#100days100scenes: the encounter cop

If there was a cop segment that was made in India for Indians by Indians , it is the tale of encounter killings by an encounter cop. Heavily used in Mumbai during the notorious gang war between the D-company, Arun Gawli gang  , Amar Naik gang and Chota Rajan gang , it originates from the department created under Mumbai Police called the Detection Unit. The Detection Unit or the encounter squad was instrumental in reducing the crime rate in the 80s and 90s in Mumbai city by surrounding gangsters and then poking them and then opening retaliatory or self-defence fire to eliminate them.

It was used in many situations to send a clear message to the underworld who had smuggled sophisticated weapons that the police was not a portly onlooker with an unusable old rifle but a trained encounter cop who could sharp shoot.

This also solved the Chakravyuh problem since now the police had the tools to take on the mafia. So they created a parallel 'system' that eliminated their moral dilemma. Rather than waiting for the court to try and charge a dreaded criminal, they could provide instant 'insaaf' and it was 'allowed' by the government as the only way to tackle the menace.

Encounter cops like Daya Nayak provided ample fodder for Indian cinema. And it needed an old hand to play the level headedness and guile to play a realistic encounter cop who is not unfazed at the situation. Ab Tak Chhappan was a movie that did complete justice to the aura of an encounter cop.

Titled aptly as Ab Tak Chhappan to show that 56 was the running count of the number of encounters the cop had completed, the movie used realistic Mumbai language with all the abuses you will find in such dealings. Nana Patekar riding a late bloomer hero phase after Krantiveer, played the cop perfectly getting both the Mumbai diction  and the doggedness of the cop right mixed with the manic intensity that he could only muster. Almost the 'sarfira' type who could 'thok daalo' anyone.