Director: Anubhav Sinha
Writer: Anubhav Sinha
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana as Additional SP Ayan Ranjan, an IPS officer
Nassar as CBI Officer Panikar
Manoj Pahwa as Circle Officer Bhramadutt Singh
Kumud Mishra as Police Sub-Inspector Kisan Jatav
Isha Talwar as Aditi Ranjan
Sayani Gupta as Gaura
Ronjini Chakraborty as Dr. Malti Ram
Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Nishaad
Veen Harsh as Anshu Naharia
Vivek Yadav as Nokhai
Ashish Verma as Mayank
Sushil Pandey as Nihal Singh
Kapil Tilhari as Pramod Yadav
Aakash Dabhade as Satyendra Rai
Shubrajyoti Bharat as Chandrabhan
Sumbul Touqeer as Amali
In the village of Laalgaon, two Dalit girls are seen trapped in a school bus by some men. Ayan Ranjan, a St. Stephen’s College, Delhi graduate and an Indian Police Service officer, is assigned to Laalgaon as the Additional Superintendent of Police and is warmly welcomed by officers Brahmadatt Singh and Kisan Jatav. Ayan encounters various forms of caste discrimination as soon as he arrives in the village, and periodically shares what he observes over the phone to his wife, Aditi. Local villagers come to Ayan’s reception asking the officers to find the missing girls, but are turned down. Ayan reunites with his college friend Satyendra Rai, who behaves suspiciously throughout the night.
The next morning, the girls are found hanged from a tree, while a third girl, Pooja, is reported missing. Ayan orders Brahmadatt to file a FIR and to obtain the postmortem report for the deceased girls. The girls’ autopsy yields evidence that they were gang raped, but Brahmadatt prevents the release of this information and instead pushes a narrative suggesting that the girls, who were cousins, were intimate and thus hanged by their fathers in an honor killing. Meanwhile, Jatav and a junior officer are threatened and their vehicle set on fire by followers of Nishaad, the leader of a group of activists within the village who seek speedy justice for the crime. Ayan questions Jatav about this the next day and becomes determined to solve the case.
Gaura, Pooja’s sister, informs Ayan that the girls used to work for a local builder named Anshu Naharia, who slapped Pooja after the girls asked for a raise in their salary of 3 rupees. Ayan decides to call Anshu for inquiry, even though Bhramadatt tries to persuade him not to do so, as Anshu is the son of local Minister Ramlal Naharia. During his interrogation, Anshu says that he slapped the girls to remind their entire caste of their place in society. Ayan, disgusted by the moral corruption of the village and its police force, posts on the police bulletin board a copy of Article 15 of the Constitution of India, which prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, religion, caste or birthplace.
Ayan meets with Dr. Malti Ram, the assistant coroner who performed the autopsy, and finds out that contrary to her official report, the girls were raped and then murdered. He asks her to go to Lucknow to examine the DNA samples and to contact only him, realizing that local law enforcement is conspiring with Ramlal Naharia to cover up the case. Meanwhile, Mahantji, a Brahmin politician vying for a local election, has formed an alliance with the head of the Laalgaon Dalit community in a show of inter-caste unity, but Nishaad sees the display as a disingenuous political ploy and plans to protest it. Ayan tries to persuade Nishad to call off the protest so he has men to help search for Pooja; Nishaad refuses, but allows some of his men to aid Ayan’s search.
Ayan soon gets a call from Malti, who confirms that Anshu was the one who gang-raped and murdered the two girls. Ayan gets an arrest warrant for Anshu and raids his house, but Anshu is not present. However, Ayan spots a school bus that was seen by local villagers around the time of the girls’ disappearance, and investigates the nearby school (which is owned by Anshu), where he finds evidence from the scene of girls’ torture and rape. Elsewhere, Anshu is staying under protection from Brahmadatt, who is revealed to be one of the rapists. Brahmadatt kills Anshu to save himself.
Panikar, a high-ranking CBI officer, arrives in Laalgaon and suspends Ayan from the case. Ayan refuses to give up his efforts and tracks down Satyendra, who admits that he was at a party hosted by Anshu the night of the crime, and that he witnessed Anshu, Brahmadatt, and police officer Nihal Singh (who works closely with Ayan) rape the girls while severely drunk and later hang their dead bodies. Ayan confronts Nihal, who commits suicide out of remorse.
Jatav arrests Brahmadatt on Ayan’s command. Panikar attempts to threaten Ayan into dropping the case, but Ayan reveals he has already submitted all his evidence to the Home Minister, and sharply criticizes the bigotry and injustice against people of lower castes among Indian law enforcement. Ayan then leads other officers through a large swamp in search of Pooja. They emerge on the other side in a jungle where they find a severely dehydrated Pooja hiding inside a pipe. They rescue her and with her statement, Brahmadutt gets eleven years of imprisonment as punishment. Mahantji wins the election hands down.