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Murdered rape victim 'should have stayed quiet'

Mukesh Singh has been sentenced to death for his role in the rape
Mukesh Singh has been sentenced to death for his role in the rape

One of the men convicted of raping and killing a woman in a brutal gang attack on a New Delhi bus in 2012 has said in a TV documentary that if the victim had not fought back she would not have been killed.

Instead, the 23-year-old should have remained silent, said Mukesh Singh, who was driving the bus when the woman was attacked.

"Then they would have dropped her off after 'doing her'," he said in a documentary being released next week.

The film-makers released transcripts of the interview, which was recorded in 2013, today.

Singh and three other attackers were convicted in a fast-track court in 2013. The appeals against their death sentences are pending in the Supreme Court.

"A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy," Singh said, according to the transcripts.

"A decent girl won't roam around at 9 o'clock at night ... Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes."

The woman and her friend were returning home from seeing a film at an upmarket mall when they got on the bus. The attackers beat her friend and took turns raping the woman. She suffered severe internal injuries which caused her death.

India, where many people have long believed that women are responsible for rape, was shocked into action after the attack. The Indian government rushed through legislation doubling prison terms for rapists to 20 years and criminalising voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women. The law also makes it a crime for police officers to refuse to open cases when complaints are made.

In the interview, Singh suggested that the attack was to teach the woman and her male friend a lesson that they should not have been out late at night. He also reiterated that rape victims should not fight back: "She should just be silent and allow the rape."

He also said the death penalty would make things even more dangerous for women: "Now when they rape, they won't leave the girl like we did. They will kill her."

Singh's interview features in the documentary India's Daughter by British film-maker Leslee Udwin. It will be shown on March 8, International Women's Day, in India, Britain, Denmark, Sweden and several other countries.

Indian authorities, meanwhile, objected to the film-makers releasing the documentary without their approval.

A spokesman for New Delhi's Tihar Jail, where the interview was filmed, said Udwin had agreed to allow them to screen the footage before it was released. Udwin could not be immediately reached for comment.

"We want to see the documentary as it can be screened only after it was approved by authorities," said jail spokesman Mukesh Prasad.