(Continued from Part – II)
The Maulvi stepped aside When Aman stood next to him. Facing the audience Aman looked across the congregation; the gents were seated to the right, while a small vacant space separated ladies who sat in the left. They were afraid, from the looks on their faces, especially the young men and ladies. The children and the elderly watched in anticipation.
“Like you all I too am here to pay my condolences to those who left us due to the bomb blast. Like some of you I too have lost my near and dear ones. They were not biologically related tome and the three of them were not from my religion. They were my friends very close to my heart, they were my friends who loved life and every good thing that God has given. They harmed none, nor were they intending to do so,” Aman said and stopped. The audience heard him in rapt silence.
“I have also come here to join them,” Aman said and heard their murmuring.
“But before I do so, I intend to know the real reason behind this ghastly act. I was present at the restaurant with my friends. The next table was occupied by Nasrullah Baig. I have a picture that shows all of us. Due to some reason I had to leave the restaurant. While leaving I noticed Nasrullah sitting alone and murmuring,” Aman said. The murmurs in the gathering were getting louder.
“Do not worry, I will not press the switch until you all listen to Abdul Wahab. Will you please come forward and tell the audience regarding your presence with Baig before he blows himself up?” Aman called out . Wahab got up, stood in front of Aman and faced the audience.
“I have nothing to say. He is telling lies. I was never there in the restaurant,” Wahab shouted out.
Aman looked at Wahab with disdain and threw up his hands.
“This is exactly what I expected he would say and I do not blame you if you believe him, after all he is the President of the Center. However, evidence proves differently. Please go over this printed picture and you will notice him sitting with Baig. The time and the date is clearly mentioned in the picture. What more proof do you want?” Aman said holding the picture and looked at Rajesh, who distributed the printed copies to the gathering.
The audience became agitated and murmured loudly. They looked at Wahab expecting him to respond. Wahab looked back at them with defiance reflected in his eyes.
“I expected this too. I was certain that Wahab would not confirm his presence in the restaurant with Baig. I have come prepared with the next step,” Aman said and looked at Rajesh, who picked up the two jackets from the bag.
“These jackets are slightly different from the one I am wearing. They have less quantity of explosive, just sufficient to blow up the person wearing it and without causing any harm to anyone standing away in a three feet radius,” Aman told the audience.
“He is lying. It is not possible to make such a jacket so accurately,” Wahab blurted out and stopped, realizing that he was entering a danger zone.
“Fine, please wear it. I will press the switch and the truth will surface,” Aman said. Rajesh approached Wahab, holding a jacket.
“No, I will not wear it,” Wahab said emphatically and stretched out his hand to stop Rajesh.
“My sincere request to all of you is that if you want to know the truth, you will have to get it out from Wahab. Please help us to make him wear the jacket. I request volunteers to come forward to help my friend,” Aman pleaded.
The pin drop silence was broken by a lady who stood up and approached Aman.
“I will help. I want to know who is responsible for killing my 18 year old son,” she said looking at Wahab.
Soon there was a flurry of activity as men rushed towards the dais, lifted Wahab and forced him to wear the jacket. Tears flowed from Wahab’s eyes as he stood forlorn and forsaken. Distancing himself from Wahab, Aman requested the men and women to return to their seats.
“I am going to press this switch, the clock on the mobile phone on your jacket will start ticking. You get one minute to confirm your presence with Baig in the restaurant,” Aman told Wahab and pressed the switch. Bewildered, Wahab looked down at the jacket pocket and noticed the light flashing from the mobile.
“Stop it! Please stop it! Yes I was with Baig, before he blew himself up,” Wahab shouted in agony.
Aman pressed the switch in his hand and the light stopped flashing from the mobile.
Many persons in the gathering called out names and abuses and some advanced in a menacing stance towards Wahab.
“Please keep quiet and please sit down. There is a lot more to hear from him. Please be patient and let me ask further questions,” Aman said and pacified them as they returned to their locations.
“Why did you allow Baig to become a suicide bomber?” Aman asked.
“It was not in my hands, I was following instructions,” Wahab said.
“Whose instructions?” Aman asked.
“His,” Wahab cried out, pointing his fingers towards the Maulvi.
Loud uncontrolled noise erupted from the believers and a few got up gesturing with their hands. Aman faced them and raised both his hands, the voices quietened and persons resumed their seats. The Maulvi stood with his hands and legs shaking.
“He is a liar, do not believe him,” the Maulvi recovered and said in a composed voice.
“No. he is the one who gets money from the bosses living in a Middle East Country and indoctrinates the boys to become suicide bombers. I have evidence and I can prove it,” Wahab said.
“I do not know what he is talking about. I am a simple Maulana and the Center is my livelihood,” the Maulvi replied.
“He has apartments in New York, Florida and Chicago which are on rent. There are many other business activities he is involved in,” Wahab recounted.
“All lies and fabrications from his imagination,” the Maulvi sighed and said.
“If you want the truth from him, let him wear the other jacket,” Wahab told Aman.
“Why should I? I am not on trial here,” the Maulvi retorted.
Aman noticed two burly persons coming towards him. He tried to stop them, they ignored him, grabbed the jacket from Rajesh and proceeded towards the Maulvi. They handed the jacket to the Maulvi, who meekly wore it. They fastened the straps and returned to their seats.
“I am pressing the switch. I want you to rethink and give me the truthful answer. If you die in sin by hiding lies, you very well know where you will end up,” Aman said and pressed the switch which started flashing lights from the mobile fixed to Moulvi’s jacket.
“Yes, what Wahab said is true. But that is not the entire truth. I am just a willing tool in the hands of the Bosses who pay me for implementing the instructions that they send through Wahab. Wahab’s family is in that country where his brothers are in business partnerships with the Sheiks. It is through an agency he gets the boys from all over the country. He arranges their full time stay in a hostel owned by him,” the Moulvi said and looked at Wahab with disdain. Hearing the murmurs from the gathering, Aman asked the Moulvi to commence his narration.
“I prepare the boys by indoctrinating them through the various verses of the Holy book and Hadith. I interpret these to them with the main purpose to make them hate the infidels and America. They are innocent and have no knowledge of Arabic and the Islamic history. Mostly what I tell them is false and totally fabricated. My other task is to make them realize that their life in the present environment and circumstances is of no use to them or God Almighty. They will lead a wonderful life filled with their liking and desire in the next world, when they meet the Almighty. To go there they have to sacrifice and leave this life. They have to kill the infidels and destroy their property by becoming suicide bombers. So far, not one of my students has failed me. This is the whole truth. May God Almighty show His benevelonce and forgive my sins,” the Moulvi said and wept.
The gathering had listened attentively in rapt silence. They were stunned and most remained speechless. A few raised their voices cursing and showering abuses against the Maulvi and Wahab.
“My mission is over. I have nothing against you all. Now that you know the truth you all can leave. Please turn around and exit quietly. Me, Moulvi and Wahab will remain here and will meet the Almighty after everyone has left,” Aman told them.
The gathering dispersed in an orderly manner, though they all were keen to leave the room quickly. Aman asked Moulvi and Wahab to turn around to face Kaba.
“You can offer your last prayers now,” he told them
As they knelt to pray and bent down to place their heads on the mat in sajdah, both Aman and Rajesh removed their masks. Rajesh shed his jacket and left it on the mat and they headed towards the side entrance of the Center. Finding the street empty they stepped out and headed towards their car.
“Is it 911?” Rajesh enquired on his mobile. On receiving confirmation he asked them to go to the Center with a Bomb Squad in attendance. He crushed the mobile phone with his feet and threw it in the dustbin.
On reaching his apartment he recorded the entire proceedings at the Center from Rajesh’s mobile into two pen drives. He drove to the nearest UPS store and couriered the pen drives to the FBI and CNN.
In the next day’s news repeatedly shown by the TV channels, was the video which he had sent. The anchors and their special guests were amazed at the audacity of the interrogator at the Center. The jackets worn by him, Moulvi and Wahab, contained a paste made from talcum powder and mustard oil! The detonator was nothing but a stainless steel nail with its head sheared!
Moulvi and Wahab were taken into custody by the FBI and detained under criminal charges. The FBI also raided their houses and recovered incriminating material which also contained the names and addresses of their Bosses in a Middle East Country.
Mohan’s body was flown to Chennai on a commercial flight, Aman and Rajesh accompanied it.