India orders TV stations not to broadcast documentary in which rapist blames his victim

Indian authorities ordered television stations Tuesday not to broadcast a documentary about a gang rape on a New Delhi bus in which one of the attackers blames the victim and says she could have avoided being killed if she had not fought back, a government official said.

NEW DELHI — Indian authorities ordered television stations Tuesday not to broadcast a documentary about a gang rape on a New Delhi bus in which one of the attackers blames the victim and says she could have avoided being killed if she had not fought back, a government official said.

The order followed an outcry over giving a convicted prisoner a nationwide platform to express repugnant views about a horrific crime that shocked Indians and prompted hundreds of thousands to take to the streets in protest. In response to the 2012 attack, India’s government rushed through legislation doubling prison terms for rapists to 20 years and criminalizing voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women.

“What is there in spreading the views of a rapist?” said activist Vrinda Adiga.

The documentary, “India’s Daughter” by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, was to be shown on Sunday, International Women’s Day, in India as well as in Britain, Denmark, Sweden and several other countries. The New Delhi Television, a private news channel, had indicated it would air the program.

The documentary includes a jailhouse interview from 2013 with Mukesh Singh, who was among four men convicted and sentenced to be executed for the crime. A transcript of the interview was released Tuesday, and New Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi said police would ask a court to block the documentary’s broadcast.

Later Tuesday, India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry ordered television channels not to air the documentary, a government official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Activists noted that Singh showed no remorse for the crime, and that broadcasting his comments would be an insult to the memory of the woman.

The woman and a male friend were returning home from seeing a movie at an upscale mall when they were tricked by the men into getting on the bus, which the men had taken out for a joyride. The attackers beat her friend and took turns raping the woman. They penetrated her with a rod, leaving severe internal injuries that led to her death two weeks later.

Singh and three other men were convicted in 2013 in an unusually fast trial for India’s chaotic justice system. They confessed to the attack but later retracted their confessions, saying they’d been tortured into admitting their involvement. Appeals against their death sentences are pending in the Supreme Court.

Singh, who was driving the bus for much of the time that the 23-year-old woman was being attacked, told the interviewer that she should have remained silent and allowed the rape.

“A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy,” Singh said. “A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. … Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes.”

He suggested that the attack was to teach the woman and her friend a lesson that they should not have been out late at night.

The death penalty, he said, would make things even more dangerous for women. “Now when they rape, they won’t leave the girl like we did. They will kill her,” Singh said.

A spokesman at the New Delhi jail objected to the filmmakers releasing the documentary without their approval, saying Udwin had agreed to allow them to screen the video first.

“We want to see the documentary, as it can be screened only after it is approved by authorities,” said Tihar Jaill spokesman Mukesh Prasad.

Udwin, however, said she had obtained necessary clearances from jail authorities and India’s home ministry for her documentary and for interviewing the convicts in the prison.

“I had first submitted an unedited version of the documentary and later an edited version as demanded by prison authorities,” Udwin told reporters in New Delhi.

She expressed surprise at the jail spokesman’s claim and said she had not received any communication from prison authorities along those lines.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

The Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club is hoping to win $50,000 through the Mackenzie Investments Top Peak contest. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta ski club trying to win $50K in online contest

A central Alberta ski club has entered a contest where it can… Continue reading

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on December 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives to call top Sajjan, Trudeau aides to testify on Vance allegations

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives plan to summon two senior Liberal aides… Continue reading

Elvira D'Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Several provinces were preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, as Canada’s… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

A passenger places a tag on luggage at the departure terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, May 24, 2019. The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and familial connections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries

OTTAWA — The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Rail cars wait for pickup in Winnipeg, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian oil and gas on trains destined for the United States — a country experts fear is ill-equipped for the potential consequences. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
As debate rages over cross-border pipelines, U.S. analysts brace for more oil by rail

WASHINGTON — The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian… Continue reading

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

VICTORIA — Legal experts and a mother whose ex-partner was convicted of… Continue reading

Radio and television personality Dick Smyth is shown in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Dick Smyth, Canadian maestro of news radio commentary, dies at 86

TORONTO — Radio and television personality Dick Smyth, whose booming commentary filled… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

Most Read