Prashant Dayal (Deewal Part-77): A sub-inspector was standing by his jeep with the mess-van driver and crane operator near the outer wall of the prison complex. The jail sirens had gone off within five minutes of the sub-inspector alerting the control room of something odd they’d noticed. It is common for a vehicle to get stuck in the ditch during the rains, but in this case, it was more than what meets the eye. As the sirens were blaring, the jail guards began to gather all the inmates who were outside their barracks and sending them back to their cells, though nor the guards or the inmates had clue on why the sirens had gone off suddenly. All the barracks were shut one by one soon. Jail superintendent VM Vasava was the first person to be informed by the city control room. He stood up from his chair upon getting the message. He immediately dialed the jail control room of the Sabarmati Central Jail and as soon as the jailer picked up the call, Vasva said “Alert everyone” and then put down the phone. The jailer was left wondering what alert message he should give and whom to alert. After a minute of thinking he decided that he will simply follow the order of the superintendent rather than thinking much, so he stood up and began to switch on all the alert siren buttons on his desk one by one to all the five different department jailers in charge. With this, the blinkers in the officers of the jailers in charge of the departments began to flash and the control room jailer looked at the CCTV footage on his screen. All he could see was the guards locking the inmates away in their barracks after the sirens had gone off. Even he was wondering what might have gone wrong.

Jailer Kaushik Pandya first heard the sirens go off and the blinkers in his office flash, he stood up from his chair when a guard too came in. Both looked at each other with a clueless expression. Without wasting any time, Pandya picked up his cap from the desk and came out of his office. He saw even Vasava had come out of his office too, who looked worried and in a hurry. Pandya saluted him as Vasava ordered one of the guards to get his vehicle ready, “Pandya you stay here while I’ll be back in some time. Ensure that all the entry and exits of the prison are shut immediately. Nobody except the jail staff is allowed entry.” instructed the superintendent to the jailer and he went out of the office door. One of the commandos was waiting for him next to his vehicle and opened the door for him. Vasava sat and instructed the driver to take him to the road outside the outer wall of the prison.

Meanwhile, even those employees and policemen who were not on duty that morning were seen rushing towards the jail after hearing the sirens. The superintendent was moving towards the spot through the narrow, muddy road adjoining outside the jail complex. They were driving end to end of the wall and Vasava looked out of the window. He saw a sub-inspector, the mess-van driver, crane operator and his two helpers standing. He instructed the driver to take him towards those men. As the vehicle stopped, Vasava didn’t wait for the commando to come and open the door for him. He got out and quickly wiped off the sweat on his forehead. The sub-inspector saluted him as the other men stood in attention. The PSI then pointed towards the hole they had discovered and showed it to Vasava. Several worrying thoughts ran though Vasava’s head as he was inspecting the hole. He was actually worried about losing his job and probably facing action for his negligence that led to this. He squatted near the hole to check how deep it was and he began to wonder where this alleged tunnel might lead to. He was trying to remember whose barrack came right behind the walls adjoining to the tunnel hole. Even as the other policemen and people who discovered this hole were clueless on whether this is just a hole or an actual tunnel, Vasava’s mind had begun making some calculations. He suddenly remembered something and stood on his feet. He realized something which made his face go pale. Right behind the wall, they were standing had a small internal road inside the jail complex. Next to that road was another smaller wall, and it was in the barrack behind those walls, inmates of the Ahmedabad serial blasts were housed. He was shocked upon this realization and began to look inside the hole again and saw that it was an actual tunnel with even steps carved into it. “Who discovered the hole first?” asked Vasava. “Sir, it was me,” said the mess-van driver. “Was it open when you saw it?” he inquired further. “No sir, we were driving on this road when the wheel of our van sunk into the soft soil that had loosened up due to the rains. When we pulled out, it was this huge hole” said the driver. Hearing this, Vasava gave out a sigh of relief.