Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Cop Talk…

Former IPS officer Neeraj Kumar states his book Dial D for Don is has been written for the layman on a intuitive level. He speaks to Sapna Sarfare about his book – a collection of 11 volatile CBI missions. 


Who does not love a little bit of excitement & thrill in one’s life? If you cannot create it, the least one does is read a book which reeks of adventure. Neeraj Kumar, former joint director of CBI and former commissioner of Delhi Police, has had a career replete with people & incidents, which smell crime. Now, he has come out with a tell-all memoir, which will be irresistible.
 
Dial D for Don, published by Penguin India, reveals Kumar’s intimate account of 11 prestigious CBI missions, which are full of volatile details, apart from showdowns with gangsters. This book by the now retired IPS officer has accounts of his 37-year-old career. What you seen in his book are also a peek into how the CBI works and cases such as the arrests & captures of Abdul Latif – the don of Gujarat, terrorist Jagtar Singh Tara and Dawood henchman Romesh Sharma.

 Neeraj Kumar has been in the midst of the most volatile cases. So, one assumes that whenever someone with his background writes a book, it is bound to have explosive material. Soon mayhem follows (accusations & revelations). Kumar is quite to dismiss such labels. He states, “The fact that there have been no ‘accusations and mayhem’ as yet‎ shows that the book doesn’t have ‘explosive’ material. However, it has to be said that I was careful about what I wrote to preclude possibilities of controversies following the book’s release.” We take the honest cop to his word.

Neeraj Kumar
A long career in the law & enforcement department must have thrown up cases of varied proportions & types. Each case will be full-fledged matter for independent book. A compilation book like this one might not do full justice to them. Kumar, in a insightful mood, feels that the only case worth the merit of being a full-fledged book would be the chapter on the 1993 Mumbai Serial Blasts and Memons. “Since the case was cracked by the Mumbai Police who did the initial investigations as well, I chose not to write about it. Getting the Memon family back from Dubai was my own work, and, therefore, I decided to write about it. It was more out of a matter of choice than anything else that I decided to write about 11 different cases.” Any which way, the reader would be party to the mind behind solving such cases.

Most of us are not Shakespeare. When it comes to non-fiction, it is even tougher to do the balancing act of writing well & putting the story right. One wonders of how hard or easy it must have been for Kumar to write on experiences wherein he narrates real incidences to a layman & hardcore crime non-fiction reader at the same time. Kumar divulges to keeping things simple & straightforward. “Subconsciously, I had the layman in mind. I had no idea what a crime nonfiction reader looks for. I stuck to facts and knew that being real life stories they will interest all.” In fact, he has not kept any reference for writing, in terms of other books on similar topics.

Kumar, with his prolific background, has gained many experiences. Now that he has retired as an impressive super cop, he looks back his career as satisfying and wishing it could go on forever, especially in terms of investigative work. “Without trying to sound boastful, Neeraj Kumar is a good man and, therefore, made a good cop, trying his best to help people in distress. He looked after his own men and sincerely cared for them. His only shortcoming was that he was unsparing with the baddies and rubbed many the wrong ways, often paying a price for taking the ‘big boys’ on.” Such a statement is expected from someone of his stature.  

Amongst the many cases or experiences, the one that has made Kumar look at things differently is where he booked a corrupt civil servant. In his words, it haunts him until date. “The accused has filed several litigations against me which I have to fight out on my own. However, I have no regrets. Given a chance, I will do it all over again.”

A writer is an avid reader too. Kumar confesses to reading almost everything. “I am pretty eclectic in my choice of books & genres. However, reading an account of something that really happened interests me most. George Jonas's Vengeance about the Munich Olympic Massacre of 1972 & the Mossad’s mission to avenge it and Andre Levy’ The Siege about 26/11 attack on Mumbai are two examples.”

With interest built up for Dial D for Don, one can expect certain things from the book. Kumar states that the stories are straight from the heart & truthful. “They are written in simple English and so are easy to read. If you are looking for flowery English or highbrow prose, you should look elsewhere.”
Neeraj Kumar led a professional life as truthfully as the person he is. Expect all things upbeat from his debut book Dial D for Don.

DIAL D FOR DON
AUTHOR: Neeraj Kumar
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books India
PUBLISHED: December 16, 2015
GENRE: Crime, Thriller, Mystery
LANGUAGE: English
PRICE: Rs. 279
PAGES: 288 

Photo Credit for Neeraj Kumar Pic: www.hindustantimes.com

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