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NL Interview: Mohamed Thaver on his book ‘In Plain Sight’ and being a crime reporter in Mumbai

The Indian Express journalist’s debut novel is told from the perspective of a rookie crime reporter.

WrittenBy:NL Team

Mohamed Thaver is Mumbai-based crime reporter with the Indian Express and the author of In Plain Sight, a work of fiction on the investigation into the rape and murder of minor girls in Mumbai, inspired by the 2010 Nehru Nagar case. He speaks with Newslaundry’s Tanishka Sodhi on the book and his work.

One of the key reasons for writing the book, Mohamed says, was to explain the way he saw these stories unfurl as a reporter. This is also why his book is primarily told through the eyes of a rookie reporter assigned to the crime beat, and the plot includes instances of a journalist navigating newsroom pressure and expectations.

"The one-upmanship that happens between reporters while getting a story, the fear of missing out on a story – I had never read about these things in crime fiction,” he says. “In popular media’s descriptions of reporters and journalism, I had never seen my fears ever displayed. What happens on the field, that kind of stuff is much more interesting than anything you'll read in a fiction book..."

Describing the issues “plaguing” the Mumbai police, Mohamed says the force is in a “rebuilding phase” after the Sachin Vaze controversy. Communalism and sexism are passed off as normal in the force, he says, and his book has examples of gender discrimination and cops mocking the Muslim community.


Text by Ruchi Shahagadkar.

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