A winter night in 2012 brought humanity to shame, instilled fears in the minds of uncountable girls, and saw the transformation of Delhi to the ‘Rape Capital of India.’
Nirbhaya gangrape shook the entire nation, where everybody, irrespective of gender, age, dreams, career, felt the same pain – the pain of losing one of her own!
When the whole country stood horrified by the brutality of the most heinous crime, a firebrand cop probed into the matter and solved the case in a mere 5 days with all the convicts arrested.
Chhaya Sharma, DCP of the (South) of Delhi Police spearheaded the case with 41 police officers under her, working day in and day out to crack the case.
She remembers being shocked at the grotesque injuries of Nirbhaya. Chhaya solved this barbaric case promptly so that no other girl in India meets with the same agonizing fate.
Clueless, with no major leads the team under Chhaya was successful in finding all the accused and arrest them. Chhaya described the investigation period as ‘finding a needle in a haystack.’
“When we got a list from RTO, we found out there were 370 buses registered only in Delhi. Whereas, if you counted the number of buses in Gurgaon and UP it would have been a bigger number. So for us, it was like looking for a needle in the haystack. So whatever clues we kept getting we kept adding and modified our search. A lot of things started falling in place and slowly we landed at the conclusion,” said erstwhile DCP South Delhi.
The dedication and anger that initiated a fire of rage amongst the officers were instrumental in bringing the perpetrators to custody.
A woman of determination and grit inspired the recently aired Netflix Series ‘Delhi Crime.’ The protagonist Vartika Chaturvedi played by Shefali Shah was motivated by Sharma.
Richie Mehta captures the detailed investigation of the case and puts the Delhi Police’s perspective in front of the nation. Vartika’s extreme efforts, sensitivity towards Nirbhaya and her parents and anger towards the cruelty of the convicts are very intricately put forward on the screen.
Her courage and resolution to find the culprits in the quickest time possible led to major changes in the law and judicial system like fast track courts for rape cases. The rape definition was also expanded and oral sex as well as insertion of an object or any other body part into a woman’s vagina, urethra or anus was included in the act.
In an era wherein the minds of the citizens, police, and corruption go hand in hand, a woman like Chhaya Sharma is an inspiration.
We salute the bravery of Chhaya and all those 41 police officers under her, who not only ensured justice for Nirbhaya but reinstated the entire nation’s faith in our police force.