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But destiny had surely planned it otherwise since it started raining heavily immediately and continued almost non-stop after the storm. Around 8 p.m., as we waited for the rains to end, it was decided to make arrangements for dinner of the about 30 persons accompanying me. But, with a suspended Officer-in-charge who would have usually been assigned such responsibilities, and a bad weather, the whole team was almost left to fend for itself in the small village which also contained the threat of being attacked by the Maoists from the neighbourhood.
Complicating things further, Mobile phones did not function in the Don area in those days due to absence of mobile towers and the wireless set of the Police Station was thus the only way to communicate with the district headquarters at intervals of every two hours. As we tried to send a communication about our whereabouts to the district headquarters, it was found that the only wireless antenna which was fixed above the Police Station building had been blown off by the storm and could be repaired only after technical staff would arrive from the district headquarters and which was not possible before the weather got clear. The wireless fixed in our different vehicles could communicate with each other but not with the district headquarters due to their short range and the intervening hills.
As the search for provisions began in the village amidst the continuous rain, two teams of 2 officer-in-charges each went in two directions communicating with each other on wireless. One of the teams managed to procure some rice, pulses and spices from the only shop in the village after locating its owner who had gone home to sleep and was fully inebriated when he was requested to open the shop for purchases. The other managed to procure about 6 desi chickens as deemed sufficient for the whole group.
To be continued......