India to investigate TV crew’s interview with rapist who claimed victim was responsible for what happened to her
Wednesday 04 March 2015
India’s Minister of Home Affairs has said that he will investigate how a film crew was able to interview a death-row convict who expressed no remorse for his part in the fatal gang rape of a woman in New Delhi in 2012, an attack that sparked outrage.
Leslee Udwin’s documentary India’s Daughter features conversations with Mukesh Singh and fellow convicts, who raped and tortured a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in December 2012.
Minister Rajnath Singh said the film would not be aired in India and accused its makers of violating “permission conditions” by not showing the complete unedited footage to jail officials.
“It was noticed the documentary film depicts the comments of the convict which are highly derogatory and are an affront to the dignity of women,” Mr Singh said in parliament. “How was permission given to interview a rapist? It is shocking. I will get this investigated.”
British filmmaker Leslee Udwin British filmmaker Leslee Udwin (AP)
Comments released this week showed that in the film, Mukesh Singh blames the victim for the crime.
On Tuesday the home affairs minister directed Delhi police to obtain a court order prohibiting the film’s release. Ms Udwin said she was “deeply saddened” by the decision.
“I urge [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi to deal with this unceremonious silencing of the film,” she wrote in a statement published by Indian channel NDTV, which was to have aired the documentary on 8 March, International Women’s Day. Ms Udwin said she had given jail officials a chance to view hours of unedited footage, but they did not do so.
The British filmmaker, who was inspired by seeing thousands of people across India protest over the 2012 rape, said it would be released worldwide as planned.
Four men, including Singh, were sentenced to death for the crime but their execution was stayed on appeal by India’s Supreme Court.