Prashant Dayal (Deewal, Part-45): Long arguments took place in the court. The public prosecutor was making sure that each of his arguments is taken seriously. The terror suspect literally had an army of lawyers representing them. Each suspect had two lawyers to defend them. The defense lawyers argued that their clients are being targeted because they are Muslims. They even claimed that the police didn't have any strong evidence to be granted remand for these six men, who're simple men and god fearing people. Their lawyers demanded they not be sent to remand but judicial custody. Sinha was extremely nervous all the time during the proceedings. The public prosecutor was giving very bland arguments to the points raised by the defense and Sinha wondered if he was the judge, even he wouldn't grant remand after hearing such arguments. Sinha would send Jadeja with messages and pointer to the public prosecutor, but he didn't seem to care much. After the arguments, the judge said he will be announcing his order in 15 minutes. The judge asked the suspects if they had anything to say, they all looked at Sinha and then declined. One of the defense lawyers then got up and said they would like to withdraw the complaint filed on the behalf of the suspects, of police atrocity on them. The judge allowed it. As the judge was about to get up from his chair, Sinha raised his hand, thus drawing the attention of everyone present in the court towards him. He first saluted the judge and then placed a cover on the clerk's bench. He said "My lord this is the case diary maintained for this investigation. I humbly request you to read it before passing the order."

The judges came out of his chamber after 15 minutes accompanied by his stenographer. He took turns to look at everyone's faces, the suspects, the lawyers from both the sides and the investigating officer DCP Sinha. There was silence in the room. The judge began to speak, "I have heard all the arguments made by both the sides. I have taken note of the points raised by the defense lawyer and the public prosecutor in its remand application. I have even read the case diary submitted by DCP Sinha. Taking note of the seriousness of the matter, it is important that these suspects have to be questioned thoroughly. So, I hereby announce the six suspects to be sent to 14 days of police remand. The judge looked at DCP Sinha, who bowed his head in gratitude. The judge continued, "I urge the crime branch to follow the guidelines by Supreme Court Judge Justice Basu while interrogating the men. They should be allowed to meet their lawyers every 4 days. As the suspects looked at their lawyers helplessly, one of them muttered, "Don't worry... We'll move to the sessions court." DCP Sinha had already called in extra men and had the whole court premises vacated during the hearing itself, as he didn't want a repeat of the incident that had happened previously in the afternoon. It was five in the evening by the time they got the remand order and the suspects brought in to the crime branch. Sinha went into his office and leaned on his chair, with his eyes shut for about 15 minutes. When he opened his eyes, it was about to be dark. Before he began to work, he had called up his family at home and informed them that he might not be able to come home tonight and thus he will be sending someone to get his tiffin to the crime branch. He finished his coffee and began to smoke a cigarette. He was so lost deep in thoughts that he didn't realize that he had finished the whole cigarette. Normally Sinha very never smokes a whole cigarette.

Sinha called inspector Jadeja into his office. "Let's get down to work, but before that come have dinner with me. You go hungry working long hours with me." Jadeja said, "Sir today even I have asked my wife to send me a tiffin with food. I told her to send one every evening. To which she said she'll be sending in my clothes too so that I can stay in the crime branch itself" Both burst out laughing on Jadeja's statement. "This is how the police work!" said Sinha. Sitting upright in his chair now, Sinha further said, "Get the six of them to the hall. Let's have an introduction seminar with our new 'guests' I need to talk to each one of them. As Jadeja left to get the suspects to the hall on the first floor, Sinha too got up to move towards the hall. As he was passing by the door, he saw a seesam stick kept at the corner. He picked it up and gave it a few swings in the air, testing its grip and movement. But something came up in his mind, he thought about it for a few seconds, and then kept the stick back to its place.

When Sinha reached the hall, the six suspects were already there, standing in a line. A constable came running with a chair for Sinha and place it right in the middle of the hall, about 5-6 ft away from the suspects. The handcuffed suspects were surrounded by the crime branch sleuths. Sinha intently examined each suspect face and then looked at their wrists. "Open their handcuffs," said Sinha and one of the cops brought a key and freed the suspects' wrists. They've been handcuffed since morning and thus in great pain. The moment their wrists were freed, all six of them began to massage their wrists due to the pain. A constable brought in a stick, but Jadeja looked at him and said, "I don't think we'd need this right now" He looked at the suspects and said "So let me introduce myself to you all. I am DCP Harish Sinha, the investigating officer of your case. Twenty blasts, which means long remand for each blast complaint, you all are going to be our guests for about eight months at least. I think we should become friends during this period." The terror suspects had no expressions on their faces.

This is the forty-fifth part of the serialized novel Deewal-The Story of Sabarmati Jailbreak Attempt by Prashant Dayal, the editor of MeraNews.com