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The Fifth Column

Q. It has been rightly said that rumours are the worst enemy of a country. They spread swiftly like a fire. This was amply evident during the war between Prem Puri and Irsha Puri.

When the king of Irsha Puri, Jalim Singh attacked Prem Puri, the soldiers of Prem Puri not only retaliated strongly but they were able to drive away the enemy also.

In order to take the revenge Jalim Singh used the famous weapon ‘rumours’. He assigned two of his expert men to spread rumours. They studied the situation at Prem Puri and spread a rumour that somebody had poisoned the drinking water tank of the city. In order to spread this rumour they took into confidence two of the credulous residents of Prem Puri and told them about the poison. The spies bolted away thereafter. These two credulous young men started spreading this rumour and discounted the use of the tank’s water themselves. They had started their mission at 6 o’clock in the morning.

Later on, it was known that every man who received this rumour apprised two persons of it every 15 minutes and by 8.45 in the same morning there were only 1233 persons who were in dark about this rumour. Rest of the population of Prem Puri had heard about it.

Can you guess the total population of Prem Puri?

A. Total population of Prem Puri 3,55,527.

To begin with, only two residents of Prem Puri got the rumour. Thereafter, every individual who heard it, informed 2 people within 15 minutes. In this way in the 1st 15 minutes 6 people knew ramour. 12 men in next 15 minutes. 18 men in half an hour. When calculated in Geographical Progression, the answer can be arrived at.