Once a sniper, always a sniper-Part-IThe hard labour of three long years has borne fruit. The rifle is ready. He looked at it with satisfaction. He congratulated himself. No, it is not as sleek as the Dragonov 7.62 mm which he used during his service days. It is little bit heavier. The muzzle velocity is less. The effective range is around 3000 meters, much less than the Dragonov's effective range of 3800 meters. But under the given circumstances it is the best.
He is exhilarated. He has gone back to his Army days. He was called the master sniper in the entire Battalion-which was no less achievement. Every company of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) has at least one sniper and those snipers are the best in the country, and he was the best among all snipers in RR. During the late nineties and early 2000s, he took part in all major operations in J&K, and came out successfully in every operation. He brought laurels for himself and for his company. Even his last operation was a grand success. But while returning from the successful operation, he lost his left leg because of a mine blast. He was downgraded and offered a permanent peace posting, but the proud Khasi in him refused. He wanted to spend his entire fighting life with his friends in RR, but that couldn't be. So, he humbly refused the offer of 'peace posting', submitted his retirement papers and returned to his native village near Dawki.
But the sniper in him remained.
(....To be continued at Once a sniper, always a sniper-Part-II)