Suspense Short Story – THE RAID ON WANGELE MANSION
All Characters’ names, place names and incidents mentioned are purely fictional. Any similarities that exist and are mentioned in the story are purely coincidential and unintentional.
Suvankar Roy, who was about four years younger than Sonal Punjabi was very fond of her ever she had moved to the same neighbourhood where he was staying on the outskirts of Kanpur. He was only fourteen years old then.
Four years had passed and Sonal got married to Sunil Shahani who was working in a Shipping Company in Rome. She now lived with Sunil in Rome and was back in India for her holiday visiting her parents.
Suvankar had joined the Indian Army and soon rose to the rank of lieutenant.
He was selected for Commando training and learnt many valuable skills . Very soon a handful of young men were assigned to be trained by Suvankar.
They were Shankar Ghose or “Shanky”, Gurmeet Singh the Sikh, Lakshman Narayan or “Lance”and Lakhi Mansukhani or “Lucky Duck”and Anup Chopra or“Andy.”
Sonal’s father was one of the best criminal lawyers in India. The case he was handling at that time was of Hemant Pandey, who was caught smuggling drugs from Amsterdam in a cargo ship. One of the disgruntled members of the Cartel, who felt he was let down, reported the matter to the Dutch Police, who in turn informed Interpol . Hemant’s brother Gaurav was still at large. The police just could not find him.
Gaurav had his own body guards. There was Mohan Khilnani , stout, fair and balding at thirty-three years of age. Then there was Yadav Bhargava, tall dark and handsome with strait hair on which he applied gel to give it a shiny look. He had a ponytail. Then there was Balakrishnan who was thirty-eight years old
He was a fat happy man who loved food. Finally, there was Sandeep. Misra,
Also known as the kid as he was only twenty-one years old. He was trigger Happy.
Sonal and her mother had been abducted by Gaurav’s men while shopping.The idea was to get Sonal’s father to call off the court case against him.
However, what Gaurav did not know was that secretly Hemant was told that he would be given a reduced sentence if he co-operated and gave the location of the cartel’s hide-out and operations and planning centre. Gaurav’s plan was to transport Sonal and her mother to a field near his hide-out where a private plane would be waiting to pick him and his men up and fly them toKathmanduand to release Sonal and her mother once Sonal’s father dropped the charges against Hemant.
It took less than a month to convince Hemant to co-operate with the police. He was so angry about being betrayed by the member of the Cartel that he realized his “career” was over. He, however, was loyal to his brother Gaurav and never mentioned his name as one of the Cartel members. It was during the fourth interrogation that he described to the police the bungalow which had served as a model for potential buyers to see and why he suspected that to be Gaurav’s hide-out and which was bought by Gaurav because the other bungalows were still under construction and Gaurav needed privacy.
The house where Gaurav and his men held Sonal, her mother and the bodyguard hostage was in a very serene location.It was called Wangale Mansion.The road where it stood was Wangale road.
It was parallel to the National highway and joined to it by a narrow road about thirty feet in length. In other words from the air it formed an “H”shape with the National Highway. On either side of the adjoining road that linked it with the Highway, there was a fenced off wooded area which made it impossible for one to see the row of houses from the Highway and vice versa.
On the other side of the house was an escarpment to the North end and to the immediate East end was just plain flat cleared land which ran for about a hundred yards before another wooded area began. Parallel to that flat cleared area called “No man’s land”, was a dirt road, which joined the road where Gaurav’s hideout was.
Inside the house you entered into a hall. On the left or North end was a kitchen, and almost opposite there was a door which led to a basement. On the right side of the hall or South side was a door which led to a Master bedroom with attached bathroom. Directly in front of you as you stood in the doorway inside the hall was a spiral staircase that led to the first floor.
In the house while Sonal , her mother and driver were still unconscious, Gaurav’s gang tied them up. They also put duct tape over their mouths but once they were in the basement, they removed the duct tape. So, before Sonal and the others could revive from the effect of the drugs, the terrorists hurriedly got out of the basement and locked the door, and one of them kept the key in his pocket.Hemant had been to the house were Sonal and her mother wereheld and had informed the police about it.
The police Commisioner, a good friend of Sonal’s father and realizing this was a rescue mission too risky for the police, contacted his friend in the Indian Army base nearby. When Suvankar learnt about the situation, he immediately volunteered for the mission .The commandos were trained under Suvankar .
Back at Wangale mansion, where Sonal and her mother were held,one of Gaurav’s men, Mohan Khilnani was appointed as the watchdog or “chowkidar” to sit outside the gate and report anything suspicious by his mobile phone.
At Gaurav’s hideout the lights went off. Even the fans and airconditioning stopped working. One of the terrorists went down to the mains but nothing could restore power to the house. There was no need for a generator at that point of time although Gaurav had been thinking about getting one for quite some time. There was only one thing to do. Call the electric company which he did. They replied, saying they would send two technicians over.
After about twenty minutes the two technicians arrived in dark blue worksuits. They were “Gurmeet” and “Lance”. They went to the box outside the gate of the house.
Mohan was standing next to him with a concealed gun.
“What’s the problem and how long is this going to take?” he asked.
“About ten minutes sir. One of your wires needs to be replaced.”
Mohan said “Very well,” .
Surely enough ten minutes later the “electricians” sent an SMS and the power went on. As he closed the door of the box he shouted
“What’s the problem?” asked Mohan
“He’s hurt himself with this sharp object. This is what has damaged the wire. He’ll need medical assistance immediately.”
“Gurmeet” had secretly planted the object after deliberately grazing himself with the object just below the armpit.
Mohan picked up the intercom and called the house and was told after a brief pause,
“Very well. Bring him into the house.”
Inside a room, somewhere not very far from Gaurav’s hideout, the conversation was being overheard on a radio and recorded on a Tape recorder. On the TV screen the video of what was taking place was playing on the screen. Hemant said, “Yes. Those are the men.You have the right house.”
“Come on.” said Suvankar. He and his men left the room.
The doorbell rang and Bala answered it. It was Gurmeet. He was stooping and “Lance” had his arm around him.
Inside the house, before answering the door Yadav moved his back to the wall and held his sub-machine gun vertically in front of him, as if preparing for an assault and ready to fire at any moment.
“Sir. There’s been an accident….”
“Come in. I know what happened.” They came in and Yadav leaned against the wall put down his weapon.
“Good. Here. Put your colleague on this sofa.” Let me get him some water. I’ll call an ambulance. But first I have to inform the electric company.”
It was very important that neither Bala nor Yadav would see neither the concealed miniature video camera Gurmeet had in his pocket nor the packet of red paint strung under his armpit to fake blood.
The ambulance approached and Mohan opened the gate. The ambulance entered the driveway and the rear doors opened.Out came three medics,
“Shanky” and “Lucky Duck” and Suvankar. Two carried a stretcher. . As they entered the house, they saw the ‘Electrician” lying on the couch.
It’s time you went back to your Electric Company,” Yadav told “Lance”. The medics are here so there’s nothing more you can do.”
As he started to proceed, “Lucky Duck’ after bandaging the electrician reached into his small bag and pulled out a gun which had a silencer and shot Yadav at his shoulder joint. At the same instance Gurmeet had already pulled out his weapon and shot Bala in the hip. He fell down.
Both Yadav and Bala were then disarmed. In the meantime , outside, Mohan saw a lone bicyclist approaching.
“Hey! What are you doing here?” he shouted.”This is private property.”
From far which was about forty feet away, Mohan could not see the hole in the pouch which was behind the centre of the cycle handlebar. “Andy” turned the handlebar pointing it towards Mohan so that the cycle was coming straight towards him at great speed. Mohan reached for his weapon . But “Andy” had already fired his weapon and the bullet hit Mohan straight in the middle of the forehead. He died instantly.
“Andy” then parked his cycle a little away from the gate and opened it and entered . He had removed the gun with silencer from the pouch and rang the doorbell.
As planned previously, no one answered it. From upstairs Misra got irritated.”Why doesn’t someone answer the doorbell?”
“ Bala. Yadav.Are you there?”
He cocked his AK-47. He started down the spiral staircase and just as he saw both the men on the floor he backed up the stairs. Just then, below him at the bottom of the stairs from both the left and the right the Suvankar and “Shanky” appeared with guns pointing at him.
Misra fired at one of them but missed narrowly as the other “medic” fired at him and hit him directly in the centre of the chest. He fell back on the stairs.
Suvankar rushed upstairs and the Gurmeet and “Shanky” went to the basement door. It was locked. He went through the pockets of both Bala and Yadav and tried all the keys till finally the door opened.
There was no one guarding the hostages.
The sound of an ambulance could be heard approaching the house and “Andy” went to open the gate and the ambulance entered the compound. Immediately the ambulance doors at the back opened and four medics rushed out, two carrying a stretcher and the other two an oxygen tank and breathing apparatus equipment.
They rushed in to treat the hostages and the terrorists. While the sounds of two more ambulances and some police vans could be heard, there was the sound of three helicopters landing in the no man’s land area on the east side.
One by one they were escorted out of the house and when Sonal was escorted, Suvankar ‘s face was red with emotion. Very soon a hand was on his right shoulder.
It was “Shanky’s”. He came forward “Come on. It’s all over. Let’s go!”
Suvankar slowly moved forward the emotion still on his face. This girl Sonal could have died!