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

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.

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

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.