Cops have taken a U-turn, alleges Udwin

  • Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 05, 2015 00:20 IST

Did the police make an error in registering an FIR to stop the screening of the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ within hours of the Union home minister objecting to the promos of the movie?

Submitting letters of her correspondence with Tihar authorities, documentary filmmaker Leslee Udwin said police had taken a complete U-turn. Udwin said that the content of the movie which police are now probing also contain the interview of two senior Delhi Police officers who were given permission by their department.

Police Commissioner BS Bassi has said that Udwin had not adhered to ‘certain terms and conditions’ she had discussed with prison authorities, the letter -- a copy of which is with HT -- reveals there was only one condition. The filmmaker was asked to show her raw unedited footage to ‘avoid any breach of prison security’.

The first request was sent to the then Director General (Prisons) Vimla Mehra on May 8, 2013. After two weeks, she received a letter, which permitted her to shoot the interview inside Tihar. The letter read, “the complete unedited raw footage of the shoot in the Tihar Jail premises will be shown to the Delhi Prison Administration to ensure there is no breach of prison security,” signed by a jail superintendent.

The approval letter from the MHA to DG Vimla Mehra dated July 24, shows that there was only one condition -- to get consent from convicted accused Mukesh Singh and his family for the interview.

“I got the consent from Singh’s family on October 7 and handed it to the Tihar authorities. I had all the documents and took permission from all authorities. I do not understand what this controversy is all about,” said Udwin.

In his consent letter, Singh has laid only one condition that the movie should be released ‘after nine months or until the legal processes in my case are finished or whichever happens earlier. The movie was due for a release on March 8, sixteen months after the interview was shot.

Udwin also contradicted the police claims that the movie was not screened before the jail authorities. “A three-member committee comprising Girish Pande and three others saw the movie inside Tihar on December 8 and 9, 2013. Pande is the only name I remember,” she said, adding that the team did not sit through the entire 16-hour raw footage.

The movie also carries the interviews of two Delhi Police officers - who investigated the December 16 gangrape. Udwin said that it was again the MHA which gave permission to Additional DCP Pramod Kushwaha and Inspector Pratibha Sharma to be interviewed. Although the police confirmed that the two are featured in the movie, no officer came on record to confirm the identity of the officer who gave them permission.

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