“Delhi Crime” Season 2 is directed by Tanuj Chopra and created by Richie Mehta. The series once again banks upon the dependable Shefali Shah, who finds herself amidst another horrifying crime that shakes the foundations of our society and breaks the delicate fiber that maintains a so-called balance. A balance that favored the privileged and didn’t mind trampling the downtrodden.
Who Were The Suspected Killers?
SHO Subhash Gupta called Vartika Chaturvedi and told her about a multiple murder case in the posh suburbs of South Delhi. Rakesh and Romila Arora, retired doctors from AIIMS, were brutally murdered along with their guests, the Menons. The maid, Meena, had called the police and informed them about the incident. Anita Arora, Rakesh and Romila’s daughter, also arrived at the scene as she was informed about the commotion that was taking place outside her parents’ home. She was unaware of what had happened inside. The police officer at the crime scene didn’t let her enter the premises. She was agitated and desperately wanted to know if her parents were safe. The Aroras and the Menons were not only murdered, but the killers executed the crime in an extremely brutal and savage manner. They had been hit by a hammer-like weapon, and then the house was vandalized and pillaged by the killers. DCP Vartika Chaturvedi advised Anita that she shouldn’t see the dead body of her parents because it was not the kind of last memory she would want to have. Vartika’s trusted officers, Inspector Bhupendra Singh, IPS Neeti Singh, and Sub Inspector Jairaj, also came to the scene.
The CCTV camera footage showed that two masked people had entered the house. They were arrogant enough to not destroy the CCTV cameras. It was as if the gang was challenging the Delhi police to catch them if they could. One more important detail that was found by Bhupendra was that one of the victims had traces of oil on his hands. The police officers knew that this pattern of committing crimes matched the modus operandi of a gang that had wreaked havoc in the late nineties in the northern belt of the country but they had been inactive for the past decade or so. Vartika and others knew that they could be behind it, but they were not ready to accept the horrifying reality. Bhupendra Singh finally said it out loud: it was the infamous “Kaccha-Baniyan” gang. This gang was probably the most dreaded organized criminal syndicate that ever existed. They had a unique method of execution. The gang members used to soak themselves in oil, cover their faces, and wear undergarments so that even when somebody caught them, they could slip away easily. They not only stole everything but killed each and every person, even if it wasn’t really required. Then they used to eat, drink, and have a good time inside the victim’s house without feeling the urgency to exit the crime scene. SHO Subhash Singh tells everybody how his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, didn’t remember anything, but whenever she used to hear any disturbance at night, she used to get scared and say that the “Kaccha-Baniyan” gang had come.
The gang usually targeted rich elderly people living alone. Till now, they had attacked houses and residential units in secluded areas, but for the very first time, they attacked a gated community in South Delhi. Before the police could start their investigation, the CCTV camera footage from the crime scene, which was the prime evidence they had, was leaked by someone from the inside, to the media. It was a constable who was behind it, and maybe did it for a petty sum of money. The news spread like wildfire. The whole nation now knew that the “Kaccha Baniyan” gang was once again on the prowl. The police were called incompetent and blamed for not being able to ensure the safety of the people. They started getting a lot of backlashes. Kumar Vijay, the commissioner of Police and Vartika’s senior, asked her to include someone who had prior experience in dealing with these tribal gangs. He suggested the name of a retired SHO from Patel Nagar Police station named Viren Chaddha. The Delhi police control room got a call from an anonymous caller. The caller said that the “Kaccha Baniyan” gang was back in the city, and they were going to make life hell for the Delhi Police. Vartika Chaturvedi was shocked beyond her wits. She didn’t know what to think of it. The killers had the audacity to call the control room and openly challenge them. Vartika realized that this was no common gang. They weren’t scared of anybody. Committing crimes was like a game for them. They enjoyed it. Seeing the blood and the dismembered bodies gave them an adrenaline rush. Just then, Bhupendra called Vartika and informed her that the gang had committed another murder.
Did The Killers Belong To The Denotified Tribes? What Did The Commissioner Want Vartika To Do?
This time there was a survivor. Ritika, the granddaughter of the deceased victim, Maneesh Monga, had somehow managed to stay alive. Dimpy Monga, the wife of Maneesh Monga, was severely injured, but there were chances that she could survive. Vartika met Ritika and asked her what exactly happened at her grandparents’ home. She was asleep when she heard a loud noise. Suddenly, her grandmother came running into her room. Her face was smeared in blood. Ritika got scared, and she just opened the window and started shouting. She felt guilty that she couldn’t help her grandmother. The media had put out a verdict stating the incompetence of Delhi police and that the terror of the “Kaccha Baniyan” Gang still loomed over the city.
Viran Chaddha was a fascinating personality. The man had come abroad only on the condition that his pension would be approved by the state. When a man is so desperate about getting his pension, you would assume that he is having difficulty making ends meet. But Chaddha owned this huge mansion and lived a royal life. He was the most corrupt and cunning cop you would ever come across. But the man knew everybody in the denotified tribe community by their names. He tells Vartika and the others that the denotified tribes were called the criminal tribes in the British era. India gained independence, and the name was changed. But he says that there was no change in their behavior. Chaddha says that the community is well connected and linked to each other. He stereotyped the whole community blatantly and said that committing crimes was a daily routine for them. In a family, maybe the mother stole purses, while the husband vandalized houses, and the children were taught to pickpocket on trains. Chaddha is sent to Shahdara with Jairaj to bring any suspects from the community to the police station. Their living quarters were divided on the basis of the crime they committed. For example, in the first lane, only the people who used to steal suitcases from trains and buses lived. The dwellers from the next lane indulged in the illegal selling of unauthorized alcohol. The third lane belonged to people who used to break into houses and shops to steal stuff. Chaddha brought almost everybody from the community to the police station. He didn’t even leave his children and women. There were two men who had tried to run when Chaddha was arresting everybody. Jugnu and Azad became the primary suspects and were called in for interrogation. Jugnu was arrogant, and he told Chaddha to not act in such a discriminatory manner. He told him to not generalize the whole tribe as criminals. He said that things had changed, and that the community was not stamped as being criminals.
The police got to know that Jugnu and Azad were present near the house of the first victims, a couple of days before they were killed. Both of them were asked about their involvement in the gang, and they constantly stuck to the fact that they didn’t have any kind of association with it. They were sent for a medical examination with Neeti when they escaped captivity. Vartika was infuriated. She had high expectations of Neeti and didn’t expect that she would be so careless about things and let such a lapse in security happen. But Jugnu and Azad came back to the police station, though not alone this time. They were accompanied by a celebrity lawyer, Mr. Vineet Singh. He had the evidence to prove their alibi. They had gone to the area to conduct a robbery, but they were not targeting the house of the victims who were killed by the “Kaccha Baniyan” gang. They had stolen a sum of Rs 30 lakhs from a dry fruit wholesaler, who had not reported the incident because it was black money. Bhupendra went and confirmed this information. There was CCTV footage to prove their alibi. Mr. Vineet Singh, who himself belonged to the denotified tribe, urged the police to leave the innocent people. Vartika left everybody, but because Jugnu and Azaad had escaped police custody during an ongoing investigation, she couldn’t leave them, though she was not charging them to be a part of the gang.
The commissioner of police, Kumar Vijay, wanted Vartika to create a narrative that aided the general sentiment, where they would make Jugnu and Azad the accused in the case. Vartika told the commissioner that she had proof that they were not the killers, but the political pressure was way too much. The political masters and society had found an easy scapegoat, and they wanted to pin everything on them. Vartika’s conscience didn’t allow that. She also got to know that Viren Chaddha had demanded a sum of fifteen thousand rupees from the people of the denotified tribe in exchange for removing their names from the list of suspects. Firstly, she fired him instantly and then told Bhupendra and others about the orders she had gotten. Everybody thought that in the press conference, she would name Jugnu and Azad as the members of the Kachha Baniyan Gang, but that didn’t happen. Something inside her pushed her to take the right path, even if it meant putting everything at stake. She told the press that Jugnu and Azad didn’t have anything to do with the gang. Kumar was infuriated. Vartika had blatantly gone against his command even though he had explicitly stated the wishes and desires of the people higher up in the food chain. He called Vartika and told her that she was on borrowed time, and if she didn’t crack the case, she would put her career in jeopardy.
‘Delhi Crime’ Season 2: Ending Explained – Who Was Lata Solanki? What Happened To Vartika Chaturvedi?
Anita Arora had told Sub-Inspector Sudhir about a piece of jewelry that was her family heirloom and was missing after her mother was killed. One of the informers told them about a jewelry shop that had been sold a similar-looking pendant by an anonymous person. Jairaj and Sudhir went to investigate the matter and found out that an old woman had sold them the jewelry. They went to different jewelers in that area and found out that the woman often came to multiple shops to sell something. They got to know that her name was Sarswati, and she lived in Jaganpura. Neeti had a theory that if she was quite old, as was visibly seen from the CCTV footage of the jewelry stores, she would be visiting some medical shops too in the area. The Delhi Police made a breakthrough. They got her address and brought Sarswati to the police station. They got to know that she had a grandson named Guddu and suspected him to be a part of the “Kaccha Baniyan” gang. They got the number of Guddu and started tracking him down.
Guddu, a.k.a. Pawan Gulati, together with Babloo, Thermal, and Lata Solanki, was responsible for spreading widespread chaos and fear in the alleys of the national capital. Lata Solanki used an alias of Karishma. Lata Solanki was having an affair with Babloo, whereas Thermal was Babloo’s nephew. Delhi Police got the location of Guddu, who was on his way to kill another elderly couple. He was supposed to meet the other three when he was caught by the police. Bhupendra got shot by him. He was taken to the nearest hospital. Vartika rushed to check on her favorite colleague, whom she not only valued as an able officer but also considered someone in whom she confided in.
Lata Solanki wanted to commit another robbery, but Babloo and Thermal were against it. They felt that they had enough and didn’t need to take any further risks. Without telling anyone, Lata had given all the money as a downpayment for buying a property for her beauty parlor. Babloo and Thermal were infuriated as she had not informed them that she was taking their share too. They confronted her, but Lata was somebody who could not be dominated. She used to lose her mind whenever anybody called her a psychotic person. She couldn’t control her anger. She killed both Babloo and Thermal, and fled from the scene. Vartika and her team reached Madangir, where they were staying. She found the dead bodies of Babloo and Thermal. She got to know that Karishma Solanki’s real name was Lata Solanki, and she stayed in Ghaziabad. When the police reached there, they got to know that Lata had left her husband, Prakash, and her son, as she was not satisfied with her life there. She wanted more, and in order to do that, she started this gang and henceforth committing crimes.
Through the real Karishma Solanki, Vartika got the mobile number of Lata. When her number was tracked, they realized that, apart from Babloo and Thermal, she had called a restaurant owner, at really odd hours. They tracked that restaurant owner and got to know that the man had helped her to buy a house without legal documents. Vartika knew that she was close to tracking her down. She conducted a crackdown and finally caught Lata Solanki when she was trying to escape from the terrace. The dreaded “Kaccha Baniyan” gang was nothing but a group of people who wanted more but couldn’t find any legal means to do so. So they decided to snatch what they didn’t get and what they thought they deserved. The media applauded the Delhi police for their efforts. Commissioner Kumar called Vartika and told her that though she had been promoted to the post of DIG, she was being transferred to a remote area. Somebody had to pay the price for defying the orders of the ministry and letting go of Jugnu and Azad without charging them for the crimes they didn’t commit. Vartika paid the price for being a righteous woman in a corrupt setup. But she was not disappointed because, in the eyes of those few who knew her, she hadn’t lost her integrity. She held her head high and waited for the next challenge to knock on her door.
“Delhi Crime” talks about a gap that is created in our capitalistic setup between the elites and the impoverished. There is a huge difference in the economic status of these two fragments of our society. On the one hand, we see the rich getting richer, and on the other, we see these people living in slums, devoid of any hope that one day they will make it to the top. In its essence, it reminds me of Arvind Adiga’s famous work, “The White Tiger”. Lata Solanki wanted a parlor. Her employer, and the first victim, Romila Arora, had told her that she would give her money to open her parlor. She didn’t live up to her promise, and Lata killed her in cold blood. The series never justifies the actions of Lata. “Delhi Crime,” says that there is no definite answer as to why a person like Lata commits such a heinous crime. It was a game of aspirations and desires. We, as a society, want people and communities from less fortunate backgrounds to maintain their status quo and serve their masters indefinitely. We don’t like to create ladders for them, which could help them to come to the other side. They must fight for it, which frequently leads them to a deep and dark abyss. Lata may have been abused by her husband, ostracized by society, and denied the chance of a better life. She used to get these fits of anger when she was told that she was dreaming about a life that she could never really have. Her motivations haunted Vartika Chaturvedi because she knew nobody had any answers on how we could bridge this gap. We, as a society, believe in stereotyping, and we are constantly in search of a reason to blame the downtrodden for the acts they are often not responsible for.
“Delhi Crime” tries to make a social message. It tries to take a dig at the capitalistic setup, inequality, discrimination, corruption, and other vices that convenientl find a place in our society. It is not as emotional or impactful as its first season, but still, due to fabulous performances by the likes of Tillotama Shome, Shefali Shah, Rajesh Tailang, Anurag Arora, and others, it is able to put up a decent show. It makes an effort to be philosophical and seems a bit too inclined towards giving a social remark, but still, it is able to stand apart from the clutter.