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India's NDTV Runs Silent Protest of Rape Documentary Ban

  • VOA News

FILE - An Indian woman shouts slogans during a protest outside police headquarters against alleged police negligence in the murder and suspected rape of a woman in New Delhi, India, Jan. 13, 2015.

FILE - An Indian woman shouts slogans during a protest outside police headquarters against alleged police negligence in the murder and suspected rape of a woman in New Delhi, India, Jan. 13, 2015.

An Indian news channel ran a silent on-air protest late Sunday after the government banned the station from airing a BBC documentary about the brutal rape of a Delhi student in 2012.

NDTV was scheduled to show India's Daughter Sunday night, but instead simply broadcast the title of the film in red and white against a black background, silently illuminated by a flickering oil lamp for the entire hour slot designated for the film. NDTV's editorial director tweeted before the television protest, "we won't shout, but we will be heard."

The documentary by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin was scheduled to mark International Women's Day. The film includes an interview with Mukesh Singh, one of the convicted rapists of the Delhi student.

India's Daughter was scheduled to be shown in several countries Sunday, but after India went to court last week to ban the film, the BBC aired it in Britain Wednesday, days ahead of the original date.

The Indian government said it was banning the film on the grounds in could fuel public anger. However, the ban created a strong protest across the country.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the convict's comments in which he blamed the 23-year-old victim and said she should not have been out at night were "highly derogatory and an affront to the dignity of women."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not commented directly on the banning controversy. However, he said in a statement Sunday marking International Women's Day that "our heads hang in shame when we hear of instances of crime against women."

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