Bollywood has given us various films showcasing some interesting stories of policemen and defence personnel, but Ajay Devgn’s upcoming film Raid is one of its kind with the story revolving around officers from the Indian Revenue Service (IRS).
Starring Ajay Devgn and Ileana D’Cruz, the upcoming thriller is set in Uttar Pradesh and is inspired by the real life raid incidents which caught the attention of everyone back in the 80’s. The film is set to release on March 16 and a leading publication got a chance to interact with a former senior officer from the IT department, whose raids have inspired the film.
Talking about the planning which goes behind the raids, the ex-officer revealed, “We would pick teams of honest officers, who would do thorough research and not depend on information based on hearsay. After a careful analysis, we would decide on whether to conduct the raid or not and accordingly get our senior’s approval for it.”
There would be instances wherein they would have to deal with utmost political pressure, “Since the idea was to catch them by surprise, we would strike by 7 or 8 in the morning. Initially, they would get agitated and aggressive, but we’d talk to them and tell them that we’re doing our duty and that the department had nothing personal against them. By afternoon, both sides would warm up to each other a bit, which would ease the proceedings.
Any sort of communication would be cut off from the premises while the raid would be conducted. Commenting on the same, he stated “We had to keep one phone line working to update the control room about what we had found in our searches or if there was any risk to us. For example, during the raids at some houses, people would say that they needed to send their children to school. So, we would have to update the control room about it. Our officers would check the children’s books, especially Maths books, to check for any coded information.”
He shed some light on how people would find ways to hide their assets, “They would keep things inside mattresses, walls, false ceilings, in the homes of their relatives or even with their drivers. During my service, it was rare that we conducted a raid and didn’t find anything.”
Considering that the concept of PAN and Aadhaar cards did not exist back then, he was asked about the difficulties in gathering personal information in the absence of ID proofs, “Every little piece of information mattered. Every detail — whether the person had applied for an arms licence or had got a pet dog, car or property — came handy. Disgruntled employees or former colleagues had to be tapped and cultivated as sources. In case of gold, they would say that it’s ‘streedhan’ and we couldn’t do anything about it. To some extent, even cash could be explained, but wrong entries in ledgers cannot be erased. So mostly, we would look for such diaries and entries. Cash, gold, property papers and wrong entries would range from `10 crore to `100 crore. That would be the criteria for us to consider the raid successful,”
When questioned if he was ever offered a bribe, the ex-officer responded by saying, “The way we conducted ourselves, they wouldn’t dare to offer us bribes. Our department pays us well so that we’re not lured by such monetary offers. It’s a coveted, prestigious and powerful job and we can’t compromise on that.”
The officer mentioned that he is glad that a movie is being made on IT raids, hoping that it would inspire the youth as well.
He concluded by saying “In a way, we are the economic police and our job also serves a social purpose. We’re a part of nation building because we collect revenue for the country. If a youngster wants to do something for the country, he can join the IT department. There are three pillars in this field — investigation, knowledge of accounts and social purpose. For me, investigate is ‘invest’ and ‘get’. You ‘invest’ energy, skill and purpose, and then ‘get’ the result”.
Gulshan Kumar & Tseries present, A Panorama Studios Production, Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Kumar Mangat Pathak and Abhishek Pathak, Raid is directed by Raj Kumar Gupta. The film releases on 16th March 2018.