expression on her face slightly receded. Standing at the door step, she asked him to come inside the house at once.

Krishna need not to be told twice. He picked up his toy tank and started running towards his mother. All of a sudden, the dusky evening was penetrated by a bright flash of intense light as if another sun had risen up in the sky. He put up his hand to shield his eyes and tried to squint through the gap when he felt an earthquake shaking everything around him. He then felt as if a wall of fire had hit him and he fell down screaming with pain and pure terror. He cried for his mother who unfortunately for both, was in a similar situation and could do nothing to help. Moments later, their burning bodies were crushed under the rubble of their two storied brick house as it collapsed when a tremendous shock wave hit it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXVI

Previous Part

0830 Hours IST
30 October 2010
PPC World News Broadcast

In a surprising development in Pakistan, General Beg a few minutes ago appeared on Pakistan TV and radio claiming that he had quelled the rebellion by some of his subordinates that had threatened to shove his nuclear armed nation in to a bloody and very dangerous civil war. Reading from a prepared statement he said that most of the rebel officers led by General Asgar have either been killed or arrested facing further trial. He assured everybody that things are under his complete control and urged everybody to get on with their lives as usual.

But international observers are far from convinced. Pointing out to the still raging battles inside major Pakistani cities, they say that General Beg's claims of quelling the revolt are far from true. His opponent, General Asgar has powerful allies both within and outside Pakistan and forces loyal to him still control coastal city of Karachi and parts of disputed region of Jammu & Kashmir. Further, many influential Islamist groups based in Pakistan have come out openly in support of General Asgar, mainly to show their disapproval of what they say General Beg's sucking up to USA for money. Two of these groups have taken over the the controls of civil administration in Peshawar, Malakand and Quetta
General Beg not only has to control his nation's armed forces but also these powerful Islamist groups that threaten his grip on power more than anything. These group hold just more than significant influence on Pakistani civilians as well as serving and retired defence personnel. Therefore earning their support is going to be vital if he wants to consolidate his position.
How he manages to gather their support without antagonising his western allies is a matter of debate itself. Regarding this matter, no less importance should be attached to Indian reaction. It becomes still more important right now as it suffered 3 deadly terrorist attacks in a single day killing nearly 300 people, allegedly by Islamic terrorists supported by the very same groups that Beg needs to appease.

This news broadcast is brought to you by PPC International. Please stay tuned for more

Monday, February 7, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXV

Previous Part

0145 Hours
30 October 2012
Pitampura, New Delhi

The white Qualis parked by the road side 3 men alighted. 2 of them were carrying small canvas bags much like the ones favoured by workmen. They were dressed in grey uniforms typical of many construction and utility companies that have sprung up all over the place. Third man was wearing a white shirt and pants and he looked and behaved like their senior. He was carrying nothing apart from a small notebook and a mobile phone. They opened the back of the car and started pulling out a small hoarding advertising a discount sale on Manik Jewellers.

"Hurry up. We have to finish the job before 2:30." The senior looking man barked.

The other two men were probably used to such talk. One of them shrugged but nevertheless both quickened their steps. In two trips they had carried and deposited all their stuff below the metro line passing above the road. It's pillars were nearly 9-10 meters high and constructed right in between the divider of the road. The pillar they were interested in was nearest to the traffic lights that controlled the traffic from 3 roads that converged there. The place had no official name but was informally known as Radio chowk due to the big radio tower nearby. During the day, it was bustling with thousands of people but there was nobody in sight at midnight.

After taking inventory of all the stuff, the man in white shirt let out a satisfied grunt and asked the other two to begin their work. They opened their bags and started taking out their tools. One placed a small folding ladder near the pillar and climbed on it . Taking out a measuring tape and a small piece of chalk he started making marks on the pillar with help of the other 2 men. After the markings were made, he took out a portable drill and started drilling holes in the pillar. He was still in the middle of drilling his second hole when they were interrupted by the irritated voice of a beat constable.

"What the hell you guys are doing ?" Loud voice of the constable so startled him that he almost dropped the drill on the head of his mate standing below. The drill was a comparatively silent type but the sound carried far at that deserted hour. The policeman had walked in completely unnoticed, his footfalls masked by the sound of the drill.

White shirt guy barked at him to stop and strode towards the cop with a big smile pasted on his face. " Good evening sir." We're from NewWays Enterprises." Motioning towards the hoarding he said, We need to put up that hoardings on metro pillars."

"At this time ? Couldn't you do it during day time ?" Cop asked while nudging their wares with his stick.

"We had instructions for night time only. " white shirt replied without allowing any change in his smile,

"Really ? Who gave you these instructions ? "

"uh..our boss did. Mr. Nehra is his name. "

"Do you have permission from government agencies ? You can't put up advertisements on government properties just like that. Where are the official letters ?" he demanded.

"We have that too sir. In the car. I'll show you. " Saying this, he turned and started walking towards the car with cop ambling after him. He opened the car door and rummaged amongst papers littering the dashboard. After making a show of it for some time he emerged triumphantly waving a sheet of paper.

"Here it is. Letter from NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council)."

Policeman took it from him and read through it absently. Handing the paper back, "But this is from NDMC and the pillar you are hanging your stuff belongs to Delhi Metro. You can't do anything without their approval."

"I'm sure Delhi Metro has approved it. Our boss wouldn't have sent us otherwise." white shirt stammered uneasily.

Policeman snapped, "I really don't care about your boss or his instructions.. If you are going to hang this hoarding on that pillar you need.."
Rest of the sentence was left unfinished as the policeman dropped unceremoniously to the ground. One of the 2 uniformed guys had sneaked up behind him and hit him on the head with a hammer. He watched with cold impassive eyes as blood started to spread around the fallen constable's head.

White shirt looked at him with a some surprise but quickly composed himself, "Good work."

2nd uniform had walked in close by then and he too was staring at the blood. In a voice barely audible he asked "Is he dead ?"

White shirt crouched and felt the neck of policeman "I can't find pulse. Must be dead or would die within minutes. Now lets carry this body and dump it in that under construction house over there. It's full of rubble, nobody will find him before morning. Hurry up before anybody sees us."

3 of them quickly lifted limp body of the cop and hid him behind a mound of dirt. All then sprinted to the pillar and resumed their work feverishly. "You two finish drilling the holes. I'll finish connected the electrical stuff by then. Hurry up. We've got to catch the train at 3:00. No time to waste. That moron cop could've messed up everything"

Working quickly they fitted the hoarding and packed up their tools before 2:30. "Everything finished ?" White shirt asked glancing at both men in turn. Both nodded yes. "Let's go then. Change you clothes in the car. Train leaves in half an hour."

Picking up their belongings they quickly threw everything inside the Qualis and drove away towards Old Delhi railway station. They changed in to new clothes while on the road and threw old clothes and their tool bags in an sewage gutter in the way. They parked their car a few 100 meters away from the station and caught the train to Gorakhpur near Nepal border, They were out of New Delhi before 04:00 am.

0715 Hours
30 October 2012
Pitampura Police Station
New Delhi

Head constable Shashi Tamar was warming up his morning cup of tea in an ancient kettle when constable Shubhash came running through the door. "What happened ? Some mad dogs chasing after you ?" A bleary eyed Shashi asked with with mild irritation at being disturbed so rudely.

"Leave all doggy thing aside sir. Take the keys of Gypsy. We have to go to hospital." Subhash answered breathlessly.

Suddenly alarmed at the mention of hospital Shashi asked "Why ? What happened ?"

"Somebody whacked Bhushan last night when he was on duty. Some labourers found him in that under construction building near Radio chowk. Now hurry. It looks serious."

All thoughts of his morning tea and traces of sleep washed away from his head, Shashi jumped to his feet and reached for the keys , "Bh******! Is he alive? "

"Barely. He has a fractured skull and lost too much blood. "

"Ma ** ***** whoever did this! Do you know who did this ?" Shashi asked as he asked another policeman to take his place and started running towards the Gypsy parked outside station.

"How'd I know ? Let's get to hospital first and hope he can answer the questions. " Subhash replied with no less irritation.

Traffic was still very light and they reached hospital within 10 minutes. A familiar hospital orderly met them in the ward and informed that Bhushan had been taken in for surgery. Swearing again Shashi asked, "Did he say anything while he was conscious ? "

"He was unconscious all the time he was here except for 1-2 minutes. I was there then but couldn't make heads or tails of what he was saying."

Shashi snapped, " I don't want YOU to make sense of what he said. Just tell me whatever you could hear."

Slightly taken aback at the outburst orderly looked at the policeman with reproachful eyes before continuing, "Uh..all I could make out was something that sounded like khamba, (pole). He just repeated khamba khamba. Khambe par .. (On pole) "

"What ? A pole fell on him or what ? " Subhash exclaimed.

"No. It can't be a pole. The injury was on side of his head and looked like somebody hit him with some heavy thing. A hammer or a stone maybe." Orderly replied, feeling slightly important.

"Was he robbed ? "

"No. He still had his wallet and mobile phone. "

"Hmm! How long will this surgery take ?"

"I don't know for sure. 35-40 minutes if there are no complications. But you can't talk to him anytime soon. "

Shashi turned towards Subhash, "Inform SHO sahab and come with me to Radio chowk. We might find something or someone useful there."

"Leave him alone here ?" Subhash asked with horrified surprise.

"I'm calling station. They'll send somebody and inform his family." Pointing towards the orderly he continued, "He'll take care of him till anybody arrives. Wouldn't you ?"

Slightly taken off balance orderly replied, "Of course. Of course. That's what I do anyway."

"Good. Come with me right now Subhash. There's no time to waste. "

Leaving the slightly confused orderly behind they ran to their jeep and started driving towards Radio chowk.

Traffic was getting heavy due to morning rush. Even then they managed to travel with a high speed. Soon the radio station, made conspicuous by it's tower was within their sights, although it was still 200 meters away.
"Almost there." Subhash mumbled as Shashi prepared to take a turn towards the road that proceeded to Radio chowk. He was turning the Gypsy when their ear drums were assaulted by the sound of a massive blast. Shashi was so startled that he almost lost control of the vehicle but managed to apply the brakes before anything happened. A column of black smoke arose from the general direction of traffic lights steadily growing in size along with shouts and screams of people.

"What the hell was that ? " Subhash asked in a panicked voice.

"What does it seem to you moron. Some ma******* bomb blast is that what happened ! Call HQ immediately. " Shashi shouted at the constable.

Within moments they reached the sight of the blast and what they saw made them freeze in their strides. The blast was so powerful that more than 2 meters thick pillar for metro line was nothing except for a small smoking stub of concrete poking from the ground. The 2 beams supported by the pillar had collapsed, forming a rough V. The 10000 Volt power lines had also snapped and were hanging precariously just 4 feet off the ground. A jam packed bus had taken the brunt of the blast as it waited adjacent to the pillar for green light. All the windows of bus were broken, it's roof all but torn off and bodies of dead and injured passengers hung limply. A few cars and two-wheelers had also suffered and were on fire.

But the thing that scared the hell out of everybody was not on ground, but above it. A speeding metro train had left the adjacent metro station and was coming right towards the damaged portion. Although it had lost all power due to damage to the power line, it still had sufficient momentum. Driver of the train had applied emergency brakes and sparks were flying off the metallic wheels. Standing on the ground, people could see the confused faces of passengers inside the train through the glass windows.

Shashi knew that the train had no chance of stopping before and wanted to avoid seeing the tragedy as it occurred. In spite of all his best efforts he couldn't tear his eyes off the horror before him. Right before his unwilling eyes, train reached site of the breach well in speed well above 25 kmph and plunged in to the gap. It's first bogey sailed through the gap for a while and hit the collapsed beam face first. That bogey was compressed to less than half of it's original size as rest of the bogeys crushed it from behind. Nobody could hear anything apart from deafening screeching of metal and horrified and painful screams of passengers in the train and the bystanders. But the ordeal was far from over. The train started to list on it's side and inch by inch started to slide towards the ground below. Then all of a sudden something that was holding the train on track gave away and all 4 bogeys fell on road below with a huge crash. A number of already damaged vehicles made immobile after the blast were crushed as the train fell on top of them.

Evening news listed 145 people dead and more than 14 injured, many of them in serious condition.

Condolences and calls for restraint from governments all over the world were still coming in when Mumbai and Hyderabd too were rocked by powerful blasts that killed 109 people combined

Constable Bhushan regained consciousness next morning and easily identified one of the suspects from file photos. The man's name was Mohammed Nazir, a long time member of SIMI. He was last seen at Nepal airport catching a flight to Dubai on a Pakistani passport. There were no leads to other blasts though.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXIV

Previous Part

0900 Hours
29 October 2012
LMU News Broadcast

A bearded news reader was reading the news report, “Already strained relations between India and Pakistan worsened after Pakistani army started unprovoked firing on Indian positions on LoC in J&K yesterday. Additionally, Pakistani soldiers also attempted to wrest control of three Indian posts in Poonch and Kargil. Although they were beaten back with heavy losses, Indian army too suffered some causalities. Although officials declined to specify the exact number, according to sources Pakistan suffered 97 dead or seriously wounded while 17 Indian soldiers lost their lives. These skirmishes between the two nuclear armed neighbours couldn't have happened at a worse time. Pakistan is on verge of breakdown after a senior army general attempted a coup against serving army chief General Beg minutes after he had assumed Presidential powers. This came after a series of bombings all over Pakistan, one of which injured Pakistani President Naqvi and killed his son.

Ruling PPP to which Mr. Naqvi belongs however strongly protested General Beg's attempt to dismiss the civilian government. In a press conference, senior leaders strongly condemned General Beg's actions and vowed to launch a country wide protests against any move to undermine civilian rule. Former Prime Minister Wasim Akhtar, a bitter rival of Mr. Naqvi vowed to support PPP in it's campaign against General Beg, much to surprise of political pundits. Though most people seem to think that he is doing it to avoid anybody linking him to attack on Mr. Naqvi. General Beg on the other hand, has not appeared in public after a near fatal kidnapping attempt. All attempts to contact him have proved futile, although sources close to him assure that he is alive and well.

Governments from all over the world have urged both nuclear armed neighbours to act with restraint but their pleas seem to be falling on deaf ears, at least in Pakistan where nobody is clear about who is calling the shots. There seems to be a power vacuum at the present with too many people fighting amongst themselves to decide who wears the crown. To make matters even worse, various Islamist organisations, many of them linked to Al Qaida and Taliban have taken over control of numerous places including areas near Durand line and even small towns adjoining Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi. An alliance of Baloch nationalist parties and militia has declared a virtual war by laying siege to 2 army bases in Balochistan province and taking more than 900 Pakistani soldiers hostage. Lines outside airports and embassies of western countries like Canada, US are much longer and crowded than usual as more and more people are looking for a visa and the way out of this mess. At such a time these unprovoked attacks on India by Pakistani army seem nothing more than a ploy to distract the attention from real issues plaguing the country.

A press release from Pakistan home ministry however claimed that everything is in control and blamed India for adding oil to the fire of Pakistani troubles by first supporting insurgent movements inside Pakistan and then trying to grab Pakistani territory. Issuing a strong statement Pakistani officials claimed that the Pakistani citizens will defend the sovereignty of their country to the last of their breaths and will not bend over due to external pressure. They also appealed to concerned countries to help Pakistan in it's hour of need.
The release further added that all of Pakistani nuclear weapons and delivery platforms are in safe custody and accounted for. But many analysts fear that jihadis might already have taken control of a few nukes.

Indian defence minister in a press conference held last evening expressed the same apprehension and called for concerned people in Pakistan to find a peaceful way out of their predicament. He claimed that India will offer any amount of help in order to help Pakistan extricate out of this messy situation. He also denied that India was trying to take advantage of turmoil in Pakistan.

Even as we speak scale of firing has come down considerably. But small arms fire is still going on in 2-3 places.
Now we show you a video shot yesterday morning in Uri, Jammu where Pakistani army fired mortar and machine guns on an Indian army team which was trying to repair a breach in the fence. A well known TV journalist was right there shooting a documentary when the firing started. We have obtained the full length tape and will be showing it in entirety.”

He then added with only a slight hint of an ironic smile, “Viewers are warned that this video contains graphic language. Uhh and violence too. Some people might find it disturbing.”

Then they started running uncut video recorded by cameraman Sidhesh last morning at Point 711, Uri. Unlike the edited version shown on UNDE TV, LMU version showed everything starting from Varsha Butt's confused face as first mortar landed to her tantrums when Sub. Gurung was trying to stop her from killing herself. Lakhs of people saw it on TV and many more on YouTube and other online sources.

The bearded news reader thought with a quite smile, “ Say bye bye to your Pulitzer, Ms. Butt. You won't have it in this life at least

Friday, February 4, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXIII

Previous Part

Lying in the bunker, he nodded off listening to sounds of gunfire and explosions outside. He didn't knew how much time had passed since he had passed out. All he knew in his confused and drugged mind was that something had changed. Lying on his back as Hariom had left him, he tried to ascertain what had happened. It was not the pain which was nothing more than a throbbing dull ache that started from his injured shoulder and spread like waves through his body. He tried moving his arm but it was still immobile. He tried to sit up but was overcome by giddiness and immediately dropped back. Cursing the Paki soldier that had shot him he lie still for a moment. Then it hit him.
Firing had stopped !
The loud bangs of grenade explosions and bullets was now replaced by and the sounds of distant men talking amongst themselves. He strained his ears to listen but was unable to hear anything intelligible. What had happened while he had passed out ?
Had Indians beaten off the Paki attack ? If so, why no body had come to check on the injured ? He looked around to take stock of his surroundings. Only source of any light was a battery powered light lying on a box in the distant corner. By it's light he could make up the shapes of other injured soldiers lying besides him. All of them had received painkiller shots and were either unconscious or sleeping. There was nobody else.

What if Pakis had over run the post ? A cold shiver ran through his spine at the thought. That was entirely possible they way they were attacking and would have done so within minutes unless Indian reinforcements arrived. Even without knowing the time, he knew that reinforcements promised by Col. Saha should've been there by the time he was shot. Were they too late coming to aid of their comrades ?

His panicked thoughts were interrupted by sounds of footsteps coming towards the bunker. He propped himself on his uninjured arm and strained his ears to listen. By the sounds, he realised there were 3 men walking on the path outside the bunker and would be inside in a minute. A cold sweat broke over him. What if these men were Paki soldiers intent on killing the wounded ? Or worse capturing and then torturing. Pakis are not exactly famous for humane treatment of prisoners of war. Capture was going to be much worse than death. He tried to raise the soldier lying closest to him, but he had suffered a head wound and a broken arm and was administered a generous morphine shot. He didn't move a bit even when Subhranjan kicked him. By this time, sound of footsteps was even closer.

Swearing under his breath, he abandoned the idea of trying to wake up any other soldier and started looking for a weapon. Using all of his will power he forced himself to get up and walked unsteadily towards the pile of boxes near the light. He still couldn't move his injured right arm and opened the lid with his other hand. Instead of any weapon, the box contained rock climbing gear. Cursing his luck again, he attempted to open other box when somebody turned the door handle. For a moment Subhranjan froze to the spot, remembering that he had forgotten to lock the door from inside. Now nothing could stop them from getting in. In desperation he lunged to the box he had opened previously and grabbed a small rock climbing hammer lying inside and turned off the light plunging the bunker in complete darkness. He felt the hammer in his hands. It was barely 11 inches in length and weighed a kilogram at most. Now the door was opened and Subhranjan stuck himself to the wall besides it as it opened. A streak of light entered the bunker through open door and 3 men entered inside one by one. His heart wildly beating he raised the puny hammer in his left hand and waited. One of the three men lit a torch and started walking towards the injured Indians while the others stood back. Subhranjan slowly walked out from behind the door, his left hand raised and sneaked up to the backs of two men, intending to knock them down with the hammer. There was no way in hell he could be able to take them all but it was much better to die fighting than being captured alive by Pakis. He reached within an arms length of the the two men and steeled himself to strike. Just then, voice of a puzzled Hariom startled him, "Where the hell is Lt. ? I left him right here !."

Waves of relief rolled down Subhranjan's body on hearing the medic's voice. He wanted to shout with joy, but could only manage a stifled croak, “Hariom ! Is that you? You frigging son of a bitch ! “

A startled Hariom moved the flashlight towards source of the voice and nearly screamed when he saw a wild faced Shubhranjan waving the hammer dangerously behind the other two soldiers. To his credit, he controlled himself and said in a comparatively calmer voice, “ Drop the hammer sir. It's us. We've beaten back the Pakis.”

Subhranjan dropped the hammer and promptly plumped down on his ass, “That I've managed to figure out myself.”

“Uh..then why this hammer sir” ? One of the soldiers that had come too close to getting his skull split at the hands of the Lt. Asked with some trepidation.

“Oh, that! I was just playing safe. Just in case.” Subhranjan managed this with a perfectly straight face. “Leave all this. Tell me what happened while I was here.”

“Reinforcements arrived within 5 minutes of me leaving you here. Subedar Major Salathia arrived just in nick of time with 20 men and kicked the hell out of enemy. We had to stop him from chasing fleeing Pakis down the mountain. You should've seen it from your own eyes. It was a sight to remember.” Hariom flashed one of his very rare grins.

“Where is he now ?”

“He is still outside, standing guard along with rest of men against a possible counter-attack. But I doubt it'll happen any time soon. Pakis have suffered too many causalities to mount another attack.”

“Did we lose any more of our men ?” Subhranjan asked with some disquiet.

“Thankfully no. Five more soldiers did suffer shrapnel and bullet wounds but none of them serious. Just the same, a Dhruv will arrive at dawn to evacuate the wounded and the dead. Additionally an UAV will be in air within 20 minutes. You can rest easy now.”

Subhranjan let out a sigh of relief and relaxed. Suddenly he started feeling too tired to even sit up and he lay down on his back thanking his stars.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXII

Previous Part

A group of Paki soldiers escaped the notice of Indian defenders and snuck up through the middle face of the peak.Although one of the machine gun positions on the northern side saw them, they managed to scramble out of it's arc of fire without taking any causality. A 2 man team broke out from the group and started crawling towards the machine gun bunker from it's flank, intending to destroy it using grenades. Subhranjan saw one of them when he stood up and tried to throw a grenade. He at once shot the Paki who collapsed after getting hit by a 3 round burst. His companion however managed to throw a grenade towards Subhranjan before being shot himself. It landed just 2 feet from the trench where Subhranjan was and exploded before he could duck completely. Shrapnel from the grenade injured right side of his face and shoulder and the blast nearly deafened him. He collapsed on floor of the trench dazed, bleeding and and ears ringing. HariOm was on his side in an instant and started dressing his wounds.

“You have a nasty wound on your cheek. It'll need stitches.” He had to shout to make himself heard over the din of gunfire.

“That can wait.” Subhranjan managed to mumble but not without wincing in pain. “Where is my gun? “

Hariom was surprised, “Uh what? You are in no condition to fight. You need to get out of here.”

“Unfortunately these damned Pakis wouldn't let me. Will do anything you say once I see off these uninvited guests.”

He gingerly touched side of his face and winced with pain again when tried to lift his gun. Hariom looked on with concern, “Do you want a painkiller injection ?”

“Thanks, but I'll pass. Now go take care of other wounded.” Subhranjan replied as he tried to take stock of the situation again.

The Paki group that had manged to sneak in through the middle had taken cover behind a group of large rocks. One of the soldiers had an Under barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) on his AK-56 and was trying to fire on the machine gun bunker closest to him. Although the bunker had taken a direct hit, soldiers inside it had been unharmed. But their luck wouldn't hold on in case of another hit. Now, they were trying their best to keep that Paki from firing his UBGL again. Subhranjan realised what was going on and ordered one of his riflemen to move in closer to him. He saw the machine gun firing on the rocks behind which Pakis were hiding. After a few seconds machine gun had to stop firing for a magazine change. Pakis were waiting for just this kind break. As soon as the gun stopped firing, the Paki with UBGL popped out and tried to fire. But he had neglected to watch out for enemy outside the bunkers and paid the price with his life as soldier with Subhranjan shot his head off.

But their relief was short lived as another Paki soldier picked up that UBGL and managed to fire off one grenade on the bunker before being shot dead. Although the concrete bunker was too strong to be destroyed, it was damaged partially causing a blind spot in it's arc of fire. Surviving Paki soldiers took advantage and charged towards Indian positions on it's side that happened to be right where Subhranjan was. They charged towards the Indian trenches lobbing grenades and yelling loudly. This attracted attention of rest of the Indian riflemen who at once directed their fire towards the advancing group. In spite of the rain of bullets, two Paki soldiers managed to reach right up to the edge of trenches before being shot dead.

By this time another group of 9 Paki soldiers from the northern side had managed to avoid the bullets of Indian defenders and had take cover right where the earlier group had. Much to the surprise of Indians, this group too broke cover and started another charge at the Indian position. Even with the hail of bullets being fired on them, 3 of the charging Pakis survived and jumped in to the trench trying to engage the defenders in hand to hand fight inside. Two of them died without making any mark but one managed to fire off a burst from his AK-56 before being shot dead. One of the bullets hit Subhranjan in the right shoulder. He lost hold of the rifle and fell down writhing in pain. One Indian soldier immediately moved closer to him and put a bandage on his wound trying to stop the blood loss. Somebody had shouted for the medic and Hariom was there within moments. He took out a quick clot kit from his bag and poured the granular powder on the wound. Much to everybody's relief bleeding stopped within seconds and Hariom covered the wound with a bandage. Along with another soldier he started moving an almost unconscious Subhranjan to comparative safety of a bunker in the back.

As they gently set him down in the bunker along with other seriously wounded, Subhranjan regained consciousness and attempted to get up. Hariom stopped him and gently shook his head.
“What happened to you ? You're covered with blood !” Subhranjan exclaimed on seeing him.

“Well, it's not mine.” Hariom replied, trying to avoid looking him in the eyes.

“What ?”

“We lost 2 more men in last ten minutes. It's their blood.”

“Bloody hell! These mad Pakis will pay for this.” Subhranjan shouted with rage and tried to get up. But he stumbled and would have assuredly fallen on his face if Hariom had not caught him.

“ Do you want to kill yourself ? That bullet has shattered your collar bone and probably nicked a major artery. I've given you a painkiller, that's why you can't feel the pain. And after that shot, you're in no condition to fire a gun either.“ Hariom shouted sternly.

Feeling weak and delirious due to blood loss Subhranjan could do nothing but to let Hariom set him down. “But my men need me there” He whispered weakly.

“Sure they do, but they need you alive. You can go out to fight as soon as I feel you can. Till then, please lie down and try not to kill yourself. For your soldiers sake if not your own. Now, I have to go outside and see if anybody else needs my assistance. Don't move till I come back.” With this Hariom gathered up his medical kit and ran out of bunker towards the fighting line, leaving Subhranjan lying on his back with three other wounded men besides him.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

War Scenario. Part XXI

Part XX

Subhranjan took the radio again and inquired about ammunition status. As he had guessed, there were only 2 mortar rounds left. He ordered all except one mortar crew to abandon their positions and take up defensive positions with rifles around the perimeter.

“What are we going to do sir ?” Joginder asked tentatively. He was impressed by the intelligence and bravery shown by the young, inexperienced Lt and his respect for him had grown manifold in the last hour.

“Well, we wait here as long it's needed.” Subhranjan replied scanning the slope in front of him.
“I wonder how long that'll be.” Joginder thought to himself but kept quiet.

As if guessing his question, Subhranjan added, “As soon as our reinforcements arrive or it becomes too dangerous for us to stay here.”

Lying prone on their stomachs, they waited for enemy to come again. By this time, artillery fire from Paki side had reduced considerably. Indian counter-artillery fire had crippled many of their guns and the surviving guns had to be moved around to prevent them from meeting the same fate. Still an odd shell continued to streak in, but without much accuracy.

Both men waiting on the slope prayed to be spared of a lucky strike. They were both lying almost in open with little to protect them if a shell landed anywhere near them. So far they had been lucky. They had been waiting for 20 minutes when Joginder thought that he saw some movement. He zoomed in as much as the sights allowed and sure enough there was a large formation of Paki soldiers moving towards their position. They had learnt from their mistakes and were spread over a large distance. He cursed them under his breath and handed over the night vision goggles to Subhranjan.
Although the enemy was out of range of Indian mortars, they could still be targeted by 155mm guns. He contacted Base 1 and asked for artillery fire. He knew he had to use up as much as support as possible before Paki soldiers came too close to be targeted by the big guns. Artillery crew took 2 minutes to adjust their targets and fired air-burst shells over coordinates provided by Subhranjan. Instead of taking cover or retreating, paki soldiers this time ran towards source of fire.
"I guess they know for sure that our big guns can't fire if they come closer." Joginder remarked .

"Yes. I hope that our artillery takes out most of them before they pass that point."

"Me too. Though fat chance of that happening"

Although they took some causalities, Paki soldiers sprinted fast enough to pass the kill zone with 5 minutes. Now defence of peak lay solely on shoulders of Indians manning the peak.

"What now sir ? Mortars ?" Joginder asked in a worried voice as he observed Pakis running up the slope from both faces. This time they were using cover much more effectively, dodging and sprinting between rocks and ledges making them a difficult target

"We don't have any other option left. I'll direct those last mortars on Pakis coming from east. Take positions towards towards left of this group and pick off as many of them as you can with your rifle. I'll do the same from here. Retreat to our post if they come too close or if they have a fix on your position."

“What about the other group on the north ?”

“I guess we'll have to deal with them later. Now hurry.”

Joginder nodded and crawled towards the place pointed out by Subhranjan. He took cover behind a group of rocks and waited. Subhranjan ordered his mortar crew to standby and be ready to fire on his mark. He too took up a firing position and waited till the Paki group came right where he wanted. When they reached there, he carefully took aim and fired. Although he missed hitting anyone, sound of the shot caused everyone in the group to duck and take cover. As soon as it happened he ordered his mortar crew to fire off last of their mortars which they did with deadly accuracy. Even with most of them hiding behind rocks and ledges, 2 high explosive mortar rounds killed 2 and injured another 3. Realising their folly, Pakis immediately got up and resumed their ascent again. Both Subharanjan and Joginder opened fire as soon as they got up causing much confusion in Paki ranks. At first no one realised where the fire was coming from and they started firing blindly but they soon got a fix on the position and started to return fire. But it was not before before they had lost another 3 men. At this time, Joginder noted another group of Paki soldiers moving coming towards their direction and he relayed the information to Subhranjan.

Both men stopped firing and started running back towards the relative safety of their post followed by Paki invaders almost snapping at their heels. They took cover inside a trench lined by sandbags and started updating rest of the defenders with whatever intelligence they had gathered about the attackers. Subhranjan ordered every man to take good cover and put his eyes on the gun sights. Nobody was to fire until the enemy was well within the range and devoid of any benefit of cover. Indian soldiers checked their weapons for one last time and braced for the attack.

Machine gun post on the east was first one to report a visual on approaching Pakis, but they were still too far to be targeted accurately. Just a minute later, another soldier who had taken cover besides the damaged bunker in north reported visual contact on his side. Pakistanis were trying to sneak up by hiding their approach with smoke grenades and were almost successful except for the fact that there were fair number of night vision devices with the defenders. Another proof of how close the enemy was came when one of the Paki soldiers fired a rifle grenade in general direction of the Indian post. The projectile fell well short of Indian position and exploded harmlessly. Although jittery and highly strung, Indian soldiers kept their nerve and held fire.

“Sneaky bas***** want a fix on our positions and arc of fire before committing to an attack. Pretty clever for a bunch of Pakis.” Joginder instructed rest of soldiers through the comm radio, “let them come closer. Hit them with all you've got when you can see their eyes. Don't Pakis bringing up the rear escape either.”

Another rifle grenade was fired which again failed to reach anywhere near the post. “Steady. Steady. Don't let these monkeys bother you like that.” he hissed again, waiting for Pakis to come closer. Fingers on triggers twitched nervously as the soldiers on both sides waited. Indian defenders had the advantage of higher positions and better cover while Pakistanis had numerical superiority. Both sides were trying to make the best of what they had and neither wanted to reveal it's cards too early. For Pakis, firing rifle grenades was a way to get a fix on Indian positions and once found then find a path to either bypass those positions or to neutralise them. But Indians had refused to oblige and now Pakistanis had no choice except an all out frontal attack.Causalities will be high but that was unavoidable anyway.

Indians defenders watched nervously as attackers rapidly started converging within their sights. Though owing to distance and low light they were nothing more than dark ghost like figures approaching silently. Within minutes they had moved in so close that their eyeballs would've been visible if there was light. Subhranjan decided it was time and he ordered his men to open fire. Within a moment the almost silent peak was covered with flashes and explosions of the gun fire. Pakistani soldiers in the lead had no chance to either duck or take cover and were cut down without even firing a single shot. Survivors immediately dropped to the ground and started firing back. Quite a lot of them who had neglected to take cover behind a rock or ledge were killed in the next volley. Even those defenders without night vision devices had no difficulty in getting a fix on position of the attackers due to their muzzle flashes and they were showing no mercy. They were firing on exposed attackers and lobbing grenades on those who had taken cover. But there were too many Pakis and too large an area for handful of defenders to cover.Even as the defenders concentrated on the east and northern ingress routes, a party of attackers started advancing through the middle.

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