India bans documentary on 2012 gang rape
THE people behind a documentary, in which one of the men who gang-raped and murdered a New Delhi student is shown blaming the victim, had violated "permission conditions" for the documentary's shoot.
This is according to India's Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, and comes even as the country's media have been banned from broadcasting the BBC documentary titled India's Daughter.
Mr Singh told lawmakers in Parliament yesterday that permission for the shoot had come with conditions, IBNLive reported.
"The condition was given to shoot the interview for social purpose and not for commercial use. A legal notice was issued to them when the jail authorities came to know that it violated the conditions," he said.
Mukesh Singh, one of the five men convicted over the Dec 16, 2012 attack in New Delhi, told British film-maker Leslee Udwin from his prison cell that the murdered student should not have been out at night, and blamed her for fighting back against her attackers.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy student, who cannot be named, died from her injuries 13 days after she was savagely attacked on a moving bus while on her way home from the cinema with a male friend.
Minister Singh assured lawmakers that similar permissions given for the documentary's shoot would not be granted in the future.
"When I came to know about this, I was personally very hurt. I will ensure that such a permission is not granted to anyone to interview a rapist. I am surprised about the circumstances in which such orders (to shoot the documentary) were given," he said.
The minister added: "The government condemns the Dec 16 incident. We will not allow any group or individual to use the incident for any commercial use. The government is committed to the dignity and security of women."
Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said the New Delhi police had obtained a court order late on Tuesday, banning anyone from broadcasting India's Daughter on the grounds of "objectionable content".
"We have seen only the promotional parts of the film. Based on that, we took the matter to court because we felt that it will cause likely apprehension of public disorder," he told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Udwin, an award-winning film-maker, said she was heartbroken by the ban on the documentary, in which Mukesh Singh said the victim should not have been "roam(ing) around at nine o'clock at night" and that "a girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy".
"My heart is broken with this court order," she told AFP by telephone.
India's Daughter had been due to be televised in seven countries - including India and Britain - on Sunday, International Women's Day.
Udwin earlier said she had permission from both the prison authorities and the Home Ministry to film inside the vast Tihar jail in Delhi for her documentary, which charts the aftermath of the fatal gang rape.
The film-maker told reporters she had given jail officials a chance to sit through hours of unedited footage, but they did not do so, Reuters reported. Officials later approved a pared-down version, she said.