Police in India have secured a court injunction blocking the broadcast of an interview with one of the Delhi gang rapists on death row.
The Delhi court order also prevents publication of the interview, which has angered many in India.
As well it might.
Film maker Leslee Udwin’s interview appears in India’s Daughter, a BBC Storyville documentary due to be broadcast on 8 March, International Women’s Day. It was also due to be shown in India on NDTV.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh was taking the matter “seriously” and had spoken to the Tihar jail director-general to demand an urgent report, PTI news agency quoted officials as saying.
Police in Delhi say they have registered two cases against the film, alleging breach of India’s penal code.
“We urge the Indian media not to show it,” said Delhi Police chief BS Bassi, the Times of India reported.
It’s not made clear what the law is that was breached, or why they’re shutting it down. It could have to do with not interfering with the legal process (the men are appealing their convictions) or it could be just reputation-protection.
Udwin says she got all the right permissions.
Earlier, prominent women activists wrote a letter to NDTV, asking the channel to refrain from showing the film which they said would amount to contempt of court.
Ms Udwin defended her film on an NDTV studio discussion, saying it “tries to show the disease is not the rapists, the disease is in society”.
The parents of the gang rape victim were alongside her and, while angered by Singh’s remarks, appeared to support the film.
A BBC spokesperson said: “This harrowing documentary, made with the full support and co-operation of the victim’s parents, provides a revealing insight into a horrific crime that sent shock waves around the world and led to protests across India demanding changes in attitudes towards women.
“The film handles the issue responsibly and we are confident the programme fully complies with our editorial guidelines.”
It would be nice to see changes in attitudes towards women sufficiently radical to do away with men thinking they get to punish women for being outside by mangling their intestines with metal pipes and their hands. That would be a good change.