How Raid filmmaker convinced a Lucknow-based I-T officer to part with his secret

Feb 24, 2018, 10:43 IST | Mohar Basu

Director Raj Kumar on how he convinced Lucknow-based IT officer, on whom Ajay-starrer Raid is based, to part with his tale

Still from Raid
Still from Raid

Ajay Devgn's Raid is reportedly based on an incident that unfolded on July 16, 1981, when income tax officers raided the house of businessman Sardar Inder Singh in Kanpur. IT Commissioner of Lucknow, Sharda Prashad Pandey, led the search that recovered assets worth Rs 1.6 crores in cash and gold.

Raj Kumar
Raj Kumar

The makers of the movie, who have loosely based their film on this incident, are careful never to name the man. "It is an unsaid code amongst IT officers that they never spill the details of the searches they've conducted," says a source close to the film's production.

This is probably why director Raj Kumar Gupta is measured in what he says about the "enigmatic man" on whom he has based his story. "Everyone wants their story to be real. He was clear that we should not fictionalise it so much that the reality gets buried beneath," said Gupta, before adding, "Anybody who is parting with an episode of his life would want to see it being told in a responsible way. My body of work helped me win his trust."

Gupta says he was fascinated when he learnt of the 1981 raid that reportedly went on for 18 hours and had 45 people present only for the counting of notes. "The press wasn't as widespread back then, so the information in the public domain was limited." While carrying out his research, Gupta discovered how the officers abided by a code of secrecy. "Officers never told their family members where they were going. A lot of heroic stories have got lost from those times. I hope to highlight them."

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