Xavier was very furious. He was totally charged up. There was no way any one could pacify him. He immediately called Yashwant, Kudwa and Abraham. He wanted to have a second opinion on his decision. Well, He wanted to give a tip off to famed encounter specialists in Mumbai to wipe off Abdul and his men, before they are caught by police and spill the beans.
But, Yashwant calmed him down. It is a time to show restraint he said. The boys will behave in a similar manner no matter how much one controls them. We can’t go on recruiting new boys again and again. Xavier calmed down. He had called Mani many times to take stock of the situation. He lauded his men, Kabeer and Ibrahim’s efforts.
All the gang members were shifted from Batkal to Goa. They will catch a flight from Goa and will fly to Delhi, Palam Airport and then by road will travel to Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. The itinerary was tough. All arrangements were done in a jiffy.
Xavier went over to Yashwant’s office in the suburbs. He invited Kudwa and Abraham also for an urgent meeting. They said they could meet in the evening. There was news from Kasargod Mani that police had picked up Marshal and he had named Xavier as a peace maker in the Rilsy land grabbing case. Lolly also had given a statement supporting police claims that Xavier might have had a hand in the attack. But, still there was no witness.
As Kasargod Mani had acted fast and packed of Marshall to Bangalore for a while, there was no one to question. Police officials were not sure and also lack of evidence forced them to not to file a charge sheet. The motive for the attack was not clear. They could not act without it. If one could take into consideration of innumerable Hindu associations in the city, they were all against Rilsy. But, He has not named any one of them. He was acting as if he was totally dumbstruck. Just staring in the face of visitors with a blank expression.
Many times police officials visited him and came back empty handed. Still, Xavier was a known person in Udupi Kallianpur, Kaikamba, Cascia, and Attavar etc., due to his old crimes and associations with gangs earlier. If any police officer tried to dust up old files, definitely he will be in trouble. This prompted him to call an emergency meeting of all members. Also Nitin Parekh was forcibly invited. They all planned to meet at ‘Santino’s restaurant in the evening.
It was 7.16 pm. The restaurant was brimming with guests. The crowd was filtering in as much as they were vacating. There was a waiting list which was growing. The guys handling reservation were busy, still were careful to reserve the window side table for eight, to Xavier and company without fail. Amigo Alvarez twice came out, bowed to the gang and disappeared inside.
Waiters had already served first round of Royal Challenge and Reshmi Kababs, Lobster Chilly, Chicken Schezwan dry for starters. Paneer Tikka for Nitin Parekh, who was the only vegetarian among the five. Nitin gobbled a piece of Paneer Tikka. Yashwant gestured as to what is the next course of action?
"Guys, I do not see any reason to worry at all. If police have doubt, then they will get in touch. Till then, we need not sweat at all. There is no FIR and there is no witness so far. The case would have got a communal turn; thank god no arrests have been made. And, the gang obeyed and behaved properly. The reason being the victim is alive. If it would have been a murder, then police would have swooped on every one they could lay their hands on!!" Nitin was talking rapidly as if Paneer had given him extra energy for that moment!
"Well,.. I beg to differ.." Xavier finished his glass and spat. "I am the guy who police will pick up first. Abraham and Yashwant or even Kudwa, these three do not have any criminal records in Mangalore. So, it is imperative that I take necessary precautions. At this age I definitely would not want a National Security Act imposed on me. And suffer the court chakkars" He sounded angry.
" Never it will be, friend" Kudwa joined in the conversation. " You will never be caught as long as we three and Nitinbhai are alive. Your old cases all are closed. There were no evidences. In Mumbai, again there is lack of evidence. How we got Abraham out. Just imgine" Kudwa was trying to pacify an agitated Xavier.
" Yes, Kudwa is right." Yashwant spoke signaling the waiter for a second round of ‘Royal Challenge’
" Xavier need not worry, if need arises He can obtain an anticipatory bail or surrender to Mangalore police, and within 24 hours, we will see to it that he comes out. But, then Rilsy and his family will be wiped out for this?it may be in an untoward accident?or in an ambush, whatever it takes" he just wiped his face and stared at every one, paused for a while, and continued " We all three remember, Xavier has done a lot for us. He is the senior member among us. We salute him for his courage. We learnt from him the trivia of different illegal trades. We will all be together and protect him" he said with his voice quivering. All looked at him.
"We pledge undying support to Xavier, come what may "Abraham who was silent till now shouted and stretched his right hand. Yashwant put his right palm on that. Kudwa also put his right palm.
All pledged support. Xavier was elated.. He also lay his right palm on their hands. Nitin was very happy to see the unity among the guys. Just then the waiter interrupted with his drinks tray. Or else the solidarity support show would have gone ahead endlessly.
"Well, guys, I am completely happy to see the unity and friendship among you devoid of age gaps. This is the true foundation of friendship and business relationship. This is the key for business to flourish. No single man out here can conduct business and remain alone. Great going guys, as I said earlier, there is no reason to worry. I am very much around, and I have two close lawyer friends in Mangalore i.e. One in Mangalore and the other in Udupi. So I assure you the case will be closed due to lack of witnesses." Nitin was totally fired up by their witness of solidarity.
"Cheers to everyone, long live our unity" Abraham raised his glass. All the remaining four raised their glasses.
(To be continued)
Author: Donald DSilva- Mumbai