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Enemy in the Ranks

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Enemy in the Ranks - The Novel

About The Author:

Commander Varinder Taprial was born in the city of Chandigarh in 1967. He is an Electrical engineer and has been in active service in the Indian Navy for the last 22 years. He is currently living in Mumbai with his wife and son. He can be contacted at

The book "Enemy in the Ranks"  is published by Cedar Books, an imprint of Pustak Mahal, New Delhi. The book has 264 pages and costs Rs 195/-. The ISBN of the book is 978-81-223-1087-0.

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The Shopping Arcade - Reading Cafe- Priya Kanwar And Varinder Taprial Books available in the digital format for Kindle and other apps on


Recruitment and Training Centre – POK

“Gentlemen, your training is complete in all respects. We have taught you everything you need to know. I must say that all
of you have done exceedingly well and your patriotism and selfless devotion to the cause will see you succeeding in all
the jobs you undertake in the name of Allah. You will be told shortly of your assignments. Congratulations and may God
be with you.”

He paused and then said, “Ibrahim, meet me in my office in ten minutes.” The old man with the long beard turned around
and started walking.

The expressionless faces of the youth in the group, which the old man was addressing, cheered up slightly. Anything would
be better than this hellhole.

“I still wonder,” one of them volunteered, “What a good life, after death is?”

All the others in the group snared at him.

“I was just joking. Didn’t you notice the pun?” No one bothered to reply.

Ten minutes later Ibrahim entered a dilapidated building. The old man was standing outside his office door. He smiled at
him and took him inside. The interiors of the office were in total contrast to the outside. No wonder, the area was out
of bounds. The room had three air conditioners, a massive fridge, a TV and a DVD player in one corner and a single bed
with a thick mattress on top.

“Must be foam,” he thought. The elliptical wooden table in the centre of the room was very impressive, with smooth top and
carved legs. There was a sleek laptop on top of the table. In another corner of the room, a wooden liquor cabinet with a
glass front displayed various good-looking bottles.

The old man noticed him looking around and said, “This is the good life we keep talking about. But, you have to work for
it and God forbid if you die, while fighting for the good cause, your soul will reap all the comforts. Either way you win.”

He motioned him to the chair and went across the table to sit on his own. “I already have a task for you. But before I tell you
about it, I want to be certain if you are game for it.”

“I surely am or you would not have ended my training.”

“There is a vast difference between contemplating suicide and committing it. Tell me what you are capable of.”

“Everything! I think on my feet, I can fight well, I can give a good chase, I can vanish if chased and my shooting couldn’t
be any better.”

“Can you kill someone?”

“Of course, I can.”

“Can you kill someone on impulse?”

“You mean because I feel like or if I think the person may be a threat? Yes, I can and will. In fact, I would do anything to save my life and to achieve objectives.”

“Okay son, I believe you. You are ready. But, I have one final test for you before you leave us. Come with me.” The old man
got up and walked towards the door. Ibrahim followed him. They got into an open jeep and the driver started the vehicle.
After about twenty minutes, they entered a dense forest. They continued for another five minutes before arriving at a clear
area within the forest. There were eight or ten people with guns sitting in a huddle. As soon as they saw the jeep, all of
them stood up and turned towards it. As the jeep stopped, the old man got out, embraced and shook hands with all the
men one by one.

Ibrahim was still sitting in the jeep. The old man signalled him to come down and then said loudly, “This is Ibrahim, the latest addition to our force and I must say the best of the lot.”

Ibrahim smiled at no one in particular and was still taking in the location and the men, when he heard the old man asking,
“Do you have the girl?”

“Behind that tree. Should I get her?” One of them asked.


Two of them left the group and a few seconds later came back with a girl, one holding her legs and the other her arms. She
was still in her teens. The girl’s mouth was gagged and she was desperately thrashing her body up and down trying to
free herself from their clutches. When they came closer, they stopped and dropped the girl down. Ibrahim could now hear
her moaning from under the gag. Her face was drenched with sweat or maybe tears.

The old man took out his automatic pistol from the holster, cocked it once and extended his arm towards Ibrahim. Ibrahim
took it from him.

“Shit, what am I supposed to do?” he thought.

The old man looked into his eyes and said calmly, “Kill her.”

“What? Who is she?” Ibrahim was taken aback.

“She is your test.”

“But, I don’t even know her. What has she done? Why do you want to take away an innocent life? Is she an Indian?” Ibrahim
noticed that his voice was shaking.

“You ask too many questions, Ibrahim.”

“Sir, I am ready to do anything but she seems to be our own. Think about her, her family,” Ibrahim was literally pleading

“She’s a tribal, a nomad. Nobody’s going to miss her and she would be found dead, anyways, in this jungle before tomorrow

“All that is fine. But still, why? Give me a good reason and I will do it.”

The old man sighed, “I thought you were good. My mistake.” And then to the two men who had brought her, he said,
“Release her. Our friend here, is not ready.”

He turned back to Ibrahim and said, “You understand, that you know too much about us, for us to let you go.”

Ibrahim panicked. All the time and effort was about to be put to waste. Worse, his family will never get the money which he
had promised would start coming. They will die of disease or hunger.

“Worse still, these bastards are going to kill me if I don’t do this,” he thought.

“Wait. I never meant to question you; it is just that I don’t feel it is required. Take my word, I can do it.”

“You couldn’t, a while back,” the old man replied, “You have to realise that any input from anyone known to you has to
be taken seriously and acted upon without delay. It does not matter if a couple of innocent lives are lost in the process. This
will ensure that you stay alive and so does your objective.”

“I’m sorry. I can’t give up all this now. Give me another chance.”

The old man was silent for some time and then spoke, “The stakes just went up. You will also have to rape her.”

“Shit, I should let them kill me,” he contemplated.

He was too deep into it to turn back. He said, “When do I rape her? Before or after I kill her.”


The Book is also available on Amazon in the Kindle Version: 

Enemy in the Ranks

Enemy in the Ranks [Kindle Edition]

Kindle Price: $4.99  

includes free wireless delivery 

via Amazon Whispernet

File Size: 318 KB 



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