Darogar Daptar or Inspector files is a series of real life crime stories written by former police officer Priyanath Mukhopadhyay (প্রিয়নাথ মুখোপাধ্যায়, 1855-1947). He worked as an inspector in the detective department of Calcutta Police under British Government.
Darogar Daptar (দারোগার দপ্তর) was started in 1892 and became popular in the contemporary Bengali culture. This collection can be considered as a forerunner of crime fiction stories and it made Mukhopadhyay a pioneer in the world of detective story writing. The best essence of the series is its simple way of illustrating the events of the crime and process of solving the cases. Mukhopadhyay described each and every aspect of the cases in an impeccable way so that readers always find it interesting to connect themselves with the cases until they reached to conclusion.
Another reason behind the success of the series was that the stories were all real life incidents and Mukhopadhyay himself handled those with explicit details as might be required to make investigation report. Hence he did not use literary words to make it complicated for the readers to understand the motive of the incidents. In his 33 years of glorious service as a detective in the police department Mukhopadhayay came across a wide range of interesting cases from the earliest book scam to earliest serial killing on the heart of Calcutta (Now Kolkata). Those were all recorded in a story telling manner in Darogar Daptar. Some of the famous stories of the series are “Khoon Na Churi”, “Sesh Leela”, “Tara Rahosyo”, “Ingrej Dakat” etc.
Mukhopadhyay was highly committed to his service and that can be understood from his famous story “Ingrej Dakat” where he knocked out comparatively stronger English criminal Healey despite being injured. His bravery as well as commitment to reduce crime in the city and to ensure safety to the citizen brought him huge respect, dignity and appreciation. He was garnered with the title ‘Roybahadur’ by the then British Government for his remarkable service to the society.
The contribution of Dargar Daptar in the Bengali Literature is unforgettable. Thriller loving readers find this series different from other crime fiction detective stories because it contains the lifestyle, rituals and socio economic status of the then aristocratic Calcutta and backward rural Bengal. Approximately all the stories of Darogar Daptar give a brief illustration of the contemporary Bengali metropolitan society and the change of psychological behavior over urban crimes.