29 Mar 2019
Meet the IPS-officer, who solved #NirbhayaCase; real-life inspiration for #NetflixDelhiCrime
Netflix recently released Indo-Canadian filmmaker Richie Mehta's Delhi Crime, a seven-episode web-series on the 2012 Delhi gangrape or Nirbhaya case from Delhi Police's perspective.
Delhi Crime has actor Shefali Shah in the lead role, DCP Vartika Chaturvedi. The inspiration for Shah's character is IPS Chhaya Sharma, former DCP (South District), Delhi Police who led the 41-member investigation team in the Nirbhaya case.
About the 2012 Delhi gang rape case
A 23-year-old paramedic student was assaulted and brutally gang-raped in a moving bus in Delhi's Munirka on 16 December 2012 by six men, including a juvenile.
While the victim succumbed to injuries, the incident shook the nation, leading to country-wide protests.
Of the six rapists, one committed suicide in custody, four were sentenced to death, and the juvenile convict served his three-year sentence.
IPS Chhaya Sharma says it was a 'blind case'
Even nearly seven years after the crime, Chhaya Sharma, a 1999-batch IPS officer, remembers every detail of the case, according to TBI.
Calling it a "blind case", Sharma said she received vague details about the incident around 2:00am. Wasting no time, she registered an FIR after collecting information from the Safdarjung Hospital.
It was like looking for a needle in haystack: Sharma
Speaking about the investigation, Sharma said, "It was like looking for a needle in the haystack... We had only vague details like the color of the bus, seats, and curtains."
"Based on the male victim's sketchy information, we acquired a list of 370 white buses registered with the RTO. With every team member finding clues, we got closer to solving the case," she added.
'Nirbhaya was the epitome of courage,' says Sharma
After beginning the investigation, Sharma said, she was constantly in touch with Nirbhaya and her family.
On Nirbhaya, Sharma said, "After going through such a traumatic experience, it is not easy for the victim to narrate the incident. But Nirbhaya was the epitome of courage who remained calm and narrated the entire dreadful episode with confidence."
"We owed it to her," she added.
Sharma says the Nirbhaya incident changed police's working methods
Chhaya Sharma said that a lot has changed in terms of the police's working methods after the Nirbhaya case.
"The approach towards treating a case, especially if it involves molestation, has changed. In the victim-centric approach, priority is given to teamwork, diligence and meticulous paperwork," she said.
"These are and will always be parameters for good investigation," Sharma added.
A little about IPS Chhaya Sharma
IPS Chhaya Sharma has solved a number of high-profile cases, apart from the Nirbhaya case.
Some of the cases are the 2012 death case of two-year-old baby Falak, the high-profile shootout case of liquor baron Ponty Chadha, and the murder case of Deepak Bhardwaj murder case.
The IPS officer is currently the Deputy Inspector General at the National Human Rights Commission.
Teamwork, the key to success of my team: Sharma
"If the job is done right, everything else falls in place. We just did our investigation...," Sharma said. "Teamwork is the key to the success of my team. I believe I am as good as the teams that I lead," she added.