Samba Spy Scandal


During the third round of tortures, in addition to the three techniques, of the proclaimed thirty six, I had already experienced, the fourth and the fifth were also put into practice. The fourth was, inserting a beer bottle and an iron rod up the anus after making me naked in front of the sentries, the fifth was tying weight to the testicles, dragging me on the floor, by the leg, while one person sat on my back. Under these circumstances I forgot to remain close to the danger, in a bid to save other innocent people. I tried but failed. I was reduced to a state where I could have shown having taken across the entire Brigade including the Commander. And why only the Commander, for that matter anyone, including the Chief, General OP Malhotra. It was a different matter that nobody would have given any credence if I had been forced to involve the Chief. Brigade Commander? Probably yes. And it was a different matter if I didn't, because some one else did that for me!

I once again started visualising, men going out and coming in through the walls; the plan white walls of the cell with figures of men and animals, changing shapes every now and then. At times it was birds flying then disappearing into animals figures. Then everything taking the shape of all 33 crores Hindu Gods; and then the process was repeated. I would at times find myself floating in the air; wingless. Then I would see myself at different places - with my parents in my village, and wondering how did I reach, when only a moment ago I was with my wife and children at Kamptee. Then home would also turn into something else. Samba. Yes I am in Samba, but how did I reach here? I would think, when I was in the Interrogation Centre. Then I would visualise the entire complex in Samba instead of Delhi! Sometimes I would find myself as the Director of Military intelligence ordering the interrogators to stop the torture. I would believe my imagination was real though there were no interrogators. Then I would order the sentries to open the door, while trying to establish my identity. To convince them I would ring up the Chief asking him to send his ADC immediately. And then telling them sometimes, look you don't believe me, he is coming. I would then take out from pockets of my torn trousers my Identity Card and produce it to the sentry. I then saw the Prime Minister, Mr. Desai, along with the Chief of the Army Staff enquiring from me and I telling my story, and thereafter giving assurances to others that there would be no torture.

Of course, neither the walls allowed anyone to come or go through them, nor were there any Gods, Neither did I fly nor was I at home nor were there any telephones, identity cards or a DMI. Nor was there the Chief or the Prime Minister enquiring from me. Such and plenty more inexplicable fantasies were the result of hallucination or my state of subconsciousness or unconsciousness, to which I was reduced. The phenomena of imagining things and yet thinking them to be true, day in and out (there was no difference between day and night for me) increased in intensity each day. The indescribable varying fantasies, used to be shattered only by severe beating, the pain of which would pierce through the hallucinations.

I was made to write and rewrite a number of statements of which I never had any account, barring a few which I was later made to corroborate.

I had become spiritless, senseless and was under a complete grip of morbid fear created by the interrogators. Under that fear I believed each word that was spoken to me as a threat by the interrogators. They would pick up a name from the list of my friends, and ask, how did you take him? I would say, I have not taken him, please sir. But my refusal would only last for two or three days. That depended on the severity of the beating. Then I would agree and sign the story. Back in the cell I would shed a few tears; knowing similar torture awaited my fresh victim. But the sense of guilt used to remain only for sometime. Because by then the interrogators would have asked me the next name in the list. The interrogators used to ask, you a wicked fiend, why were you resisting the name? And I had only one answer to offer. Sir, I was considering his children. Thus the number of spies increased each day. When it reached to Colonel BR Kayastha and Major SP Sharma, I became adamant. My tactic to remain close to the danger was proving disastrous for others.

I categorically said, sir, they are innocent. What would you achieve if I gave the names of innocent people?

But then, was I not innocent? Were the other innocents not being arrayed in the hot crucible? They were. But I did not want to increase the number of such people, and to make them undergo the untold miseries and atrocities perpetuated in that slaughter house, called the Interrogation Centre.

I was told, and was convinced, that my entire family including my aged parents were put under arrest.

One of those days a message was dictated to Major Jolly by KSS, who, by then was reflecting an air of absolute authority, in front of me. It read: "Captain Parkash Chand ex 62 Field Regt (.) Brother-in-law Captain Rathaur high grade security suspect (.) Place officer under close arrest forthwith (.) Attach property and seal bank accounts of officer (.) Despatch officer for interrogation."

The message then was handed over to Chotte Sahib with the instruction to hand over the message, in some TP centre. Thereafter KSS himself left to pass the message.

`Tell me, you bastard, what has that poor man done to you? Was it a sin for him to have betrothed his sister to you? Is this the way you should have expressed your gratitude? Why did you put this man in trouble? Why?

At this point I was completely exasperated because of the desperation caused by helplessness. The only way to overcome the situation, I thought, was to end myself. It took one thousandth of a second to decide. I dashed headlong with an intention to smash my head against the wall. But had the interrogators not said, we would not let you die.....'

They checked me with great alertness and then swung me on to the table. And it was how Major SP Sharma and Colonel Kayastha became spies!

Each moment of the ordeal had become a nightmare during the last couple of days. It is beyond any imagination of a human mind to contemplate or to describe the brutal tortures and the resultant agony that I underwent. My body was mutilated and so was my brain. The pain the bones of my feet, which I had presumed were broken and had become useless, was so severe and instense that the remaining badly scarred body became painless. The soles of my feet burned as if I was walking on fire. I wished I was without feet or that someone should cut my feet off, only to relieve me of the burning sensation, which had become unbearable. I used to plead to the sentries or anyone I saw to do the merciful act. Then I would plead for a doctor or medicines or anything including poison, which could rid me from that hell. But I always got the same reply; "Thumhare baap ne khairati hospital khole rakka hai. Wahin se bulaenge doctor" (Your father has opened a charity hospital and we will call a doctor from there). The only time I felt relieved was when I lay either sprawled on the ground, unconscious or while hallucinating. How long and how often, there were no counts.

However I did remember one thing, that among the numerous blood thirsty vultures, human butchers, there was one Chotte Sahib with great respect and deep feelings towards the suffering of another human being. He was the same person who had given me rest and provided me with tea during the first round of tortures. The Chotte Sahib, always allowed me to lie down and place my feet up against the wall, during his tenure of duty. Despite the warning given by him not to sleep, I would sleep undisturbed. But alas,! This angel used to appear very rarely.

I was in the grip of a complete nervous breakdown. I started shivering with fear at the mere sound of an interrogator. And paradoxically, I saw the declaration made by KSS, "You and your twenty generations to come will remain haunted on hearing my name." True enough; if not my twenty generations, but I certainly was haunted and remained so for many months to come. And under these circumstances I was forced to commit an act which otherwise, was nowhere near even my dreams!

Once again a VIP treatment was given to me. But this time I was in a every precarious physical condition. I lay on the bed provided to me, unable to move. Most of the time I was in coma, not knowing whether I was alive or dead. I kept hanging on between life and death, day after day. Still no proper medical aid was being given. Probably the interrogators didn't want to show my condition to any outsider. They depended on naturopathy for me to get better. However, finding the condition, worsening instead of improvement, a doctor was called to nurse me. The doctor thereafter continued nursing me, twice a day, till I remained in the cell. Due to the sincere efforts of the doctor, whose name like most of others, remained unknown to me, I was able to move a bit on the bed, though I was unable to walk for a long time to come. My right ankle was fractured, and most of my joints suffered due to broken and damaged ligaments.

Initially I had lost all my WILL to live. Now I wanted to live, if not for myself, then for others. I made up my mind with complete determination.

Before I think of making any plan, it is necessary for me to know whatever has happened and all that I have written. I thought, and pressed my mind to think.

The shouting of Chotte Sahibs at the unfortunate victims and inmates of my neighbouring cells, pathetic cries, counting of numbers and various other slogans, similar to what I was made to do, constantly disturbed me. From the different voices emanating from the cells, I counted there were five more cells, excluidng my own. A voice coming from a cell used to cease and be replaced by an entirely new one. This continued to happen till I was there and even after.

Whatever had happened I remembered, I have been able to insert, wide loopholes, despite close scrutiny of the trio and their every care to obliterate any weakness in the concoctions. However, nonstop screams of the influx, which followed apparently as a result of my stories, caused a lot of mental disturbance to me. I wondered if any one responsible for ordering arrests, carried out any verification! But as the people came to the SPY PRODUCING FACTORY, and stamped as they left, with a brand of A SPY, was certainly a discouraging thought. Apparently no one bothered to check the facts, and were busy flushing out the traitors! A little commonsense would have avoided the biggest massacre of innocent persons of the Indian Army.

I no more cursed Captain Nagial. I sympathised with him and many others, who, I had learnt by then, had fallen prey to the conspiracy hatched by Gnr Aya Singh and his accomplice, Gnr Sarwan Dass. It was crystal clear to me, how was I implicated by Nagial and the story corroborated by Ajit. And why Aya Singh had to go for REINTERROGATION. I, remembered a line from my statement, "... and I told Ajit to convey to Gnr Aya Singh not to disclose my name, even if you are called for re-interrogation" and then, "... I conveyed to him that I would fight his case and that Aya should not worry." How very nice; a fitting statement!

Gnr Aya Singh was a relation of Captain Nagial. During his interrogation Aya Singh incriminated Nagial, and may be also Ajit. Why he did that to his own relations, was not clear to me. It could be due to torture. The question was, why Aya did not disclose my name if he knew me as his accomplice, or even otherwise, when he was first interrogated? Why should the question of Aya Singh's reinterrogation have arisen, once he had already been cleared? And how would have I known that Aya Singh would be called for re-interrogation? Which he was! Was the requirement of his reinterrogation attributable to the incompetence of his interrogators, who first carried out the interrogation? Or was it a simple fact that Aya had not met me ever, let alone having taken me across to Pakistan? Who would fight the case better, a close relation, or a third person that was me, whom Aya as the statement also said, had met only once? Who was dependable between the two? It was obvious that poor Nagial was also tortured at the instance of Gnr Aya Singh. Then during similar tortures Nagial must have confessed to a false story and given the names of others including mine, as I did, I thought. And thus Gnr Aya Singh was called for reinterrogation, to corroborate Nagial's version. And the meaning of above lines in my statement were now clear to me.

I also remembered, but only vaguely, the remoulding of my fresh confession which had been dictated to me a number of times. I had to pay the price for playing my trump cards at a wrong time. The vital evidence so disclosed by me was erased. I was made to re-write my confession which read, "though I was on leave, I spent the leave in station.", and the words "... on 31 July 1974 I went to Manwal Camp in my civil painted jeep... Then he asked me to send the driver and the jeep back to Samba." Were either replaced with the better sense or erased completely. A vital piece of evidence for stamping the story as false, was thus lost.

I was made to fabricate stories about a number of persons. Among these officers picked out, each was known for his high competence and professional knowledge, intelligence and morality, like <ajor SP Sharma, Captain VK Dewan and Lieut Colonel BR Kayastha. Major Sharma was subsequently defamed through press, by reliable sources, of the Army intelligence as the ring leader. Then there was a bunch of other like Major Ajwani, who presumably was the DJAG responsible for tendering advice against prosecution in the case of Captain Nagial; Captain Sajjan Singh the Adjutant of the unit responsible for Nagial's custody, the CO of that unit and finally the Presiding Officer of Nagial's GCM, whom I had neither known, nor ever heard of, but was supposed to have bribed all these men and taken a few to Pakistan, I recalled sadly, and that presumably was the cause for Nagial's getting less punishment, which the trio had repeatedly asserted. How, I thought, these clebrities of the vital army organ, could be so stupid, unrelenting in the face of facts and not be prepared to recognise the truth? How could they be behaving completely without sense? Could the whole scandal be attributed to what I thought about the interrogators; or was there something deeper in the matter? Why would the interrogators have defaced the evidence? Who was more credence worthy, Gnr Aya Singh, admittedly a trained Pakistan agent or me? Or still was it a fact, that Gnr Aya Singh, had won over their confidence and misled them to an extent where every analysis failed in favour of Aya Singh?

Whatever it was, I did not blame the `Chief'. After having made a profound study of the art of corroboration that was followed by the interrogators, I thought, anybody would believe the stories so corroborated, without checking in detail such disclosures physically. The Chief has no time to do that himself nor had he time to see to the methods applied for the actual production of such blue prints, as he is already burdened with intricate responsibilities of his office. But then what was wrong with the steps of the ladder, the army channel of command responsible for placing the masterpieces before the Chief? Could they not see or they did not want to deduce from the stark naked lacunae in the uncorroborated briefs?

Deductive reasoning is an absolute necessity in a military man. It is inculcated at each stage of his career, right from the day of academic training. Whenever the necessiry of deductive reasoning has been allowed to be ignored before embarking on any plan, disasters, have invariably followed. A military man in a war does not live to correct his blunders. That necomes a lesson for others. He corrects himself and learns from the past experiences of others. Therefore, and not without reasons, a great amount of stress is laid to teach as well learn this art.

I saw clearly, nothing of the sort was done. Every one had closed his eyes, if at all there was any eye open. Probably a result of hate due to the spies, the traitors. Who was to be blamed if at all, for the ensuing disaster?

I remembered the three questions which were repeatedly asked by KSS. These were : THE QUESTIONS ARE THE SAME THREE, AND WHO WILL ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS? AND I quickly used to say I WILL, SIR. AND WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS?




And whenever KSS asked the above questions it meant an addition in the list of my accomplices. And thus my confession had grown thicker and bigger with the passage of each day. I had given the names of imaginary files - scores of them that I was supposed to have handed over to the Pakistan FIU, in answer to the question WHAT ALL DOCUMENTS..? Apart from the documents, there was the information of all such formations wherein I had served, and the exercise papers in which I had participated. As regards the number of trips and persons introduced, it was understood. The trips were equal to the number of persons introduced. They even forced me to make statements against Lt. Gen. Chandorkar and Lt. Gen. (later Chief of the army staff) K.V.K. Rao. I had supposedly deceived them also. But I told them, how could they have been deceived? Because no General goes to border area alone. He is always accompanied by members of his staff and subordinates. They realised this fact and I was spared the torture to implicate them further.

Having recollected whatever details, I could, I set about making plans. I made and remade a number of plans and then discarded them. Finally I made a plan which was the simplest of all. As soon as I was better enough to move around, I would be shifted to the Raj Rif Centre, officers mess. Once I was out of the dreaded place, I would apprise the Commandant about the unconstitutional approach adoped at the Interrogation Centre and that the Commandant himself was to blame for his failure in protecting my interest, due to an accused, under the Army Act, and which is the responsibility of the officer putting an accused under arrest. I would then insist for my early trial.

I was able to make out from the talk of the interrogators, about the culpability of Aya Singh, in that Aya Singh had already incriminated and deposed falsely against a number of innocent people and thus had brought disaster on them. The man who damaged the country and the organisation by acting as a spy first, was busy, after he was caught for his obnoxious act, damaging not only the organisation but he was also responsible for the miseries, and the suffering of innocent, loyal officers and men, their unfortunate families, who all had become the civtims of his nefarious designs. This he was able to achieve by winning over the confidence of the Intelligence authorities. How Aya did that, was as simple as that. Because, majority of collection in the Intelligence Corps is a discarded lot from other arms and services. Most of them opt for this branch of the army, not because of professional aptitude, but for pecuniary gains. They join this branch when their career prospects, in their parent arms and services, are bleak because of their professional incompetence. Their sole aim to join the branch is to serve for a longer period and mark time. Such people would still render a great service to the nation, the army and humanity, in general, if they stuck to their original aim. They neither have the knowledge and training nor the required capabilities. Under the circumstances it is not difficult for shrewd people like Gnr Aya Singh to mislead and exploit their weakness. Once such weak persons are misled, with their unlimited powers being security men, they become very dangerous, and ruthless.

And it is also very easy to mislead them like Hajaj the Khalif of Suleman, who killed his intelligent brave and the most loyal nephew, Mohd-bin-Qasim. However that was an altogether different subject. I intended to deal with, once this trial was over. The immediate task I set for myself was to prove that Gnr Aya Singh was fake and then redeem so many of my victims. That I could do only once Aya had deposed against me in the trial. I was not bothered about my confession, as I was sure to prove it as untrue from its details, and involuntary, from my medical examination. Even though I had lost the trump cards, there were enough points for me to win the case and then get Aya Singh for perjury.

But alas; even the best of plans fail when pitted against the imponderable. I was wrong in underestimating the wisdom of my interrogators, wisdom that was without innocence! I failed to realise, even when I had sufficient experience to realise, the devilry enacted by the interrogators. And they themselves had made it clear to me, when KSS had said. `... We are born, brought up and are living in this profession.' I should have recognised the cocoon of profligacy. But even if I did that, as I did recognise a little later, what could I do under the claustrophobic circumstances.

Preface | Temporary Duty | The Move Order | The Train Journey | The Reception | The Army HQ | Close Arrest | The Interrogation | Background | The Intelligence | The Security | The Devil | The Confession | The Foundation Stone | The Great Detectives | The Corroborations | An Approver | Confrontaions | Hibernations | Leading to the Trails | Fairy Tales | Into the Fire | Army Procedure | As a Winess | Meeting with Family | Habeas Corpus | Death of Democracy | The Trial | Prosecution Case | The Defence | The Press | Rebuttal | Aftermath | Mystery | Postscript | Annexure I | Home |