“The facts are hidden and the content is fake”: Lone witness to 2012 Delhi gangrape incident about BBC documentary

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British filmmaker Leslee Udwin
British filmmaker Leslee Udwin

Avanindra Pandey, friend of Nirbhaya and the only witness to the 2012 Delhi gang-rape incident, has rejected the infamous Nirbhaya Documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ telecast be BBC, directed by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, saying that “The documentary is unbalanced as the victim’s viewpoint is missing. The facts are hidden and the content is fake.”

Just over two years have passed since the incident that riled the entire nation. On the 16th of December in 2012, Nirbhaya and Avanindra were returning home after watching a film. The bus which they had boarded was occupied by six other men, including the driver. The six men approached the two, mercilessly raped the 23 year physiology intern and beat up her friend. The bus had darkened windows which prevented one from seeing inside and the bus driver continued to drive during the assault. After the assault, the two were thrown out of the bus naked and grievously injured.

He raises many factual points about the documentary that he believes affects its credibility. One of these is the documentary’s reference to a tutor named Satendra, whom he says he has never heard of.

Satendra states in the documentary that “Avanindra Pandey wanted to watch an action film while Jyoti wanted to watch Life of Pi.” Mr. Pandey dismisses this by saying “How does he know which movie I wanted to watch on that night?”

Pandey also says “A controversy was created unnecessarily and was sensationalised. The documentary made fun of emotions and questioned the law and order situation in our country.”

The documentary has incited outrage for a number of reasons. Mukesh Singh, who blamed Nirbhaya for the incident and women in general for rapes, says “A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. Boy and girl are not equal. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20 per cent of girls are good.” Many believe that remorseless criminals like Mukesh Singh should not be allowed to speak on the matter.

The government also stated in its explanation for the ban that such a documentary would spark violence and might engender sentiment similar to what was portrayed and discussed in the documentary.

Mr. Pandey supports the government’s decision to ban the documentary, reasoning that “The documentary has dented country’s image and questioned law and order situation. The documentary showed that any individual can enter the Central Jail of our country and can interview a criminal.”

“I was approached by many people and it started one and a half years ago, in 2013. I did not want to be part of it as I was not convinced by its motive. Also, I was not mentally prepared and had health issues as well. Only Jyoti and I know what happened on that night and the documentary is far from truth.”

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