• Editor: Read Chapter XIV here.


When Rajesh received the DIG’s summons, he expected to be asked for his views on interrogating Etayya and how best the new prisoner could be used to win the war against Maoism in Gadhchiroli.

‘You are being transferred to Mumbai,’ the DIG said instead.

It was a bolt from the blue, though with hindsight Rajesh realised that he should have expected this. His initial reaction was one of intense disappointment. After catching Etayya, he was entitled to a front row seat as they interrogated the Maoist leader and used his leads to capture other key Maoists. Surely, they would not deny him that.

‘Sir, I was hoping to get Etayya to make a call for the other Maoists to surrender. I had so many plans,’ Rajesh protested.

‘All that’s fine, but since you’ve made a name for yourself as an expert on Naxalism, they need you in Mumbai.’

‘Sir, it’s unlikely that those behind the Mumbai attacks are Maoists.’

‘I know. However, the Maoist angle can’t be ruled out and anyways, orders are orders.’ There was an air of finality about the way the DIG spoke.

‘When do I have to report there, sir?’ Even as he posed this question, Rajesh knew the answer.

‘ASAP young man. You will be starting your new assignment tomorrow morning. I doubt you have much packing to do. You shouldn’t miss the last flight to Mumbai this evening.’ It barely gave him two hours to start the drive to Nagpur.

As he left the DIG’s office, he called Anjali who squealed with delight. ‘Even Mumbai is dangerous right now,’ she remembered then.

‘That’s the policeman’s lot, isn’t it?’ Rajesh responded cheerfully.


Featured Image (Cover): Nisha Joseph

© Delhi Defence Review. Reproducing this content in full without permission is prohibited.