Prashant Dayal (Deewal Part-61): The court hearing got over and the policemen were taking the inmates back to their barracks, but this time they were maintaining a safe distance from them. They fear that the inmates might accuse them of something new this time. Yunus was in a bad mood after the hearing. He was someone who was well aware of Mohammed’s plan to purposely level accusations on the policemen, but he didn’t like the fact that Mohammed had torn off pages from the Holy Quran just to make his plan successful. Yunus thought that though Mohammed was not as religious as the other Muslims, Quran is their holiest text which is revered by every Muslim, so it wasn’t necessary of him to damage the book just for the sake of his plans.  Yusuf was unhappy and was seething from inside, no one but Mohammed knew. He even looked at Yusuf a few times while walking back to the barracks, but Yusuf walked with his face down. When they reached their barracks, they saw that the other inmates were playing volleyball and there was still some time left for the Bandi or closure. Mohammed quickly went and joined the other inmates in playing the volleyball. Some of Mohammed’s accomplices went inside their barracks, while some stayed to watch the game. But Yunus went and sat below a tree nearby, he looked all glum and sad. He was some who always claimed to know Mohammed very well, but after today’s incident, he felt as if he never actually discovered the real Mohammed.

Mohammed had his eyes on Yunus even as he played the game. He was also aware of the reason behind Yunus’ unhappiness. He knew that once Yunus is told the actual truth, all his anger is going to fade away. It looked as if Mohammed was purposely keeping Yunus miffed for a long time. About 30 minutes later, the warden came in to stop the play as it was time for dinner. Mohammed walked up to the tap near the tree where Yunus was sitting, to wash his hands and feet. He jokingly asked, “Yunus Miya, what happened? did your goat die? Why so sad” Yunus didn’t respond. Mohammed again asked, “I am asking you something, care to answer?” The other inmates stand beside Mohammed laughed at the funny questions. Yunus wanted to answer to Mohammed but not in front of other inmates. As Mohammed wiped off his wet hands on his clothes itself and sat next to Yunus, he began to talk, “Major, what you did today, I didn't like it at all?”

What did I do that you didn’t like? inquired Mohammed, like an innocent child. Yunus looked at Mohammed in displeasure, because he was aware Mohammed knew what he was talking about. Mohammed now pulled out those torn pages from his pocket which he had shown to the judge earlier as Quran pages and began to laugh. Yunus looked at him, puzzled and wondering if he is an atheist. “Yunusbhai seems like you are also a fool like the policemen and the cops. You really think these are pages torn off Quran?” He continued his wild laughter. He then whispered into Yunus’s ear, “Idiot, these are pages from an Urdu book of Maulana Warsi and not the holy Quran. I knew anyone would believe a lie spoken with confidence” Yunus looked extremely surprised by what Mohammed just told him. “When I said these are pages off Quran, no one from the judges to the cops had the guts to check those pages. If you’re wondering why did I do this, just wait and watch the repercussions of my actions. Even I don’t know what exactly is going to happen, but I am sure not the jail authorities and the cops won’t inspect our belongings anymore.

The court had ordered the IGP to conduct an investigation and submit a report about the same in a week. Worried about this order, he was sweating even in his air-conditioned office. He had immediately called in a meeting of the authorities, which included jailer Kaushik Pandya too. Pandya was already suffering from high blood pressure after today’s court hearing and he was now ready to be reprimanded by the IGP too. The meeting began in the manner as expected by Pandya. The IGP was very angry and started off by criticizing the jailer, “Pandya I think you’re not capable enough to be the jailer. You should be made a jail guard again” said the IGP. Even as Pandya was about to begun speaking in his defense, the superintendent Vasava too chipped in, “I have told him several times to keep away from these miyas, but he always wants someone to boast about his tales of bravery.” Pandya was very angry, he wanted to go ahead and hit two hard slaps on Vasava’s face as everytime something good happens in the jail, Vasava takes the credit, but when something goes wrong, Pandya is made the scapegoat. The discussion now veered towards steps to be taken in order to stop the blast case inmates from complaining to the court. Everyone gave in their suggestions but finally, the IGP announced his decision. Nobody ever questioned the IGP’s decision whether they were right or wrong. “I need this decision to be implemented immediately. Pandya, you leave for the prison barracks right away.” ordered the DGP.  Pandya left for the barracks, flanked by 10 other constables and guards. When he reached the barracks, he saw that the inmates had just finished their food and were spending the last minutes of the day outside before the closure was to be announced. The inmates were surprised seeing the jailer arrive with so many guards. “You and your accomplices, pack your belongings, quick!” ordered Pandya to Mohammed.

This is the sixty-first part of the serialized novel Deewal-The story of Sabarmati Jailbreak Attempt by Prashant Dayal, the editor of MeraNews.com