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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Double role for Delhi cop

(From top) Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar with his wife Mala; Raajneeti and Chakravyuh on which Neeraj has worked. Telegraph picture

He has double role and not many are aware of it.

Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar, who hails from Rohtas, often takes out time from his busy schedule to help filmmaker Prakash Jha to fine-tune scenes of his films involving police personnel.

An avid reader, gifted writer and an ardent movie fan, the senior 1976-batch IPS officer has to his credit films like Apaharan, Raajneeti and Gangaajal. In all the films the senior cop had assisted Jha in executing scenes involving the police.

Neeraj shared with The Telegraph how he balances the two roles of policing and assisting in films.

My reading ranged from (William) Shakespeare to (Mirza) Ghalib, from (William Somerset) Maugham to (Ramdhari Singh) Dinkar. They have always inspired me in my works. Way before helping Prakash with his films, I had written the storyline of Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne. The soap went on to become one of the biggest hits on television, said Neeraj, a product of Sainik School, Tilaiya.

Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne was a popular show on Doordarshan (1989-90). Directed by Prakash Jha, the show revolved around the life of Mungerilal, played by Raghubir Yadav of Peepli Live fame.

Union territories cadre IPS, Neeraj is a postgraduate (chemistry) from the prestigious St Stephens College. Minister of state for human resource development, Shashi Tharoor, and quizmaster Siddhartha Basu were his classmates.

Despite being a science student I have a fondness for art and artists. My parents always encouraged me with whatever I did. Prakash had asked me to help him during Gangaajal. We used to discuss the screenplay for hours, said Neeraj.

I give him ideas and Prakash develops it. He never forgets to give me credit in his films. He ensures that my name figures either in the beginning of the film or at the end. I was also closely associated with concepts and storyline of Apaharan and Raajneeti. I also gave him ideas on the Arjun Rampal-starrer Chakravyuh. However, I have not contributed anything to Prakashs yet-to-release Satyagraha starring Amitabh Bachchan, he said.

Before taking charge as Delhi police commissioner, Neeraj was serving as Tihar Jail director-general.

He also successfully handled security arrangements for the Commonwealth Games in 2010 as special commissioner.

Asked about his post-retirement (July) plans, Neeraj said: I will write stories for films. I will also assist filmmakers with ideas. Prakash has even told me that he would be directing a sequel of Gangaajal and he wants me to help him with ideas. I will surely help him to make another masterpiece.

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