Once a sniper, always a sniper-Part-V(Continued from Once a sniper, always a sniper-Part-IV)
The sun is setting behind the hill. The visibility will become poor very soon. The Hunter quickly reviews the situation. All the terrorists except the two scouts have returned to the Bangladesh side. The two scouts are now climbing very quickly. He readies himself for the confrontation.
Behind the cover, he adjusts the angle carefully and fires. But this time, his shot is wide off the mark. One bullet lost! He understands with horror that at a close range, his rifle is not functioning. Not only that, these two terrorists have got a good idea of his position. They start firing-and it is concentrated fire, unlike the earlier firing in general direction.
He adjusts the scope of his rifle hurriedly and again fires. This time it is relatively more accurate and hits the shoulder of one of the terrorists. Firing gets more intensified. With difficulty because of his wooden leg, he starts crawling to change his position, which is now known to the terrorists. But he can't escape the keen eyes of the terrorists. He is hit by a bullet. He feels an intense pain in his left hand.
Somehow, the Hunter reaches behind another tree. Despite pain, he calmly reviews his situation. He has only one bullet left, but his rifle is not accurate in close quarters. Two terrorists (one injured) are pursuing him. Both of them are armed with AK-47. He himself is injured. He can't use the rifle anymore. He brings out his commando knife and readies himself for the final assault.
Deputy Commandant Reddy of BSF comes out hurriedly from his office. He has distinctly heard the sound of gunfire. During the short-term course of jungle warfare in the Army Jungle Warfare school at Vairengte in Mizoram, he has learnt to pinpoint the direction of firing hearing the sound. He quickly assembles his QRT. In less than five minutes, the Maruti Gypsy (spelling corrected) starts moving with six members of BSF QRT.
The Gypsy (spelling corrected) stops below the hill. Reddy and other members of his team get down. In a few seconds, they trace the motorbike hidden behind a bush. They can observe the dead bodies of two donkeys in Umngot river. They start climbing the hill in three pairs as per the SOP.
Reddy's 'buddy', Bidhan Chandra Ghosh notices the man. He has been firing at a tree. He has been firing short bursts in semi-automatic mode from his AK-47. Bidhan silently seeks permission from Reddy and he readily agrees. BSF sharp-shooter Bidhan doesn't hesitate for a second. He takes out his revolver and fires at the terrorist. His body slumps to the ground. Another terrorist comes out and lifts his AK-47 with difficulty (he has an injury) directing at Bidhan. Reddy pulls the trigger of his revolver. The second terrorist also kisses the ground for the last time.
Deputy Commandant Reddy and his buddy Bidhan Chandra Ghosh are astonished when they find an injured man with a wooden leg and a commando knife in his right hand comes out behind a tree. With difficulty, he reaches near the two BSF officers and hands over his identity card. Then he falls down, senseless. Reddy asks the other members of the QRT to bring a stretcher quickly.
(Seven days later: In a Hospital at Shillong)
Deputy Commandant Reddy enters the small cabin. The man is sitting upright. His left hand is bandaged but there is no sign of weakness in the middle-aged Khasi man with one wooden leg. Reddy pulls out a letter carefully and hands over to the man. Director General of BSF expresses his gratitude to Rifleman Tashi Diengdoh (Retd.) for single-handedly stopping a group of arms-smugglers. His name is being recommended for a bravery award. In the last para of the letter, the Director-General offers a contractual position to Rifleman Tashi to train sniping to the BSF personnel posted at Meghalaya. The rifle and ammunition would be provided by the BSF.
Rifleman Tashi Diengdoh, nicknamed 'Hunter', smiles after reading the letter. He is again going to handle his trusted Dragonov.