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Meet The IPS-officer, Who Solved Nirbhaya Case

Unveiling "Delhi Crime": A Glimpse into the Nirbhaya Case


Netflix recently unveiled "Delhi Crime," a seven-episode web series directed by Indo-Canadian filmmaker Richie Mehta. The series delves into the 2012 Delhi gangrape, commonly known as the Nirbhaya case, from the perspective of the Delhi Police. Shefali Shah portrays DCP Vartika Chaturvedi, a character inspired by IPS Chhaya Sharma, the former DCP (South District) of Delhi Police who led the 41-member investigation team in the Nirbhaya case.

The 2012 Delhi gang rape profoundly impacted the nation when a 23-year-old paramedic student was assaulted and brutally gang-raped on December 16, 2012, aboard a moving bus in Delhi's Munirka area by six men, one of whom was a juvenile. Despite her courageous struggle, the victim succumbed to her injuries, igniting widespread protests across the country. Among the perpetrators, one committed suicide while in custody, four were sentenced to death, and the juvenile convict served a three-year sentence.

Reflecting on the case, IPS Chhaya Sharma described it as a "blind case." The Delhi Police managed to apprehend the culprits just five days after the incident occurred. Even years later, Sharma, a 1999-batch IPS officer, vividly recalls every detail of the case. She received vague information about the incident around 2:00 am and wasted no time in registering an FIR after collecting details from Safdarjung Hospital.

Sharma likened the investigation to "looking for a needle in a haystack." With only scant details like the color of the bus, seats, and curtains from the male victim, the team faced a daunting challenge. "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 explained.

Throughout the investigation, Sharma maintained constant contact with Nirbhaya and her family. Despite the trauma, Nirbhaya bravely recounted the horrifying incident. Sharma remarked, "Nirbhaya was the epitome of courage who remained calm and narrated the entire dreadful episode with confidence. We owed it to her."


Sharma attributed the success of her team to teamwork. "If the job is done right, everything else falls into place. We just did our investigation," she said. "Teamwork is the key to the success of my team. I believe I am as good as the teams that I lead."

The Nirbhaya incident prompted significant changes in police methods, according to Sharma. She noted a shift towards a victim-centric approach, prioritizing teamwork, diligence, and meticulous paperwork. "These are and will always be parameters for good investigation," she emphasized.

Besides the Nirbhaya case, IPS Chhaya Sharma has played a crucial role in solving various high-profile cases. These include the 2012 death case of two-year-old baby Falak, the shootout case involving liquor baron Ponty Chadha, and the murder case of Deepak Bhardwaj. Currently serving as the Deputy Inspector General at the National Human Rights Commission, Sharma's dedication and commitment to justice continue to serve as an inspiration.