Man forced to watch ‘Department’ by police during interrogation, approaches Human Rights Commission
A habitual offender has approached the Maharashtra Human Rights Commission, accusing the Ghatkopar police of using third-degree methods on him. Jayant Narvekar, 32, was picked up by beat police for questioning regarding a series of burglaries in the area. While this was nothing new for him, what followed was.
“Their methods have become worse” said Narvekar. “Instead of thrashing me as usual, they put me in a cell that had a TV, handcuffed me tightly to the bars and started playing that Ram Gopal Varma film, ‘Department’, with the sound turned right up. After ten minutes, I could take it no more. But, every time I closed my eyes, a constable jabbed me in the kidneys with his lathi,” said the out-of-work painter.
“It was like an endless nightmare though I realized later that it lasted less than a couple of hours. I offered to confess to anything they wanted to charge me with, but they just laughed at my plight. The film’s numerous purposeless camera angles – [referenced from Anna M.M. Vetticad’s review] shots of a character taken from below another’s armpit, Vijay Raaz as seen from below a lady’s thigh, a dancer’s right thigh placed over the left while the camera teases us in the direction of her crotch, Amitabh Bachchan as seen from above, an elongated Raaz as seen from below – were worse than electric shocks or the ‘aeroplane treatment’. At least with those, you pass out quickly,” he sniffed.
Denying the accusation, Ghatkopar Police Inspector CV Zendekar admitted to screening the movie, but claimed that Narvekar was not forced to watch it. “We simply felt that ‘Department’ portrayed the difficult conditions that the Mumbai Police operate under. Hence, we rented a TV to screen it for visitors to appreciate the good work that we do.” He however admitted to not having watched the movie himself. “Some of our men saw it and recommended that we use it for publicity purposes. Narvekar was free to tell us to turn the TV off. We did not force him to watch the film.”
Ghatkopar Assistant Police Inspector Jayant Patil added that the decision to screen the movie for PR purposes was made after a lot of consideration. “RGV sucks. When he wants to glorify the underworld, he makes a masterpiece like Satya but to highlight the achievements of Mumbai police, he makes such crap. But what to do, something is better than nothing,” he sighed.
Mumbai Police Commissioner, Arup Patnaik, refused to comment. “I have ordered Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone VII), Sanjay Shintre, to look into the matter. Disciplinary action will be taken, if the charges are proved to be true,” he said.
The Maharashtra Humans Rights Commission has taken cognizance of the complaint. “Prima facie, forcing a detainee to watch a movie like ‘Department’ constitutes a violation of his right to dignity, life and liberty. We have asked the Mumbai Police Commissioner to furnish a detailed report of this disturbing incident,” said Commission Chairman, Shri Satyavart Pal.