Interactive| Real-Life Inspirations Behind Characters in Hansal Mehta's 'Scoop'

Hansal Mehta's 'Scoop' is based on Jigna Vora’s book 'Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison'.

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Hansal Mehta’s latest series Scoop has garnered a positive response from critics and audiences alike. The show follows a female crime journalist Jagruti Pathak in her search for a top story that’ll give her the coveted page 1 byline. How, then, does she become the main accused in the murder of a senior journalist Jaideb Sen? 

You might know that the show is inspired by Jigna Vora’s book 'Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison'; here’s a rundown of the people who seem to be inspirations behind the characters in Scoop (the slider images contrast the characters with the real-life inspirations):


1. Jagruti Pathak/ Jigna Vora

The show’s protagonist is the determined crime journalist Jagruti Pathak portrayed by Karishma Tanna. The character is inspired by crime journalist Jigna Vora, who was detained by the police in November 2011 as a main accused in the murder of reporter Jyotirmoy Dey. She was acquitted of charges in 2018. Behind The Bars In Byculla: My Days in Prison chronicles her time in custody. 


2. Jaideb Sen / Jyotirmoy Dey (aka J Dey)

In Scoop, Pathak is arrested under suspicion of being involved in the murder of a senior journalist Sen dada, played by Prosenjit Chatterjee. The character is based on senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey who was an Editor at MidDay. In June 2011, he was shot dead near Hiranandani Gardens in Powai, Mumbai. In May 2018, a special CBI court convicted Chhota Rajan and 7 others in the case. 


3. Harshvardhan Shroff / Himanshu Roy

IPS officer Himanshu Roy, who was the then-Additional Director General of Police (Establishment), spearheaded the investigation into journalist J Dey’s murder. He was also part of the investigation into the 2013 IPL betting scandal. The character said to be inspired by him is Harman Baweja as JCP Harshvardhan Shroff. 


4. Imran Siddiqui / Hussain Zaidi

Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub plays Imran Siddiqui, the editor-in-chief at Eastern Age, the publication where Tanna’s character Jagruti Pathak works. Imran’s role is seemingly based on author and former investigative journalist Hussain Zaidi. He has focused on the Mumbai mafia in his books like Dongri to Dubai and Mafia Queens of Mumbai. He was the resident editor at Asian Age.


5. Sharda Maa / Sadhvi Pragya Thakur

An important character featured on the show during Pathak’s time in custody is Sharda Maa, her eventual ally in prison and a spiritual guru.

The character is said to be inspired by Sadhvi Pragya Thakur who Jigna Vora talks about in her book and writes, “Pragya was off limits to other inmates for her own protection. A woman police constable guarded her cell attentively round the clock. After the inmates were locked up in the barracks post-bandi, I would observe, through the gaps between the iron rods, the constable accompanying the sanyasin for a walk within the jail compound in the evening.”

6. Rambha Maa / Jaya Chheda

Of her time in prison, Vora further writes, “Perhaps, it was because Pragya was locked in a power struggle with the other powerful inmate in Byculla Jail—Jaya Chheda.” Jaya Chheda was the wife of Mumbai’s matka king Suresh Bhagat and was convicted for his murder. She took over the business after his death and was known as the matka queen. Jigna Vora had covered her case during her time at Asian Age.

In Scoop, this thread acts as a point of contention between Pathak and the character inspired by her, Rambha Maa, played by Tejaswini Kolhapure.

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