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India Bans Documentary About The 2012 Delhi Gang Rape

The BBC show, which was due to be aired on March 8, contains a new interview in which one of the convicted attackers says women "should just be silent and allow the rape." Update: The U.K. broadcast has been brought forward to March 4.

Last updated on March 4, 2015, at 12:51 p.m. ET

Posted on March 4, 2015, at 9:14 a.m. ET

The BBC has brought forward the documentary's U.K. broadcast date to March 4, from the originally scheduled date of March 8, International Women's Day. The documentary will be shown separately by broadcasters in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Canada, The Guardian reported.

India has banned a documentary on the fatal gang rape of a student in Delhi in 2012 that sparked a huge and ongoing debate about women’s rights in the world’s biggest democracy. Officials made the announcement on Wednesday.

AP / Tsering Topgyal

Women protest against alleged police negligence in the rape's investigation in January.

Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh said the BBC show was banned partly because it featured an interview with one of the five people convicted of the attack, who made “highly derogatory” comments about women.

Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Rajnath Singh talks to journalists after leaving Parliament on Monday.

Mukesh Singh was interviewed in jail and made a string of incendiary comments that went viral this week, including the claim that women were more to blame for their rapes than men, and that women should not fight back during rapes.

Uncredited / AP

The four convicted rapists, with Mukesh Singh on the far left.

His comments provoked widespread disgust in India, but some people said that simply banning the documentary ignores the true problem — poor attitudes toward women. Here is one of India's most prominent journalists:

Are we upset that a docu on Nirbhaya has been made or upset that a WESTERN film-maker has dared to show how some in India think?

This senior women's rights activist backed the ban and said the documentary helped a rapist spread his views (another activist said the show shouldn't be aired now because Mukesh Singh's case is under appeal).

Interview with a rapist ? Promoting misogyny ?? What sort of reporting is this ?

Leslee Udwin, the British filmmaker who made the documentary, said she was "deeply saddened" by the ban in a statement published by NDTV, the Indian television channel that was due to air the show in India. It will still air internationally on March 8.

Anindito Mukherjee / Reuters

Udwin at a news conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Rajnath Singh directed the city's police to obtain a court injunction against the film on Tuesday night, Reuters reported. India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Tuesday also warned television channels not to show excerpts from the interview, which it said appears to "encourage and incite violence against women."

The home affairs minister has not only questioned the content of the interview – he has also ordered an enquiry into how Udwin got into Delhi's Tihar jail. Udwin, who made the documentary for the BBC's Storyville series, said the federal government and the jail gave her permission.

In the December 2012 attack, the 23-year-old student was gang-raped and tortured after boarding a minibus with a male friend. She later died of her injuries. Four adult men were found guilty of rape and murder and sentenced to the death. A teenager was found guilty of rape and murder and sentenced to three years in a juvenile detention center.

The four men are all appealing their sentences. Mukesh Singh says he was driving the bus during the attack but did not take part in the rape.

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