A possible/impossible story!At last the dreaded call came. The ATC of Amritsar airport was in full alert. Yes, the hijackers were calling. Their main demand was to release their three infamous compatriots imprisoned in Jammu jail. The subsidiary demands included safe passage from Kandahar to Peshawar in Pakistan and ransom of a billion US Dollars. The Indian Government was given a time-frame to decide. Col. Ranbir Singh was present at the ATC. He attended the call.
He banged down the phone. The lives of eighty-one Indian passengers and the crew and pilots of the hijacked Air India plane were at stake. Col. Singh immediately called his superiors in Army HQ. In no time the news spread like wild-fire. The hijackers had demanded release of three dreaded terrorists imprisoned in Indian jail (whom the Army captured after lot of planning and effort), ransom and safe passage. Television channel anchors started shouting. Experts started giving their comments. The meeting of Cabinet committee on Security commenced within two hours. The relatives of the passengers of the ill-fated plane were tensed and waited anxiously all over the country.
In an obscure corner of the Army Headquarters, a Brigadier was watching the television. The Brigadier was on the verge of retirement. He was not a member of any of the three main wings of the Army i.e., infantry, artillery or armoured regiment. He belonged to Army Medical Corps with specialisation in an area which was never discussed openly.
Tension was running high. The Brigadier was biting his nails while watching the news and endless panel discussions. Suddenly his phone rang. When he lifted the receiver, he heard a young voice calling him, "Sir, the Chief wants to meet you immediately." The Brigadier was astonished but nevertheless he went to the Office of Chief of Army Staff.
He was ushered to the chamber of the Chief. 'The Old Man' was eagerly waiting for him. The Brigadier saluted. The Chief asked him to sit down. He started: "Unfortunately the Government has decided to fulfil all the demands of the terrorists. But I will make a last try. Commando operation at Kandahar is not possible under the present circumstances. So I am planning to take the second option; so I have directly called you." For the next one hour, the Brigadier took instructions from the Chief and returned to his office. He then proceeded to a secret medical laboratory at an undisclosed location.
Next morning, the entire India was tensed. Decision of the Government was known to everybody. The hawks were shouting. The doves were silent. The sympathisers of the terrorists and hijackers were in silent jubilation mode. The Brigadier had been working in the lab the entire night. A call came in the Lab. Yes, the Chief was calling. The Chief simply said:"The PM has agreed. Let 's do it."
Ultimately an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane started its journey towards Kandahar with the three dreaded terrorists earlier imprisoned in Indian prison. All of them were sleeping. When asked by the reporters, someone clarified that they were given sedative injections to prevent them from committing further mischief. The ransom money was ready. Senior Army and Air Force officers including the abnormally silent Brigadier were also in the plane.
The IAF plane landed at Kandahar airport after two and a half hour. The fugitives were exchanged. The ransom was paid. The hijacked plane with passengers and crew and the IAF plane returned safely to India.
The three terrorists also returned safely to Pakistan. After five days they started vomiting. When their condition worsened, they were taken to a Pakistani Military Hospital. They started vomiting blood. Condition further worsened. Pakistani Army doctors ultimately diagnosed severe radiation symptoms in their body.
The three terrorists commenced their journey to hell. The Polonium-210 (Po-210) injection administered by the Indian Brigadier had successfully done the job.
P.S.: This is only a story originated from the fertile brain of Partha Kansabanik.