It is very easy to criticize anybody in the system, but once you become a part of it, you realize the nitty-gritty of it and then come to know why it is so botched up and entangled in its own mess. “Delhi Crime,” the 2019 Netflix series, is directed by Richie Mehta and Tanuj Chopra. Though Shefali Shah and Rajesh Talang lead the show, the other actors give such a scintillating performance that you will be immersed in this world even before you know it. The screenplay is detailed and filled with nuances that make it extremely close to reality. There are bits and pieces that have been dramatized for creative purposes, but it never impedes the proceedings in any manner. So let’s analyze the aftermath of a crime that shook the whole nation. Let’s understand what went into the minds of the culprits and those few police officers who were involved in the case. Let’s understand the politics of the system and the reason behind its dysfunctionality.
Spoilers & Trigger Warning
What Is ‘Delhi Crime’ Season 1 About?
It was around 10:38 pm in the night when the police officers found two people, a girl, and a boy, lying naked on the side of the road in Mahipalpur, a locality in Delhi. The boy suffered minor injuries, but the girl was in a state that would send shivers down your spine. She was barely able to speak and was in agonizing pain. The boy, named Akash, told the head constable, Ram Pratap, that they were on a bus when the driver, together with five more accomplices, started misbehaving and arguing with them. The boy was beaten, and the girl was brutally molested and tortured beyond the imagination of a sane mind. The police officers took both of them to the Safdarjung hospital immediately. The female victim, named Deepika, told the doctor that they were beaten by an iron rod, and then the same rod was inserted inside her genitalia. She said something, which made the doctors, who were used to handling trauma cases every day, pause for a moment. One of the perpetrators had put his hand inside her genitalia and taken out her intestines. The poor girl couldn’t open her eyes. She was profusely bleeding. The parents of the girl arrived at the scene. Imagine the parents looking at the blood-soaked face and feeling helpless, not knowing what they could have done to save her from such misery. Deepika was in pain and told her father that it hurt way too much. But in that state, too, she reassured her father that she would get well soon, as she was worried about him getting paranoid.
When Ram Pratap was informing the control room about the status of the case, his voice shivered. In his years of service, maybe he also wouldn’t have seen something so terrible. DCP Vartika Chaturvedi was fast asleep when she was informed about the crime. She was told about the condition in which the two victims were found, though, at that moment, it was not confirmed that it was a case of rape. She first told Narayan, the constable, to keep her informed, but then she had an intuition of sorts. She didn’t feel right about the whole thing. She got ready and went directly to the Safdarjung Hospital. The doctor in charge told her that it was a case of gang rape and that the victim’s intestines appeared to be hanging out of her rectum. DCP Vartika Chaturvedi couldn’t believe what she had just heard. For a moment, she lost track of her thoughts. The parents of the girl come to meet her, and that’s when she realizes that she has to act quickly and track down the ones who were responsible for ruining the life of an innocent girl. She calls Inspector Bhupendra Singh and tells him to come to the hospital immediately. She also called SHO Rakesh Verma and SHO Shubash Gupta to the scene. DCP knew that, apart from the people who were going to conduct the investigation, she would need somebody to be with the victim’s parents at the hospital, as they too were in a fragile state. Neeti, an IPS Trainee, was called for that purpose, as Vartika was impressed by her work when she caught a truck trying to smuggle ivory, at a checkpoint.
The Delhi police officers went to take a statement from Akash. He told the police that they reached Munirka bus stand from Select City Walk and then took a bus from there to Dwarka. There were six people who attacked Akash and Deepika on the bus. He said that he had heard two names: Brijesh and Vikas. The assailants took their belongings and then threw them out of the bus.
According to Akash, a police van stood there for quite some time and didn’t do anything. Bhupendra clears the misunderstanding and tells him that it might be a highway patrol car that looks like a PCR van but is not equipped to rescue people. Vartika Chaturvedi met SHO Vinod Tiwari, Sub Inspector Sudhir Kumar, Sub Inspector Jairaj Singh, Sub Inspector, and Juvenile Welfare officer Vimla Bhardwaj, and others outside the hospital. She briefed them and told them that it was a case under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code. They had two names and a few details about the interior of the bus. They had to find a needle in the haystack. They had a mammoth task in front of them, and there was no scope for any error.
Does Jai Singh Confess His Crimes?
Bhupendra was inquisitive about knowing what was so special about this case that the DCP was taking it so personally. Vartika tells him that as police officers, they have seen rape cases before, but this one was beyond horrifying. She said that she had never seen such a demonic act being committed before. One team was sent to look at the CCTV footage of the area, and another was given the task of tracking down owners of travel agencies who owned the kind of buses that matched the description given by Akash. They got to know that a guy named Sirish owned the maximum number of white buses. One of his buses was missing, and the whereabouts of its driver, named Jai Singh, was also unknown. It was a contract bus that picked up students during the daytime and then was used by a company called New Index Consultancy. It was generally parked at RaviDas Camp, R.K. Puram, near the Munirka bus stand.
A plainclothes unit was sent immediately to R.K Puram. One of the bus owners, who were called to the police station, told Vartika Chaturvedi that one of his cleaners had also been missing since the morning. The cleaner’s name was Alok Kumar. SHO Subhash Gupta had some contacts in CFSL, the local forensics laboratory, and he pulled in some favors. Generally, it is a tedious procedure to bring a team of experts to the crime scene, but Vartika couldn’t risk compromising on the information that they could get from the crime scene. So the forensics team reached Mahipal Pur, where the victims were thrown from the bus. They called in experts, people who had been in the travel business for years and who could figure out something about the bus that an untrained eye would generally miss. The picture of the bus was sent to all the constables throughout the city. Three things were found: there was an idol of Lord Shiva in the bus; the front wheel axle was missing; the back door was jammed, and the name “Sirish Travels” was written on its back. Vartika Chaturvedi decided that she would herself go to RaviDas Camp. They were talking to the locals and asking about Jai Singh when the bus matching the description came and stopped in front of them. They ran and grabbed the driver.
The Delhi police force finally caught the prime accused in the rape case: Jai Singh. While Vartika and Bhupendra took Jai Singh to the police station, SHO Subhash Gupta was vested with the responsibility of taking the bus to a discreet location away from the public eye. Jai Singh did not confess to his crime. It became necessary to find something that would incriminate him. At first, Subhash Gupta was not able to find out anything, and Vartika was stressed about the fact that they would have to leave Jai Singh due to the lack of evidence. But that day, luck favored the Delhi Police. They got the call logs that nullified the alibi given by Jai Singh, and Subhash Gupta struck gold. He found a hidden cabin beneath the floor of the bus that had all the evidence that they would need to prove their case. Jai Singh was told to stop telling lies as he knew everything about him. The police officers present in that room hadn’t heard such a confession in their whole life. It was petrifying. He said that he had an argument with Akash, and he started beating him. Seeing that, Deepika came and tried to intervene. That is when Jai Singh started beating her also and then eventually took her to the back of the bus, where he committed the sexual offense. He said he inserted the rod inside the girl because he was agitated.
There was an iota of guilt in Jai Singh’s eyes and he looked like he was possessed by Satan. He said that he didn’t stop even after that. He put his hand inside her genitalia and took out her intestines. He said he wanted to rip the girl apart from the inside. At that moment, if DCP Vartika Chaturvedi and the others weren’t bound by the law, they would have subjected Jai Singh to the same torture that he had inflicted on the poor girl. But they controlled themselves. They wanted law and order to prevail. Vikas Goswami, Brajesh Kumar, Alok Kumar, Sonu, and Amar were the other five co-accused. Amar was Jai Singh’s brother. They got a number from Jai Singh’s phone that belonged to Dada, his elder brother. A team was sent to interrogate him.
Vikas and Brajesh were also caught by the police and brought to the station. Bhupendra questioned them and very slyly made them confess to their crimes. Both the men told the police that they had done as Jai Singh asked of them. They said that Jai Singh’s wife had passed away, after which he often had these psychotic anger phases. Whenever he saw a couple, he got enraged. Vikas and Brajesh said that they were scared of the man and that the police officers should be too. Meanwhile, sub-inspector Sudhir Kumar came to know that Amar had gone back to his village, where his parents used to stay. He took his team and left for Karauli immediately. Amar was tracked and taken into custody. He tried to escape, but Sudhir threatened him that he would tell his mother and father about his crime, and he gave up. The Delhi police was making rapid progress, but they still didn’t have any knowledge about Alok and Sonu. They were under a lot of pressure to deliver. The media was spreading all kinds of misinformation, and on the other hand, the political powers wanted to find a scapegoat and pin everything on them.
Is Vartika Chaturvedi Able To Catch Alok And Sonu?
Deepika’s health was deteriorating every passing day, and the chances of her surviving were becoming bleak. The hunt for Alok and Sonu was still on, but the police weren’t getting any solid leads in the matter. It was even more difficult for them because they didn’t have any kind of identification through which they could be tracked. All they knew about Sonu was that he was in his twenties, and he had a peculiar way of calling passengers on the bus. They weren’t even sure if Sonu was his real name. Amidst all this chaos, a high court judge has taken a “Suo Moto” cognizance of the matter. There had been reports in the media that the police had not performed their duties according to the procedure. Vartika Chaturvedi and the others were under the radar. They had to get results, and that was the best way to end the hassle.
Sub-inspector Jairaj Singh was sent to look for Alok. He was livid as he was sent to a Naxalite area in Bihar. From there, he came to know that either Alok would be in Naharpur, Gurgaon, where his relatives used to stay, or in Jharkhand, from where his in-laws hailed. Vartika Chaturvedi told Jairaj to leave for Jharkhand immediately. Jairaj became very frustrated. First, they were sent to a Naxalite area, and then all of a sudden, they had to go all the way to Jharkhand, where the Maoist situation was even worse. Vikas and Brijesh attempted to kill themselves with a needle they found in their prison cell. The police intervened just in time and saved them. Vartika Chaturvedi knew that she couldn’t let this happen. She knew that all the accused had to be taken to the court of law safe and sound. Sub-inspector Sudhir Kumar was searching the bus stations and asking random people about Sonu. They got misled quite a few times and found other people with the same name. But then, when they had almost given up, a shopkeeper came and told them that he had seen Sonu on one of the buses that went to Gurgaon.
The buses were supposed to return to the Anand Vihar terminal the next morning. So Sudhir and his team waited, hoping that Sonu would come back. He did, and the police officers caught him. Sonu looked like a minor, and sub-inspector Vimla Bhardwaj wanted to take charge as she was the juvenile welfare officer. The other officers knew that if he was indeed a juvenile, he would easily get away in three years. They didn’t want that, but Vimla was adamant. The youth of the country had come onto the streets. People were angry, and every day the number of protestors was increasing. Water cannons were used to disperse the masses, but it wasn’t enough. Political pressure was increasing, and Kumar Vijay, Vartika’s senior, gave her an ultimatum: if she was not able to find the last culprit, it would put their careers in jeopardy. Jairaj finally got a tip that Alok had come back to his home. He went there and caught the last culprit. Alok Kumar was then taken to Patna Airport and brought back to Delhi. After all the struggle that the officers had to go through, it felt like an achievement, no less than winning a lottery. DCP Vartika Chaturvedi, together with her able police officers, was able to get her hands on all the 6 culprits accused of committing sexual offenses against Deepika on that fateful night of 16th December, 2012.
‘Delhi Crime’ Season 1: Ending Explained – What Did Deepika Say In Her Testimony?
The magistrate also came for Deepika’s statement as they didn’t want any discrepancy in it. They knew that the poor girl might not survive, so they needed to latch onto the opportunity. The courageous girl, barely able to speak, said that she would make a statement. Her body was wounded, but she had the spirit of a warrior. She wanted to see her perpetrators behind bars. Bit by bit, Deepika narrated the events of that fateful night. The magistrate was jotting everything down. She stopped and looked at Deepika with tears in her eyes. She couldn’t write anymore. She couldn’t fathom how a girl could survive all that and still fight for justice. Apparently, Jai Singh and the others wanted to save Indian tradition by setting an example. They wanted to tell the people that if a girl goes out with a boy late in the night, then she is bound to be molested and tortured like Deepika. The magistrate was being overpowered by emotions. She was fuming with anger, but she had to control it. She had to record her statement. She had to make sure that the rapists were hanged to death. The magistrate left and told DCP Vartika Chaturvedi that the brave girl had signed a detailed four-page statement. Just as the magistrate left, sub-inspector Bhupendra arrived at the hospital. Vartika knew just by seeing the contented look on his face that they had got their man.
An emotional Vartika Chaturvedi informed the victim’s mother that Delhi Police had caught all the culprits in a record time of five days. They had delivered when it mattered the most. Kumar Vijay’s nightmare had finally come to an end. The police officers could finally take a breath of relief. The case had changed the perspective of the entire nation, of the whole society. Yes, it was undeniable that things needed to change, but still, there were some things one could be proud of. The efforts put in by Vartika Chaturvedi’s team were one such thing. She celebrated the victory with her officers by eating ice cream and telling them how it was the best antidote for tea in winters.
Final Words: Does ‘Delhi Crime’ Take A Biased Approach?
The laws changed after this case, and it was said that fast-track courts would be created for the victims. Jai Singh committed suicide in prison itself, and Sonu was released after three years as he was tried under the Juvenile Justice Act. The others were sentenced to death. Neeti still questioned the meaning of everything. She didn’t feel that there was anything to celebrate, even after the culprits were caught. She knew that Deepika would succumb to her injuries. She questioned the very fabric that held our society together. Vartika Chaturvedi didn’t know how to convince her daughter to stay back in India and not go abroad for her studies. The DCP says that her heart was broken only twice in her whole lifetime: once when she saw the victim and the second when she realized that Akash, in such a situation also, just wanted to look out for himself. He was trying to give an interview to the media and take his share of the limelight. Akash was not a bad man. He was traumatized too. But it is appalling to see the lack of empathy in our society, and that’s what bothered Vartika Chaturvedi.
Yes, it is undeniable that “Delhi Crime” does take sides. The whole narrative is from the perspective of the police officers. It puts them in a good light. But then the arguments made are also not frivolous. The narrative backs it up very strongly with facts and figures. It is true that there is no comparison between the police force of a first-world country and that of India. But there is a reason behind that. The funds are low, the officers are not paid well, the department is understaffed, and moreover, there is no proper infrastructure to support and aid them. Amidst all these issues, it is but natural that they would first look out for themselves rather than caring about notions like justice and the rule of law, which, believe me, doesn’t make any sense to a person who cannot fend for his family. “Delhi Crime” does not say that corruption is justifiable, but it tries to reason why it is there in the first place.
“Delhi Crime” is an exceptionally well-made crime drama, elevated even more by the performances of the actors. With season 2 on the cards, it would be interesting to know what the makers have to offer now and if they are able to live up to the expectations and match the high bar set by season 1.
“Delhi Crime” is a 2019 Drama Crime series created by Richie Mehta.