On May 14 the Mumbai papers reported that police commissioner Arup Patnaik had ordered the dissolution of six special squads created to combat crime in Mumbai. Reasons for the termination of the squads were said to be connected to the squads' moral conduct becoming questionable to the point of suggesting a nexus between the law enforcers and law breakers.
Uncannily Ram Gopal Varma's new film Department has exactly the same situation where a special police squad comprising Sanjay Dutt, Rana Daggubati, Deepak Tijori and others which is formed to crackdown on crime, is accused of crime activities and thereafter dismantled.
Ramu says he was shocked to read about Arup Patnaik's dismantled squads. "The situation completely echoes my film. I wrote my script a year back. The thing is when law enforcers are given unlimited power, there is bound to be corruption. There is an old political saying, 'Absolute power corrupts absolutely'. This is what happened to Mr. Patnaik's squads. It's what happens to the squad in Department. Such squads were formed in Mumbai to tackle the escalating crime rate. They were meant to battle crime beyond the rules prescribed by the law. Invariably these special squads go against the very department that created them."
Says Ramu, "I am intrigued by the coincidence of the real-life squads being busted at the same time as my film. The point of my film is, these cops who are given special powers lose focus of what's right and wrong. Any one given unlimited power and authority is bound to trip over. Why do we believe that politicians and policemen are susceptible to corruption? Because we know they're in positions of power where it's easy to get away with wrong behaviour. Given that power, it's difficult to resist wrong-doing."
Ramu believes special squads of law must be created once in a while, "When the first group of 'encounter' cops was created it was because there was extreme enhancement in underworld activities. Organized crime is so organized that it is able to bypass the law by using loopholes in the system. Normal law processes don't work for organized crime. Special squads have to be created to tackle them. The encounter cops substantially reduced underworld activities in Mumbai. Should they have been banned because some wrong people were also killed in encounters? A strong medicine to a disease has to have side effects."
Ramu sees nothing in wrong setting up special squads. "The very fact Arup Patnaik chose to set up these squads proves their need. And it's not as if the cops are above the law. Recently R S Sharma was arrested."
Watch Promo: Department