Chapter 7: Long chain of green trucks

Never before had Kashmiris seen a one-way convoy of the Indian occupation troops that stretched from Avantipoor to Banihal. It was as though it were a long chain of green trucks stacked bumper to bumper. People were seen taunting the vacating troops with crude statements which roughly translated to, "we finally trampled the tricolor with our muddy boots."

Largely, people were seen distributing sweets among themselves and burning fire crackers. Many were also peacefully shouting pro-freedom slogans whenever they saw a convoy of retreating Indian soldiers.

There were also sporadic events of people pelting stones at the retreating Indian convoy, but the local police was largely able to control those crowds. In Islamabad, several Indian military personnel were roughed up by locals when they stepped out of their vehicles while on their way to Jammu. Two army personnel were paraded naked through the market before being rescued by the local police. 

While the instructions to the retreating Indian soldiers was very clear: not to let the BJP and Shiv Senaks enter the valley. The roughing up incident at Islamabad left the retreating soldiers with a thirst for vengeance. This may be the reason why a bus carrying about ninety hardcore BJP supporters was let through all the way from Udhampur to enter the valley. 

The bus could not have been more conspicuous. It had triangular saffron flags fluttering from all sides and an image of Shiva with a snake on his shoulder painted on the front of the bus. The lone bus was speeding on the deserted highway leading onto the valley and entered the Kashmir valley in the dead of night shortly after 2 AM. The bottleneck created by the Banihal Tunnel was cleared earlier that night and the backlog of the remaining convoy of Indian troops had already passed the tunnel. 

The Hindu fanatics in the bus were sound asleep unaware that all their fellow country men occupying Kashmir had already left. All except for the few thousand army men holed up at the Badami Bagh cantonment. The bus was running low on petrol but the bus driver was sure that he could make it to Srinagar. They had planned they would pitch their tents in the middle of Lal Chowk, hoping that their fellow countrymen, their trusted soldiers will be there to protect them. 

Among the fanatics in the bus was Vishal Modi,  an MP from Gujrat and grandson of the infamous former Chief Minister of Gujrat, Narinder Modi.