The Endgame by S. Hussain Zaidi
English | 2020 | Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 2.4 MB
It’s been three years since Shahwaz Ali Mirza and Vikrant Singh foiled dreaded terrorist Munafiq’s attempt to leak State secrets from a naval server in Lakshadweep. Now posted with RAW, they have the task of providing security for BSF Special Director General Somesh Kumar, on his way to visit former Prime Minister Parmeshwar Naidu, who has been hospitalized after a car accident. However, Kumar’s convoy is attacked by terrorists. They manage to kill him before being gunned down themselves. A tip-off leads the duo to a hotel on Mira Road where the prime suspect, Al Muqadam, is hiding. Vikrant recognizes him as Ayyub, the brother of one of his long-time informants, Mazhar Khan. Just when it looks like things can’t get more difficult, Major Daniel Fernando gets in touch claiming that there is more to Naidu’s accident than meets the eye. Soon, the entire team from the Lakshadweep operation finds itself getting together for a new mission…
It had been three years since Vikrant and Mirza had foiled an attempt by the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, to leak sensitive secrets of the Indian armed forces. The operation had resulted in the death of one of the most dreaded terrorists in Asia, a character so slippery that no one seemed to know his real name. He became notorious as Munafiq, the Urdu word for two-faced, a sobriquet that Mirza had conferred on him thanks to his ability to appear like an ordinary citizen while spreading terror across the continent.
The success of the operation had earned the entire team accolades from all over the world, and Vikrant and Mirza, after being promoted to senior ranks, were both transferred from the National Investigation Agency to RAW.
In fact, Naidu had been the prime minister during the terrorist operation and had had a large role to play in the drama. Munafiq had hijacked a cruise liner in Lakshadweep on which Naidu’s estranged daughter, Vaishali, was holidaying, and tried to use her as leverage to get access codes to the Indian Navy base’s mainframe on Lakshadweep, INS Dweeprakshak. Fortunately, Mirza figured out the plot before Naidu could hand over the access codes. The incident had brought father and daughter closer.
Now, Mirza and the closest thing he had to a son were sitting in a suite rented by the state government in a five-star hotel in the Bandra Kurla Complex, which had become the command centre of the team investigating the attack.
‘I didn’t know you were friends,’ Vikrant said.
‘Worked together on a lot of missions back in the day. A lot of our undercover operatives who were rescued from behind enemy lines owe their lives to his brilliant planning and strategy,’ Mirza replied.
Two days had passed since the attack. Somesh Kumar had been confirmed dead half an hour after the dust had settled. The SUV was mangled to a ball and his body, which was hanging together by its sinews, was removed after the vehicle was cut open using blowtorches.
Four Mumbai Police personnel and three BSF jawans had also fallen prey to the terrorists’ bullets, while four others were in the hospital with serious injuries.
As Mirza and Vikrant had expected, the investigation had begun as a bureaucratic nightmare, with everyone wanting a piece of the action. The NIA demanded that they spearhead the probe. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad wanted the same. The CIA and MOSSAD wanted to send their own people. IB and RAW were ever present in the shadows. Mumbai Police, smarting from the loss of face as the attack had happened on their turf, were also lobbying hard to be part of the investigation.