It was hardly 6 AM, when I got a call from my office. I can’t say that this is the first time, I got disturbed. Actually it is part of my job, disturbance when I am still in hangover. But that day 15th October 2010, will remain forever in my mind, you will understand it too till you finish this story. I was told to report to my office immediately. I got up and rushed to my office. As I entered the office all members were tensed and were murmuring something horrible. I quickly went to the “Monitor Room” where all operations are discussed. Our Director Mr. M. Agrawal quickly briefed the situation to us all. I was shocked to know that the Indian Airline Boeing 787 Flight crashed just after leaving Mumbai Airport. They were suspecting for Al Queda or any other terrorist group. It was high profile case so only few were called to discuss about the situation. I have spent 15 years in RAW but such case like plane blast never happened in my life. Yes, after 9/11 and 13/12 we have increased our security at Airport. So how did it happen?
Soon Mr. M pointed to me and said, “Hey! Agent D, go and solve it”. I stood up and roared,” Yes sir, I will find out who ever is behind this incident.” A sand glass timer was there on his table mocking me that it’s time for you to run. Who the hell uses such antics in 21st century’s, I thought. I took my gun, some important files and got into my car. This was my 45th task and 30th in which an international terrorist group was suspected to involve.
Soon after half an hour drive I reached the location. Police and security forces were all around. Media persons and people were gathering and trying to show their sympathy to the dead passengers. I was received by my field officer Agent R. He briefed me that the incident took place at sharply 5:34 AM and all the parts are scattered around. I found that there was an old well perhaps 100 years old, whose lid, people use lid to cover a well, was damaged. Perhaps a big piece fell into the well cracking the lid. So I asked Agent R to bring a ladder. I slowly go down into the well. It was fully dark and was totally dry. I torched my lighter and went down. I saw that a piece of plane was there. I took it and came out. It was the Black Box which keeps all the data and information about the plane. I sent the piece to the laboratory.
Before analyzing the things, I asked the Airline department to send me all the details about the schedule and passengers. Time was running but we have not got any clue. Not a single terrorist group took the credit. RAW contacted CIA and other European Agencies but found nothing. We were on our own and the case was high profile, so the pressure was immense. I was observing the clues, the related incidents. 2 weeks passed, we have not found a single clue.
We traced phone calls and people also but found nothing. Sometimes we had to hear some bullshit during interrogation and tracing some calls, like it’s the sign of the ending of the world (some old sadist), some mechanic working on maintenance of plane at Garage saying his relative, “Haa ! Sare planes petrol se hi udate hay,tabhi aisa hota hai , Agar mera bus chale to sabko pani se uda du”. (Ya ! of course all planes use Petrol as their fuel. If I get a chance I would run all these with water and there will be no such incidents). Here we got 2nd Abdul Kalam, who will run aero plane with water, thanks almighty God for solving our power crisis.
The only hope was Black Box as you all know it is used to store information of planes and in most of the cases solves the case. It was 1st November; I got a call from the lab and asked to reach there. I rushed to the lab which was situated outside the city. Doctor, who was analyzing the Black Box gave me the result and said “We have not enough resources to test it further. We are suspecting that the battery might have stopped to work but for confirmation we need to consult Japanese because they are good in this technology”. I assured him and called my Director to book 2 tickets to Tokyo.
We directly went to Japanese Institute of Turbo Engine and Technology. We met Dr. P Sarkar, who was an Indian and a good friend to me. I briefed the situation and told him to give me the result ASAP.
We spent 10 days over there. Finally the report was clear that due to battery, the engine got fired and it was the cause of the plane crash. I submitted the report to the Director with all clues. He was happy that finally such high profile case is solved. But I was not happy don’t know why. Deep inside my heart, I was blaming myself for not finding the real truth.
Boeing 787 was new to Indian Airlines, hardly 3 months old. It is the most luxury plane in the world. How the hell battery stopped .I closed my eyes and thought about all the interrogations serially then one thing strike me again time is running out , that clock again frightened me but perhaps gave me a ray of hope. The mystery was behind reach. Truth may be different. What we are seeing is just the result. Due to battery failure the plane crashed. But is there someone who is behind that crash?
I called my assistant and asked him to bring all the details about the plane. How it was built and how it operates. I called a friend who was expert in Aerodynamics. She told me that, “The engine of any plane is so sophisticated that it is kept as below as we can but the battery is kept outside so that we can replace it easily. A battery might not work properly if it gets wet or someone keeps some kind of hot thing near to the battery”.
A shock wave ran into my body. I picked up my gun and rushed to my car. I drove to hanger, where planes are used to keep. It was raining heavily. I stopped my car and moved slowly with full alert. My body was totally wet and I have not got any bullet proof jacket. But I was ready to face any situation. It was the first lesson I learnt after coming to this field, “Work under stress”.
I found that the man talking at the phone about making a plane running with water was busy with some kind of weird job .As per the information; he was an introvert and was nearing his retirement age. He was trying to make some kind of liquid looking like petrol. His own drawer was full of such bottles. Actually he was trying to blow the plane instead of flying it without knowing it. We did not notice his language because in Hindi, ‘Udana’ means both the things (blow off or fly). I shot his leg without any delay and got control over him. Soon the commando forces reached there and grabbed him.
He accepted what he did. He accepted that he had damaged 5 batteries from 5 different planes in last one month just by putting watery petrol in the engine. Earlier 4 planes were lucky because they flew and motivated him more to use such liquid. Sadly this Boeing was unlucky, even after damage it flew but could not return to land.
The person was some sort of psycho or you can say mental as the news reports said. But as per me he was just racing with time and fulfilling his dreams coming from his sad introvert lonely life. He was trying to full the fuel tank with watery oil, just trying to check does the plane actually run with water or not. The pilot thought that tank was full and started the jet. But it was water inside the tank with little amount of oil. Slowly water reached into the battery and engine which caused the deadly accident.
Now I was happy that I had solved my 45th case. Soon I got another assignment. Case: A high profile murder of an RAW agent in Russia. It is top secrete so can’t disclose. I will tell you after I finish the job.
RAW Agent D.
Note: This is totally a fiction. It has not any relation with any sort of original story.
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Story By: Deepesh Singh & Ravi Shankar
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