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O.P. Singh’s Incredible Journey from Books to Badges!

Ever wondered what it takes to transform from a student of theory to a leader in action? From the lecture halls of Delhi University to cracking the civil services exam, explore the milestones that define O.P.Singh’s inspiring ascent. Are you ready to be inspired by the story of ambition, dedication, and the pursuit of excellence?

Read on for a glimpse into the extraordinary!

Crime, Grime and Gumption
Crime, Grime and Gumption || O.P Singh


The academic scene at the DU campus was competitive. I mean, you could really feel it, the sense and the urge to learn, to grow big. I found my years at DU intellectually most satisfying. I cannot escape the mention of some of my professors with whom I had the privilege to cover a distance. Randhir Singh, the master of political theory and thought, was an exceptional professor. His oratory skills had the audience eating out of his hands and he was quite popular among the students too. Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, another exceptional mind, handled comparative politics. International relations was the domain of Prof. Mahendra Kumar, while Prof. Susheela Kaushik talked about Indian politics. Last but not the least, Prof. M.P. Singh and Prof. R.B. Jain professed political theory and public administration, respectively. It was one august line-up and I immersed myself in the holy waters of Delhi academics.


Besides looking forward to the edifying lectures of eminent faculty members, I used to have after-dinner talks with Shekhar Singh, my senior in academics and also a lecturer at Kirori Mal College, till midnight. We would often discuss threadbare Western political thought, Indian political thought of leaders such as B.R. Ambedkar and M.N. Roy, and politics of representation and participation along with discussions on changing international political order. Shekhar Singh joined the IAS and retired as chief secretary of Telangana. The Central Library offered a refuge of a different kind. Innumerable boys and girls, research scholars and professors from different departments would converge and recreate a sangam, a confluence of varied interests. I, too, became part of the furniture in the library, and I could smell the aspiration for the civil services around me. I was convinced I had come to the right place. My preparation for the exam of my lifetime began in earnest.


I visited my mother and Gaya during the long breaks, especially during the summers. The train journey across the Gangetic plain held an unparalleled charm. In the company of friends and friends of friends, we travelled in a spirit of camaraderie. Second-class journey, reservation or no reservation, crowded platforms— nothing dissuaded our spirits of adventure. I still remember Gaya Station and its crazy, cacophonous milieu of coolies in red shirts, with their golden brassards in place, the shouting brigade of vendors and the lone shout of ‘chai-chai’ resounding even after one had left the premises of the rail station.


After my master’s with distinguished honours, I rested my eyes and hope on my MPhil programme in political science. My dream of clearing the civil services exam was still on. Deshbandhu College of Delhi University offered me a lectureship and I grabbed the opportunity. Thus began a small yet significant start to my career. Though my heart lay elsewhere, I was lucky to keep myself and my mind on course. The year was 1982. The urge and the thirst to do something big was alive and I knew it was just a matter of time.


Dates hold a strange fascination for me, and 19 May 1983 became another such landmark. No, it wasn’t the day of the results of the UPSC examination but the day I appeared for the selection interview. As I stepped out of the cool confines of the imposing UPSC building and on to Shahjahan Road, I exuded a certain confidence, the confidence of having arrived. The forty-five-minute interview had been a breeze. I was grilled by the chairperson of the interview board, R.O. Dhan. She was possibly the vice chancellor of some university and had real pointed questions in her armoury. Former IPS officer John Lobo, another board member, carried the legacy of having investigated the famous homicide case of Admiral K.M. Nanavati. From the United Nations to the Chauri Chaura incident, the interviewers were thorough in their approach.


The UPSC interview was held in the month of May. The news of my selection came through in June. Life has its own way of springing surprises. At times I think back on my journey to academic success, a candidate who cracked one of the toughest examinations in the country, in fact in the world. There is always a trigger that catapults one from a modest follower to a fiery leader. Fifth standard had been mine. I had started believing in myself and taking myself more seriously when I stood first then. This precisely was a moment when I reinvented myself afresh and a sense of competition was instilled in my young mind.


My training and induction were fixed to commence in the first week of December. For me, the ultimate had happened. God had blessed me with his indulgent embrace. My mother was with me in the momentous occasion, so were my sisters and brother Shree Prakash. Babuji was missing in the picture and that stung me.


And then, out of nowhere, the love of my life tiptoed into the family and straight to my heart.


Get your copy of Crime, Grime, and Gumption by O.P. Singh wherever books are sold.

Behind the Digital Curtain: An Excerpt from ‘Cyber Encounters’

In this age of rapid technological advancements, our lives are intricately intertwined with the digital world. From online purchases to virtual education and personal communication to financial transactions, all of it is now possible at the click of a button and facilitated by deeply interconnected networks. With such pleasing convenience, however, comes the imminent presence of Cyber threats that can disrupt and compromise our online activities and endanger our privacy, paving the way for Cybercrimes around the world.
In this riveting book, Cyber Encounters, authors Ashok Kumar and O.P.Manocha dive into the notorious Cyberspace and bring forth tales of cybercrime based on real events.
Read this exclusive excerpt to catch a glimpse of one such story.
Cyber Encounter
Cyber Encounter || Ashok Kumar and O.P Manocha
The Republic of Cameroon is a small country in West Central Africa, bordered by the Republic of Congo and Nigeria. It has a population of 25 million (2.5 crore) and is popularly known as “Africa in Miniature” due to its geographical, linguistic, and cultural diversity. But what not many people know about this remote country is that many cybercrimes originate here.
It was a car accident that killed Dy Commandant Ajay. He was returning from a pilgrimage to Pauri, Uttarakhand, with his wife Madhu and two beautiful daughters, Diya and Sakshi. Madhu, her daughters and the driver of the car escaped unhurt. One month had passed since the accident and Madhu was still shocked and emotionally unstable. Diya, who was 15 years old, was Madhu’s elder daughter and a student of Class 9. After the death of her father, she had become very quiet. She neither watched television nor played online games like her classmates. Her only friend was her sister Sakshi, who was two years younger than her.
The Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in them all being forced to stay home, with classes also being held online. There was fear all around and people were dying. Even children were suffering from depression. “Mom, I don’t have any friends and no place to go. Whom shall I play with?” Diya asked Madhu. “Pihu has such an adorable beagle, why don’t you get me a dog too?”
Madhu had always been apprehensive about getting a dog. Her elder sister, Sanvi, had a three-year old female beagle, Daisy, who kept her and her daughter Pihu on their toes, and Madhu had seen her plight. Sanvi had to give Daisy a bath every week, get her groomed and make frequent visits to the vet during the monsoon, when Daisy got persistent fungal infections on her paws as she could not help playing in the garden and came back wet. And the most arduous job was to walk the dog three times a day without fail! Madhu, who was also grief-stricken due to her husband’s recent death, thought it would be a real nuisance to have a dog. Who would take care of it? So she kept procrastinating and did not pay much heed to Diya’s demand to get a dog.
One day, Madhu was sitting on the balcony with Diya when she got a call from her friend, Neha, who lived in the same society, that their neighbour’s 12-year-old daughter had died due to Covid. this was shocking. Madhu ended the call and looked at Diya with gloomy eyes. Diya asked her what was wrong, so Madhu told her about the girl. though Diya did not know her, she went quiet, her face drawn with fear. She hugged her mother and said, “Mom, are we also going to die?” this brought tears to Madhu’s eyes. She held Diya tight in her arms and said, “No, my dear, God is not so unkind.”
This one moment changed Madhu’s mind. Diya’s 15th birthday was in a fortnight. She would be going to Class 10 and would be giving the board exams next year. Diya was already under great stress and the boards would definitely add to it, Madhu thought. It was now that Madhu decided that she would give Diya a dog on her birthday.
Madhu looked up to Sanvi for advice on every little thing. She called her up and told her about her idea of buying a pup for Diya. Sanvi advised her to go in for a smaller breed as Madhu stayed in a flat and big dogs need a lot of space to move around. She suggested that she buy a cocker spaniel, which is quite a playful and loving breed. So Madhu began her search for a cocker spaniel. She sent a message on the WhatsApp groups she was a part of, asking if any cocker spaniel pup was available for sale. She also searched on Google and came across a few dog sellers whose contacts were listed on a local search engine website.
Madhu always believed that whatever information there was on the internet was authentic. The first listing on the website displayed a picture of a cute cocker spaniel. Madhu had struck gold! Little did she know that she was going to be trapped on a dummy website that offered the sale and purchase of various household goods, and even animals.
The seller had managed to get a good rating through paid reviews and had posted eye-catching pictures of the pup to secure a top position in the listings. The next day was a Sunday. Madhu was sweating as she finished preparing breakfast for the family. She switched on the air conditioner and sat down on the sofa to contact the seller on the number she had obtained from the website the previous night. she preferred contacting the seller on WhatsApp rather than calling as it provided a record of any conversation for future reference. She sent a message asking for details of the pup. She promptly got a reply from the seller, who introduced herself as Shweta.
She sent some cute pictures of the pup to Madhu, who was mesmerised. She immediately responded to Shweta, asking her to send details, including the price and availability, of the pup. Shweta told her that the pup was a purebred. Its registration with the Kennel Club of India (KCI) would be done shortly. It would cost Madhu Rs 15,000 and she would have to pay Rs 5,000 as an advance and the rest upon receiving the pup. Madhu immediately made her a payment of Rs 5,000 on GPay. Booking done, she told Diya about the pup. The girl’s happiness knew no bounds.
Two days later, on June 22, Madhu got an email with a bill of Rs 1,03,300 and the details of an SBI account into which to transfer the money. The charges included the price of the pup, COVID-handling charges, vaccination fees, feeding charges, and transport expenditure.
The mail stated that this amount would be refunded to her once the puppy was transported to Dehradun and the entire cost would be borne by the seller except for the price of the puppy. Madhu sent Shweta an enquiry about the mail and once she was convinced, she registered the account number as a beneficiary and transferred the required amount. She took a screenshot of the transaction and sent it through WhatsApp to Shweta. she got a message that the insurance process would be initiated the next day and the pup would be hers soon.
Get your copy of Cyber Encounters from Amazon today.

On the Run: 10 Interesting Things about Pablo Escobar from ‘Mrs. Escobar’

The story of Pablo Escobar, one of the wealthiest, most powerful and violent criminals of all time, has fascinated the world. Yet the one person closest to him has never spoken out – until now. Maria Victoria Henao met Pablo when she was 13, eloped with him at 15, and despite his numerous infidelities and violence, stayed by his side for the following 16 years until his death. At the same time, she urged him to make peace with his enemies and managed to negotiate her and her children’s freedom after Pablo’s demise.

Moulded by Pablo Escobar to be his obedient wife and a loving mother to his children, Victoria Eugenia Henao is often seen as a continuation of her husband’s evil. In Mrs. Escobar, she leads us into her world and reveals the real man behind the notorious drug lord’s legend.

Born to Dona Hermilda Gaviria, a school teacher, and Abel, a farmer, Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was the youngest of seven children. In contrast to his humble beginnings, Pablo Escobar’s aspirations became evident early in life when in 1974, he was arrested for driving a stolen Renault 4.


Pablo’s involvement in trafficking narcotics first came to light when he was arrested in 1976 for possession of 26 kilos of coca-paste.


The decade after 1978 marked Escobar’s meteoric economic rise. The young man once arrested for driving a stolen car now had the financial power to venture into the world of automobile racing. Pablo Escobar participated in the Renault Cup series of 1979 and 1980.


Pablo Escobar’s estate Hacienda Napoles, was named in honour of American gangster Al Capone, whose parents had been from Naples. Pablo admired Capone and was often seen reading books or articles about him.


The most fascinating part of Pablo Escobar’s estate was the zoo which was a testimony of his love for the beauty of exotic animals. Pablo spent US $ 2 million in cash to buy giraffes, kangaroos and elephants ,among other animals, for the zoo in Napoles which he opened for families to visit without any fee so they could enjoy the spectacle of nature in the heart of Colombia.


Escobar gained popularity with his social programmes designed to improve lives of the poverty stricken in impoverished areas of Medellin, Envigado and other towns of Aburra valley. He encouraged sports by building dozens of football fields, led tree planting drives and mingled with people as one of their own.


In April 1983, a national media outlet labelled a delighted Pablo ‘An Antioquian Robin Hood’ for his work such as his project Medellin without Slums- which offered homes to families living in impoverished areas.


During his short-lived political career which began in 1982, Pablo Escobar, as a representative with parliamentary immunity, waged a war against the extradition of Colombian citizens to the United States.


His political aspirations were squashed in October 1983, when the House of Representatives, by majority vote, lifted Pablo Escobar’s parliamentary immunity on suspicions of his involvement in drug trafficking and other crimes.


The unrelenting hunt for Pablo Escobar, the once indomitable head of the Medellin Cartel, came to an end on 2 December 1993 when he was killed on the roof of his hiding place in Medellin.

In stark contrast to his formidable image as a drug lord, Mrs. Escobar creates a portrait of a man who shares moments of raw emotion with his loved ones even as he fights to bolster his crumbling empire of crime.

Six Things You Didn’t know about Dawood’s Mentor, Khalid

Tired of being bullied, a scrawny, impoverished Dawood Ibrahim is looking for a savior, Khalid Khan Bachcha, who would teach him the ropes of handling a bunch of hooligans. Instead, what he gets is a mentor who eventually transforms him into a cunning mafia boss.

In Dawood’s Mentor, Dawood meets Khalid and they eventually forge an unlikely friendship. Together they defeat, crush and neutralize every mafia gang in Mumbai. Khalid lays the foundation for the D-Gang as Dawood goes on to establish a crime syndicate like no other and becomes India’s most wanted criminal. Here are six things, we don’t think you would know about Dawood’s mentor, the man who made India’s biggest don.

  1. Khalid had managed to receive a unique title (Khalid Pehelwan ­– meaning ‘wrestler’). A pehelwan is not just a healthy man or a wrestler but a man with a massive physique. When his father stressed on wrestling and his mother emphasized on studies, Khalid secretly nursed the desire to become a police officer.

  2. Khalid was an economics graduate and he understood business economics and logistics. He possessed a sharp business acumen and began exploring permutations and combinations to take dealings further.

  3. Khalid was the first bona fide smuggler with properly monitored operations, which he supervised from coast to coast and vessel to vessel.

  4. Khalid’s childhood in Madhya Pradesh and the friendships he had forged during his college and wrestling days with Hindus had given him a progressive and secular outlook in life. It was an absolutely new and unheard-of philosophy in the Bombay mafia.

  5. Khalid never drank, even if there was intense pressure from his friends. While everyone around him got sozzled, he was seen sipping soft drinks.

Read the complete story about the mastermind’s journey in Dawood’s Mentor.

Meet India’s 5 Most Notorious Serial Killers from ‘The Deadly Dozen’

A schoolteacher who killed multiple paramours with cyanide; a mother who trained her daughters to kill children; a thug from the 1800s who slaughtered more than 900 people, a manservant who killed girls and devoured their body parts.

If you thought serial killers was a Western phenomenon, think again!

These bone-chilling stories in The Deadly Dozen by Anirban Bhattacharya will take you into the hearts and heads of India’s most devious murderers and schemers, exploring what made them kill and why?

Here are the inner working of some of the minds of India’s most gruesome killers:


“Two things fuelled Shankar’s existence—rage and sex. Mixed together, it was a deadly cocktail that would take him down the road to hell. His carnal desires were always streaked with violence, which was symptomatic of his depraved mind.”


“Behram became an expert at ‘casting’ the rumaal quickly and accurately so it landed on the Adam’s apple and in a swift move, extinguished people’s lives. Today, the infamous rumaal can be seen online, preserved in the private museum of an unknown collector.”


“The modus operandi was simple. The killer chose his victims from among the pavement-dwellers, especially those who slept alone, far away from a group. The killer would crush the victim’s head with a single boulder, weighing as much as 30 kg. In most cases, the victims did not have relatives or associates who could identify them.”


“Raghav was a hunter and a scavenger. He killed because he had to. He was always short of money. In such a circumstance, any other person would have resorted to petty theft or burglary. But Raghav had an abundance of sinister urges. As Shakespeare wrote in King Lear, ‘As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods. They kill us for their sport.’”


“With no source of income, greed for money and a total disregard for the law, Anjana continued chain snatching and pickpocketing on temple premises. She roped in her daughters as well. Renuka was a natural and Seema was told it was a game. By her third time, Seema had begun to enjoy it. Their tiny hands could dip into pockets and open bags quite effortlessly, pulling out their contents. The trio often came under the scanner of the police. They were picked up several times. But the shrewd matriarch would grease the palms of the cops and they would be let off.”

Grab your copy of The Deadly Dozen today!

What drove these ordinary women to become ‘Queens of Crime’?

Dysfunctional families, sexual abuse, sheer greed and sometimes just a skewed moral compass. These are some of the triggers that drove the women captured in these pages to become lawbreakers.

Queens of Crime co-written by Sushant Singh and Kulpreet Yadav demonstrates a haunting criminal power that most people do not associate women with. The acts of depravity described in this book will jolt you to the core, ensuring you have sleepless nights for months.

Based on painstaking research, these are raw, violent and seemingly unbelievable but true rendition of India’s women criminals.

Here are some hard-hitting facts about a few women criminals from the book!


Shantidevi – The Drug Queen of Mumbai

“Shantidevi started at the lowest rung. Her task was to peddle brown sugar and hashish. A daily target was set and her beat covered five-star hotels across the city. She learnt the ropes fast. There was a huge demand and she was quick to realize that the supply was barely enough to keep pace with it. Her customers trusted her more because she was a woman. She never cheated anyone, keeping the pricing as explained.”

Meeta- The Queen of the Dark

“She had earned Rs 25,000, the equivalent of five months’ salary, in just one night. Over the next three years, Meeta slept with many men. By the time she turned twenty, she had over fifty regular clients. She had paid off the debt and bought two cars: a Maruti Alto and a Wagon R.”

Resham aka Mummy- The Lady Don of Delhi

“ Mummy was sixty, a powerful don whom everybody dreaded. She had no fear: not of competitors, not of the police, not of the courts. Getting away with murder for so long had emboldened her.”

Preeti- The Tinder Murder

“Laxman tried to speak, but since his mouth was taped, he couldn’t. Preeti stepped forward and pulled off the tape. Before he could utter a word, she hissed into his ear, ‘If you shout, these men will kill you. They don’t know what they are doing. They are high on cocaine.’”

Sanjana- The Baby Killers

“Since she didn’t have a job and her daughters were too young to work, she decided to fall back on stealing. But this time, she trained her daughters as well. They became a gang of three, specializing in purse-snatching, chain-snatching, pickpocketing and shoplifting. The mother taught the girls all the tricks of the trade.”

Get your copy of Queens of Crime today!

Five cases that you will never forget from Arita Sarkar’s Kidnapped

In 2016, approximately ten people were abducted every hour in India. Of them, six were children.

Kidnapped by Arita Sarkar brings to life investigations by the police, eyewitness accounts and the perspectives of the accused, recreating each case in painstaking detail. Some of the victims you read about will never come home, but their stories will stay with you.

Read on to know about 5 kidnapping cases that you will never forget:

Case 1: Tarannum Fatema (3 year old) 

Tarannum Fatema’s disappearance baffled the police as there were no significant clues. The police officer working on the case remembered it as one of the goriest he had seen in his career.

“He lured the girl into his flat by promising her chocolates. Once inside, he used chloroform, which he had apparently stolen from his college, to render her unconscious. ‘When her sister and mother came to look for her, [redacted] panicked and strangled her with the wire of his mobile charger’ ”


Case 2: Ritesh(7 year old) and Mukta(11 year old) Jain

The story of Ritesh and Mukta Jain is one that most parents in Coimbatore are familiar with. Their brutal murder has made people more cautious and watchful of their children’s movements.

“Though cases of kidnapping are fairly common in Coimbatore, the police claim that this case, where the kidnappers were faced with charges of kidnapping, rape and murder, was the first of its kind.”


Case 3: Franshela Vaz (8 year old)

While most kidnappings in India are motivated by money, Franshela’s was different.T he kidnapper had never intended to demand a ransom. Driven by anger, he had always wanted to kill her, according to the police.

” ‘The man who murdered my daughter slept in the drawing room of my house. He had no shame at all. Even after killing her, he had the audacity to come and live in our house and pretend to look for her as well.’ ”


Case 4: Adit Ranka (13 year old)

In tough times, the support of one’s family is something most people rely on. In Chandrika’s case, however, her fight to get justice for her son pitted her against other members of her rather close-knit family.

“Since the case involves her close relatives, Chandrika didn’t wish to appeal against the verdict. But she did pin her hopes on the state government who she thought would appeal against the order given by the sessions court. Neither the police nor the prosecution, however, felt the same.”


Case 5: Anant Gupta (3 year old)

The kidnappers themselves never explained why they chose Anant and maintained that he was a random target.

“The police investigation found that Chhatrapal, the mastermind, was inspired by various movies. The police described Chhatrapal as an ‘overambitious person’ who had acted in a telefilm and wanted to try his hand at movies.”

Kidnapped documents ten cases of child abduction from across the country, Arita Sarkar investigates the bone-chilling details of the disappearance of each child. AVAILABLE NOW!

6 Things You Didn’t Know About The Bangalore Underbelly

Jyoti Shelar explores the story of local goons turned powerful dons of India’s Garden City in her newly released The Bhais of Bengaluru. From Muthappa Rai to Agni Shreedar, Shelar researches the history of the influential figures of Bengaluru’s underbelly.
Here are a few things you might not have known about the dark underworld of Bengaluru:

Did you know all of these?

When a Bomb Rocked the Wafi Mall in Dubai — An Excerpt from 'In the Name of God'

What happens when you have to choose between faith and logic? Temples are places of worship, oceans of tranquility, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threatens to destroy the carefully cultivated reputation of the royal family of Thiruvanathapuram.
In Ravi Subramanian’s latest novel, we follow Kabir Khan, Additional Director, CBI, as he breezes through a complex maze of fact and fiction, faith and deceit, religion and commerce to unravel the mystery and unmask the killers with only minutes left at his disposal. Slick, riveting and fast paced, In the Name of God is a truly gripping novel.
Here’s an exclusive excerpt from the book.
It was a deafening sound. The kind that is heard when metal crashes into glass, bringing the whole thing down. The ground shook. It almost felt like an earthquake.
Visitors at Wafi Mall, the largest and possibly most exquisitely designed luxury mall in the area, stood astounded. No one could fathom what was going on.
Gate 1 of the mall was to the right of the central courtyard and a few minutes away from the main parking lot. The ground floor, accessible from Gate 1, was home to a variety of luxury gold and jewellery and accessory brands—Chopard, Cartier, Damas, Rolex, Omega, Breitling and a few local biggies were within shouting distance from the gate.
Moments later another piece of glass came crashing down amid the perceptible sound of cars rumbling close by.
At precisely forty-eight minutes past noon—no one knew the significance of the time, if there was one—two Audi A6s, one black and one white, had driven up to Gate 1. It was not uncommon for cars to drive up to the mall entrance. It was some distance from the main parking and the mall clientele, the rich and famous of Dubai, were not used to walking with their shopping bags. Ordinarily, the cars stopped on the carriageway built for them, waited for a couple of minutes, picked up their masters and drove out. But at 12.48 that day, the two Audis did not stop at the main gate. However, that was only half as strange as the manner in which they drove up to the gate: The black Audi was furiously approaching in reverse, followed closely by the white one, their bonnets almost kissing each other.
By the time the lone security guard at the gate could react, the black Audi had already crashed through the glass-and-metal door with a deafening noise. It drove further into the mall, right up to the main lobby on the ground floor, and screeched to a halt, the white car following suit. It almost seemed as if the black Audi was the pilot car, clearing the way for the second car. But why was it being driven in reverse? No one knew. No one cared. All that anyone in the mall was worried about was saving his or her own life. What ensued was mass panic as scared shoppers started running helter-skelter.
Amidst the confusion, four masked men, all dressed in black, got out of the cars, while the drivers stayed back, keeping the engines running. Armed with Kalashnikovs, they fired indiscriminately in the air, sending the already panic-stricken crowd into a state of hysteria. Everyone assumed it was a terrorist attack. At the time, that’s what it seemed like. Nervously vigilant, the four men strode towards the aisle to the right of the entrance. It was narrow, short and housed only three shops: Cartier, D’Damas and Ajmal Jewellers. At any given point in time, the cumulative stock in all the three stores put together was worth over a hundred million dollars.
The leader of the group stopped in front of Ajmal Jewellers and gestured to the other three to take up their positions. It took just one bullet to neutralize the shop attendant who was furiously rolling down the safety grille. The men entered the store. Once they were in, they were cut off from the rest of the mall.
All anyone could hear was the sound of shattering glass and indiscriminate gunfire. In three minutes the men came out of the store and ran back to the two Audis. Each of them had a bag in one hand— clearly booty from Ajmal Jewellers. But as they were rushing, the last of the four tripped and fell. The bag slipped out of his hands and rolled ahead. The contents of the bag—jewellery and gemstones—spilled out on to the marble floor. ‘Damn!’ the leader swore. ‘Quick! Three more minutes and the cops will be here. We need to go!’ The fall had delayed them by forty-five seconds. They had to leave, else they would be sitting ducks for the Dubai Police. He continued towards the Audi even as his fallen team member recovered, and tried to gather the loot on the floor and put it back into the bag. He quickly got into the second Audi though he had not managed to collect everything that had fallen out of the bag.
Immediately the engines roared to life. The cars vroomed and this time, the white Audi reversed out of the shattered mall entrance followed closely by the black one. In no time, they had disappeared from sight.
The moment the cars left the mall, people rushed towards the jewellery showroom, a few stopping on the way to pick up the pieces of jewellery and curios that had fallen out of the robber’s bag.
Ajmal Jewellers was in shambles. Glass from broken windows and display units was strewn all over. There was blood everywhere. Seven people had been shot—six store staff and a sole shopper.
All of them were dead.
This is an excerpt from Ravi Subramanian’s ‘In the Name of God’.

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