Bengaluru, March 16: BBC documentary by Leslee Udwin created an uproar in India. Now the filmmaker herself ignited the controversy by revealing shocking information about Avanindra Pandey, the sole witness of infamous Delhi Gangrape case.
Avanindra, who earlier termed the BBC documentary 'fake', allegedly had asked for money for giving interview to Udwin. The filmmaker of 'India's Daughter' also claimed that Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts in the interview, had stated that Avanindra had hid between the seats in the bus where the 23-year-old victim (Nirbhaya) was brutally gangraped and tortured by six men. [Ahmedabad: Nirbhaya-like case, 6-year-old girl sexually assaulted with iron rod]
Nirbhaya's friend was caught negotiating money for interview:
During an interview with The Asian Age, Udwin said, "I tried for over a year to get Avanindra to come on the documentary, to give us the interview. Avanindra wanted money to give his interview and I refused point blank."
Udwin also asserted that in a sting operation, Avanindra was caught negotiating money for an interview. According to Udwin, Avanindra had refused to give interview even after knowing the statements of Mukesh Singh.
I'm in trouble, I'm in trouble, said Nirbhaya's friend:
The daily quoted Udwin as saying, "...in the final analysis, my co-producer Dibaang phoned Avanindra and said to him, we have a recording of Mukesh Singh, who drove the bus, saying that you hid behind the seats."
"We beg you Avanindra to come on and tell your version of what happened that night so that you can set the record straight, if there is a record to be set straight here," said Udwin while recalling the conversation between Dibaang and Avanindra.
Continuing her statement, Udwin added, "We thought he would respond to that. Still he didn't. At that point his answer was, 'I can't, I can't. I'm in trouble, I'm in trouble'."
Nirbhaya's friend's statement:
Avanindra earlier supported the central government's decision of banning 'India's Daughter' in the country as he asserted that the BBC documentary was fake. [Read: Nirbhaya's friend terms documentary 'fake']
He was quoted as saying, The documentary is unbalanced as the victim's viewpoint is missing."
"The facts are hidden and the content is fake. Only Jyoti and I know what happened on that night and the documentary is far from truth," he added.
Questions on tutor Satendra who was interviewed in the documentary:
Avanindra questioned the authenticity of the interview of Satendra who reportedly had tutored Nirbhaya for many years. Avanindra said that he had never heard the tutor's name.
"How does he know which movie I wanted to watch on that night," questioned Avanindra while commenting on Satendra who was seen in the documentary saying, "Avanindra Pandey wanted to watch an action film while Jyoti wanted to watch 'Life Of Pi'."
Udwin's counter attack on Avanindra over fake interview allegations:
Replying to Avanindra's questions on Satendra, Udwin said, "I could give you Satendra's phone number, and you can phone him up and you can ask him."
"He was asked by the family in 2006, before Avanindra even knew the victim, he was asked to tutor her, he did. He tutored her. He became her friend, he became a very, very close family friend."
"And you asked in your written question, I believe, how did I meet Satendra. The family introduced me to him," she added.
Oneindia's view on the controversy:
Avanindra has been giving interviews to many media organisations but his decision of not speaking to Udwin and her team indeed surprised everyone.
Avanindra, the only living prosecution witness in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case, could have easily used the platform to reach out to the masses.
While Avanindra lost a chance to speak his and Nirbhaya's version of the incident, the convicts used the platform and attempted to gain sympathy even after committing the heinous crime.