Tihar Jail Chief Summoned Over Nirbhaya Documentary

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NEW DELHI: Home Minister Rajnath Singh today summoned Tihar Jail’s top official Director General Alok Verma as the government investigates how a man on death row for the 2012 Delhi gang rape was allowed to be interviewed for a documentary film, ‘India’s Daughter.’

Mr Verma is understood to have briefed the Home Minister with details on how permission was granted to British filmmaker Leslee Udwin to interview the convict, Mukesh Singh, and how the interview took place.

PTI quoted official sources as saying that during their ten minute meeting, Mr Verma also briefed the Home Minister on various aspects of jail manuals and the procedure for an outsider to meet an inmate.

Mukesh Singh is one of four men sentenced to death for the brutal gang-rape and killing of a young women on a moving bus in December 2012. Ms Udwin obtained legal clearances to speak to the convict in jail.

In the interview, Singh has displayed an appalling lack of remorse, blaming the woman for the rape.

Women MPs from Opposition parties, led by Jaya Bachchan of the Samjawadi Party, stormed the well of the Rajya Sabha today and forced a brief adjournment with demands for action against jail officials for allowing the interview.

The home minister made statement in both houses of Parliament, saying the government would not allow the screening of the documentary. He said an investigation has been ordered on how permission was granted to interview the rapist in July 2013.

In his statement, Mr Singh said, “It came to the notice of the jail authorities that the permission conditions have been violated and hence a legal notice was issued to them on 7th April, 2014 to return the unedited footage within 15 days and also not to show the film as it violates the permission conditions.”

He said at a screening of the film for jail authorities “it was noticed that the documentary film depicts the comments of the convict which are highly derogatory and are an affront to the dignity of women. It was also noticed that the film shown was the edited version and not the unedited as per permission conditions. Hence, they were requested to provide full copy of the unedited film shootout for further review by the authorities and that they were asked not to release/screen the documentary till it is approved by the authorities.”

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