Amazon Prime’s Neo-noir series, Shehar Lakhot, revolves around a young man, Devender Singh Tomar, and his relationship with the town he grew up in, Lakhot. Working as a henchman of a gangster, R.P. Singh, Dev was assigned to travel to Lakhot to help Singh’s client, Centre Marbles, get rid of the indigenous protestors at the mining site. Dev was hesitant about traveling to his birthplace; he had too many heartbreaking memories, and he did not think he had the courage to meet the known faces after a decade of staying away from them. But Singh did not leave him with any choice, and to make the deal sweet, Singh offered Dev his favorite car to travel to Lakhot in.
Who murdered the foreigner?
Shehar Lakhot begins with the discovery of a corpse at a road extension site. SI Pallavi Raj was assigned the case to investigate the death of the foreigner. While Pallavi intended to do her job thoroughly, her boss, Rajbir Rangot, wanted her to wrap up the case immediately. Through an autopsy, she found out that the victim was alive when she was buried, and till her very last breath, the victim tried to free herself. The gruesome death of the unidentified victim bothered Pallavi, and she decided to get to the core of the matter. She contacted foreign embassies to find out her identity. The victim had a tattoo that read ‘toska,’ a Russian word for a feeling of sadness or melancholy experienced without any particular reason or cause. Working in a male-dominated sector, Pallavi’s biggest fear was being forgotten at her job. She could, in some way, relate to the victim, and finding the truth became extremely important to her.
Pallavi figured out that Rangot had some vested interest in disrupting the investigation into the murder, and she soon learned that he had his signature on the road widening permits. Pallavi could sense there was a connection between the corrupt police officer and the death of the foreigner, but she struggled to find evidence, and that was when Dev stepped in. Pallavi and Dev had their own sets of differences; she did not trust him after he physically assaulted a man, and he never considered her a friend, but with things falling apart around them, Dev and Pallavi came to an understanding. Dev got hold of the Palace Hotel’s security footage with the help of his friend Antariksh Tyagi. According to the surveillance footage Tyagi brought, MLA Bhenno visited the Palace Hotel and raped the murder victim. She fell unconscious after he choked her, despite her asking him to stop. Later, Rajbir Rangot and Kairav entered the room and carried the body out. Everything was captured on the surveillance footage, and Dev handed the drive over to Pallavi.
By the end of Shehar Lakhot, Pallavi found out that the victim was a Kazakh national named Tatiana Ivanov. She was a sex worker at the Palace Hotel, and she had no family back home. We can only guess that Tatiana’s life was not an easy one, and no one cared enough about her to seek justice. Even though Pallavi did not know Tatiana when she was alive, as a woman, she could feel the pain that the young girl had to live through. She did everything that a family member was supposed to do, and finally, in death, Tatiana found peace. Pallavi could not bring justice to Tatiana because she eventually realized that the people in power were impossible to mess with, and everyone else was too afraid to help her fight them. So, in the end, we watch Pallavi Raj adjust according to the whims of the power players. At the end of the day, it was all about survival, and Pallavi did what was best for her.
Why was Vikas murdered?
The revolutionary leader of the Kachdaar community, Vikas, was adamant about not coming to a negotiation with Centre Marbles. The protest began when a deer was hunted down by Anil Mahajan’s associates, who had come to Lakhot for a visit. The community was not ready to forgive the businessman. It was not just the death of the deer that they were protesting against, but the sudden taking over of their lands by the marble companies. The locals were being dislocated because of the mines, and all they wanted was to get back their lands. Lakhot used to be completely barren, but that was until marble was discovered. The head of the marble association, Kairav, owned most of the land, which he had offered on lease to the marble companies. Kairav spoke on behalf of Centre Marbles, and he tried to come to an agreement with Vikas, but the young leader refused to entertain him.
Dev was sent to Lakhot to negotiate with Vikas as well, but he quickly came to understand that the man was a devoted individual, and that money could not buy him allegiance. Dev considered using Vikas’s sexuality against him, but before he could do so, MLA Bhenno ordered Vikas’ arrest. Bhenno and Kairav were not on good terms, and the MLA wanted to display his power. He realized that there was some ulterior motive behind Kairav wanting to resolve the matter as fast as possible, and he decided to create more ruckus to keep the protest going. Rajbir Rangot was a sly man who showed support for the MLA, but he was simply searching for his moment to shine. Rajbir soon figured out that Kairav used the marbles to export drugs, and that was the reason behind his loyalty to Centre Marbles; they were also the only ones who could provide the green marbles his client required.
MLA Bhenno wanted Kairav’s business to suffer, and he tried to win Vikas’ confidence. Since the MLA was from a marginalized community and he could also offer the platform he was searching for, Vikas chose to trust him. Kairav was a cunning man who had his ways to get things done. Once Kairav figured that Vikas was homosexual, he invited him to the Palace Hotel and drugged him. He took pictures of Vikas in a compromising position and used them to threaten him to end the protest. Vikas had no choice, and even though he had a deal with the MLA, he could not risk losing his reputation. MLA Bhenno was not happy with Vikas’ decision, and to please his master, Rajbir Rangot stabbed Vikas to death. Rangot and MLA Bhenno used Vikas’ death to continue the protest, and they promised to bring justice. Kairav had no other choice but to make a deal with the dishonest police officer.
How were Jay and Sandy involved?
Dev’s family had cut off all contact with him after he was arrested. When he returned to Lakhot, his elder brother, Jay, refused to engage with him. The only person who was accepting of Dev was his sister-in-law, Vidushi. She had a crush on Dev when she was young, and we later find out in Shehar Lakhot that she still felt the same way about him. Dev’s father, Rajendra, was not ready to entertain him. He refused to acknowledge Dev as his son and asked him to stay away. Dev waited outside the Tomar Residency on his first night at Lakhot and noticed a few thugs riling up Jay. That was the only time Dev doubted that his brother had gotten involved with the wrong people.
It was only after Jay’s death that his truth came to light. Jay was initially assumed to have died in a car accident, but it was labeled a murder case after the autopsy. Apparently, Jay was murdered before the accident, and Rajbir had doubts about Dev. The court did not find the evidence against Dev conclusive enough to keep him in prison. He was granted bail and was asked to report to the police station every day. Dev soon figured out that Jay was a gambler and was involved with Kairav. Jay was Kairav’s accountant, and he helped the Bhenno King launder money. Jay handled all the shell companies, and Dev assumed maybe it was Kairav who had something to do with his brother’s murder.
In the end, we find out that Jay is still alive. Dev had always been madly in love with Sandhya, and when he returned to Lakhot, he reconnected with her. Sandhya worked for Kairav; she was in charge of looking after the sex workers and, at times, satisfying Kairav and his special guests. When Dev got arrested, Sandhya was pregnant, and she had to opt for an abortion. Everyone got to know about it, and she struggled to find any work. Kairav came to her rescue and used her situation to his advantage. Jay used to be a regular at the gambler’s desk at the Palace Hotel. Sandhya watched him lose money every night, and one day Kairav’s men got hold of him. Sandhya convinced Kairav to make a deal with Jay instead of beating him up. Jay realized Sandhya had a weak spot for him, and the two eventually got romantically involved. Sandhya wanted to escape from Lakhot, and she convinced Jay to keep some money aside when he was handed lakhs of rupees to launder. But Jay was a gambler, and when he had the money saved, he decided to try his luck and gamble. Jay lost all the money they had, and the lovers had to come up with an alternate plan to get money. Kairav’s driver, Jamal, had captured on video the killing of the deer. The video could completely destroy Anil and Sunil Mahajan, and Jay decided to use it to his advantage. He teamed up with Jamal and blackmailed Sunil to pay the price to keep the video under wraps. But when Jay and Jamal went to collect the money, Kairav’s men chased them. Jamal was exposed during the chase, and Kairav made it impossible for him to live in peace. Jamal and Jay got involved in a heated argument, which eventually led to a scuffle. Jamal overpowered Jay, and Sandhya killed Jamal to protect her lover. They packed his body in Jay’s car and made it look like an accident.
What was Jay and Sandhya’s plan?
Both Jay and Sandhya tried to take advantage of Dev. They, in their own way, convinced him that Kairav was the bad guy and that they needed to get rid of him. Dev could go to any lengths to see Sandhya happy, and if he needed to commit a murder, he was ready to do so. Sandhya explained that as long as Kairav was alive, she would not be able to escape from the cursed town. Dev decided to sneak into Kairav’s palace and shoot him dead. Kairav was aware that Dev had trespassed, but he did not stop him. He knew that Jay and Sandhya were using Dev. He, too, was fooled by the two, and he had sympathy for Dev.
Kairav explained how he had nothing to do with Jamal’s death, and he tried to join the dots for Dev. When Kairav talked about Jay and Sandhya, he refused to believe him. Kairav advised Dev to find the truth, and he believed Sandhya would show her true colors once she found out that Dev had murdered him. Dev lied to Sandhya, and she advised him not to contact her for a couple of days till the case died down. Dev waited outside Sandhya’s house, and he was devastated to find out that Kairav was right. Sandhya packed her bags and left her house. She got the money from the bank and picked up Jay on the way. Dev wanted revenge, and he followed the car. Bhi, too, wanted to murder Jay since he was responsible for her brother’s death, and she followed Sandhya and Jay.
In the meantime, R.P. Singh sent his men to get Dev back to Gurugram. They got hold of Dev, but the dimwits got involved in a gunfight when they tried to overtake Bhi’s car. Dev escaped from the shootout, hopped on a car, and continued to follow Jay and Sandhya. At the end of Shehar Lakhot, the two brothers and Sandhya came face-to-face. Both Sandhya and Dev pointed their guns at each other—Dev had never imagined that such a day would ever come. Sandhya had never been in love with Jay. He was only her escape route, and she believed that the world would be extremely cruel to her if she operated on her own. She needed a man by her side, and Jay happened to be her best bet. In the end, she had to choose between the two brothers, and the choice was not a difficult one.
What happened to Dev?
Shehar Lakhot ends with Sandhya shooting Jay dead and offering Dev a chance to accompany her. She had the money and the opportunity, but the situation kept getting worse with time. Dev had lost faith in her, and he believed two broken people could not live a happy life together. Dev was ready to let Sandhya go, and just then, SI Pallavi Raj intervened and shot Shandhya dead. She handed the money received from Sandhya’s car to Dev, and all the charges against him were dropped. Pallavi took over as the lead police officer after Kairav murdered Rajbir. Rajbir tried to strike a deal with the devil, and in the process, he got burned. Pallavi was glad to have Rajbir gone. She had realized how corrupt the world was, and as a police officer, she could barely make any difference.
During Shehar Lakhot‘s ending, Dev returns to Gurugram, and he comes across a package. Pallavi had sent him the drive that had incriminating evidence against hundreds of politicians, businessmen, and celebrities. She believed only Dev could do justice if he truly wanted to. Now, whether Dev will choose to destroy the powerful or use the videos to his advantage is the choice he has to make. As chaotic as the trip was, going to Lakhot helped Dev confront his past. He got to know himself better as a person and also reconnect with the people he loved. Dev had been carrying a watch he bought for his father from the time he came to Lakhot, and finally, in the end, he was able to gift it to him. For the first time, his father was proud of him. All his life, he assumed Jay was his perfect boy, but after finding out all that he was involved in, he realized he had done injustice to Dev. Though emotionally driven, his younger son retained some moral principles. The short trip to Lakhot had significantly changed Devender Singh Tomar’s life, and his future can be a lot different if he chooses the right path.