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2-min read

'Delhi Crime': Director Richie Mehta Unfurls the Unknown Side of Nirbhaya Case in Netflix Show

Releasing on March 22, on Netflix, 'Delhi Crime' features Shefali Shah, Rasika Dugal, Adil Hussain and Rajesh Tailang in pivotal roles.

Vaishali Jain | News18.com

Updated:March 22, 2019, 11:43 AM IST
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'Delhi Crime': Director Richie Mehta Unfurls the Unknown Side of Nirbhaya Case in Netflix Show
Releasing on March 22, on Netflix, 'Delhi Crime' features Shefali Shah, Rasika Dugal, Adil Hussain and Rajesh Tailang in pivotal roles.
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December 16, Delhi winters, one girl, six men and a moving bus. These are enough to take us back to the brutal and barbaric gang rape in 2012 that shook the conscience of the country and forced the citizens to unite and come on the streets demanding justice for Nirbhaya.

It’s been six years since then. And while most of us may have moved on from the incident, Richie Mehta, the director of Netflix’s original series Delhi Crime, is still struggling to come out of it. Channeling his emotions, angst and pain he devoted four years to research about the Nirbhaya case.

During his research, he realised that all this while people were unaware of the effort Delhi Police had invested in to put the accusers behind the bars. Speaking to News18, Richie said, “I met people who were involved in the case and who knew more about it than all of us did because when they were investigating it, they kind of had a front-row view of it. Getting to know them, understanding their point of view, their emotional response to things and their intellectual understanding of the things then became my compass to navigate the story.”

Backing the director, Shefali Shah, who essays the role of DCP Vartika Chaturvedi in Delhi Crime said, “As an outsider and as a layman I didn't know this side of the story at all. At that time, we all put a lot of blame on the police. There was anger, pain, frustration and outrage against them from the public and all of us included. We all thought that no one is doing anything about the Nirbhaya case, but there was actually a team of people who did something about it.”

The character of Vartika is inspired from Chhaya Sharma, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in South Delhi in 2012, who led the team of more than 100 policemen in the Nirbhaya case and caught the six culprits in less than 72 hours. “The crime became a personal journey for the DCP and for me also once I stepped into the character. She ( Chhaya) caught these six men in a span of five days without even knowing their names. I realised that it is a story and an incident of loss and loss of life, but then was another woman who fought for it, so it was not a lost battle,” said Shefali.

When one talks about Nirbhaya there are two prominent emotions-- anger and pain. Both Richie and Shefali realised that in the seven-part series they can’t go on exploiting them. Richie said, “There were a lot of rules in my head when I head to the project. Right from the beginning, I was sure that I won't depict the crime in any way. It's the investigation that is the real state here and not the case. I didn't get into writing until I completely understood this. Once I understood that it was a dreary battle. It's was an everyday fight, even today to maintain that line.”

Shefali emphasised that there was no emotional space, need or want to get out of the character. The very fact that it was consuming was enriching for her. “There is no other way of doing it but completely be Vartika. The role is empowering for me because there is one woman who is ruined but there was another one who stood up to fight against the odds and serve justice to the victim,” concluded Shefali.

Releasing on March 22, on Netflix, Delhi Crime also stars Rasika Dugal, Adil Hussain and Rajesh Tailang in pivotal roles.

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