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Punyasloke Bose



Punyasloke Bose


The Gangasagar Adventure

The Gangasagar Adventure

7 mins 218 7 mins 218

The Gangasagar fair is held every year around January 14th on Sagar Island around the time of Makar or Pous sankranti coinciding with the last few days of the month Pous. This island is a big mass of land on a continental shelf jutting out into the sea in the Bay of Bengal. Situated at a distance of about 100 kilometres from Kolkata, it is however not a part of the sundarbans and there are no mangroves swamps and forests.

A big mela or fair is held which is second only to the Kumbh mela and is a big Hindu religious fair with huge devotee participation.

Lot of Sadhus congregate there at the Kapil Muni ashram which is situated there. Mythology has it that Kapil Muni born there as Lord Vishnu incarnate. Thousands take a holy dip in the waters of the river and sea confluence.

Every year many type of people with varied backgrounds attend the fair. They have different goals and objectives of attending. Most attend to purge their sins and come back to the life with a clean slate of karma. Sometimes some dreaded criminals also do attend in disguise as is gathered from reports. This time was no different. 

The Police had through intelligence report had a first hand information that some hard core criminals or history sheeters were attending the fair under the garb of mendicants. The information gathered further stated that a big consignment of contraband narcotics was to arrive from Myanmar. These criminals were attending the fair as a ploy to secure the consignment. The criminals were Hiru, Haru and Kalu. They were always in and out of the prison on regular basis. Now all were out on bail.

A crack Police team under the able leadership of two ASIs namely Avijit and Rohan were deputed from the detective department to corner the criminals and take seizure of the shipment.

In the year 1985, the NDPS Act was passed, i. e. the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. This act passed by the Parliament prohibited the purchase, sale, transport, consumption and storage of any narcotic drug and psychotropic substances. After the passing of this Act the smuggling of these substances increased exponentially. A narcotic cell had to be set up to counter the menace. These substances traded at a huge price in the grey market, hence a demand for these arose for people with an eye for a quick buck.

Avijit and Rohan knew of the dangers they faced and the risk and challenges that lay ahead. They were leading a team of five crack commandos. The best way to reach the fair was to go incognito so they all attired in the garb of the Indian sadhus.

This time the home department had made it mandatory for all those visiting the Gangasagar Mela must register themselves with proper documentation at the counters set up on the fair grounds.

Avijit and Rohan themselves registered and then regularly checked the entries in the registers to trace the movement of the criminals. It was beyond doubt that the three criminals, Hiru, Haru and Kalu had definitely registered but under false documents. So Avijit and gang seeking help of modern technology had deployed drone with infrared cameras to track suspicious movements after dark. Because during the day no one would be foolhardy to venture out. 

The topography of the famous delta region of sundarbans was that there were innumerable marshy islands intertwined with a Web of tributaries of the Gangetic river system. Most were inhabitable with mangrove swamps which was the home of the Royal Bengal tiger and the forests infested with poisonous snakes. The river waters were made deadlier with fiery crocodiles.

The last island of the delta system was the Henry Island. It was partly submerged during high tide but during low water the sand heads would come out and would provide excellent ground for harbouring small sea going vessels. Other islands being swampy and marshy would not provide berthing facility for quick unloading and dismissal. Both the criminals and the Police knew this.

So the Police started night patrolling in real earnest. The criminals were however ignorant that Police were hot in their pursuit but still were cautious as their job demanded so. They were aware of being able to be traced by drones so they had brought jammers with themselves to block signals emanating from them and reaching out to the drones. A hide and seek pursued. The coast guard was also informed of the arrival of the consignment of the contraband haul. So they continued with their regular patrolling the shoreline. 

The group feeding the criminals were very wily and cunning with years of braving the law. They purposefully avoided entering the maritime line under a countries jurisdiction for fear of capture by the coast guard.

So on one night a boat carrying the shipment of the contraband narcotics anchored near Henry Island in the dead of night. Hiru and gang were preinformed so they were waiting to receive the consignment. As it was dead in the night so coast guard was missing. The Police was also unawares. Their drones had been incapacitated due to the application of jammers. But the Police were no sitting ducks. They were anticipating the dangers. The Police had a hunch that the Henry Island would be the unloading point. The consignment would be loaded nearby at the sea side town of Bakkhali because there was only one road. All the check posts on this road had been alerted by Avijit Police team to inspect each and every passing vehicle.

But Hiru and gang gave Avijit and company a huge slip. The check posts failed to report any law breaks. Police found out that the criminals were in collusion with the local politician Badal who was on their pay roll. But for want of definite evidence against Badal, the Police couldn't act against him.

The next pit stop on the route to Kolkata, the final destination, would be Namkhana. This area fell beyond the area of jurisdiction of the politician Badal.

But Hiru and his accomplices were very cunning. They knew that Badal had given them immunity in his area but that wouldn't happen ahead. So they changed the registration plates on their vehicles to avoid detection. But in their hurry this time they had failed to use the jammers against any spying by the drone.

Avijit and Rohan immediately detected the new number plate and alerted their colleagues at Namkhana check naka.

Before entering Namkhana the vehicle with the forbidden items was about to be siezed. But Kalu the driver showed desperation and drove at full speed and broke down the security guard rails and took off. The Police caught unawares initially slowly got over their inertia soon were hot in the chase.

Covering the gap then Avijit and Rohan trained their guns and fired at the tyres of the truck of the criminals. One of the shots fired burst one tyre of the rear wheel. The vehicle fumbled temporarily at the impact but quickly regained composure and continued it's journey. Haru of the criminals a sharp shooter who was sitting in the rear of the truck fired his shot which hit the driver of the Police vehicle. The driver being wounded slumped down upon the steering wheel and the vehicle started moving wildly in a zig zag manner losing control. Then after a herculean task Rohan removed the driver and seated him in the rear seat and himself took control of the vehicle.

The hot pursuit continued with the firing and counter firing of bullets from both the vehicles.

Next town on the route was Diamond Harbour. The Police outpost was alerted for reinforcements. Now the gap between the vehicles was reducing and finally the criminal's vehicle was apprehended. All the criminals, Hiru, Haru and Kalu were taken into custody. The consignment seized which was found to weigh more than fifty kilograms. It was a mix of opium, marijuana and cocaine totalling a value of more than twenty crore of Rupees.

Finally it was the end of the Gangasagar Adventure. 

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