Mukesh Singh paid 40k for interview to BBC?

According to a news report in Navbharat Times, Mukesh Singh, accused in Delhi gang rape of 2012, was paid Rs. 40,000 for giving interview to the makers of the documentary India's Daughter.

Report suggests that filmmaker Leslee Udwin made several attempts to interview Mukesh. She is believed to have been assisted by a man called Khullar. Initially all her efforts went in vain but later she received permission from both Ministry of Home affairs as well as Tihar jail to interview Mukesh.

Inquiry in Tihar Jail reveals that Singh demanded Rs. 2 Lakh for the interview but ultimately settled at Rs. 40,000. Money was allegedly paid to Singh's family after interview.

Report comes at a time when government has issued a legal notice to BBC. In the notice, BBC is accused of violating the predetermined conditions to make the documentary with a controversial interview of an accused of the Delhi gangrape incident of 2012. In his interview Mukesh Singh made some comments which became headlines in Indian and foreign newspapers. Despite ban, video was uploaded on youtube by BBC and watched by millions of people across the world. Documentary sparked outrage on social media.

The British filmmaker, Udwin says she worked on the film for two years. Watching thousands of protesting people taking to the streets across India inspired her to make the documentary.

Six people including Mukesh Singh committed heinous crime on December 16, 2012. Other five men were Ram Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and a juvenile. Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide while in prison. His body was found hanging in Tihar Jail. Juvenile has been kept at a reformatory home run by Delhi government. Remaining four convicts are sentenced to death, but their execution is stayed on appeal of the Supreme Court.

Lankan PM makes controversial remark ahead of Modi visit

A major controversy has been created by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe remark that Indian fishermen can be shot in case they intrude into Sri Lanka’s waters. The remark came ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lanka which is scheduled on March 13.

Lankan PM told Tamil news channel Thanthi TV, "If someone tries to break into my house, I can shoot. Law allows me to do that."

On being asked about killing of around 600 Indian fishermen over the years, he said no such incident has been reported since the last one in 2011.

He also said that Portion of these fishermen were killed at the time of Lankan civil war as they were believed to be supplying arms.

Mr Wickremesinghe expressed concern about northern fishermen who demand Navy to defend them. He held himself responsible for explaining to them that they have to sort out issues with India as regards territorial waters.

He enquired Why Indian fishermen were coming and fishing in their waters. He asked them to be on Indian side to avoid any shooting by them.

"You stay on the Indian side. Let our fishermen stay on the Sri Lankan side. Otherwise don't make accusations of human rights violation by the Navy. You came in there," he held.

Many cases of arrests and abductions of Indian fishermen came to light last month.

As many as 10 fishing boats have been seized and 86 Indian fishermen arrested Lanka Navy last month for poaching allegedly in the country's waters.

Press freedom threatened in Telangana

In a newly formed Indian state called Telangana, Chief Minister, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, took an action against the media. Security staff of Rao entered the office of Chief Public Relations Officer in the Secretariat on Feb 23, where reporters hang around, and asked them to move out.

This is not the first time reporters were forced to go out. The action shocked journalists present there and they ultimately had to follow the order.

It is believed that some Indian Administrative Service (IAS) complained to Rao that they were finding it difficult to function in the presence of so many reporters wandering in the area. Rao was also not happy with the video cameras placed right outside the entrance of his office.

Immediately after reporters moved out, they protested by sitting on dharna. The public relations officials denied giving any such order to the security personnel.

No one expected such an action from the K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s government. Even his critics expressed shock when they heard on Feb 20 through a leak to some news dailies that Rao was planning to end reporters’ access to secretariat.

After all the criticism, Rao met the representatives of journalist associations and complained that some news dailies were creating obstructions to the growth of Telangana. He also promised welfare measures to them.

Already, two channels TV9 and ABN Andhra Jyothi have been banned in the state for more than eight months. Ban was imposed by Telangana Multi System Operators (MSOs) Association. Rao’s government didn’t intervene to lift the ban.

When Congress was in power, journalists were allowed free movement in the secretariat.

Decision disturbed media because it was only media that was in favour of formation of Telangana state and backed Rao’s party Telangana Rashtra Samiti. Many journalists even disrupted press conferences which opponents held at that time.

Majority of Telugu news channels are now cautious of broadcasting anything that Rao may
not like.

Even news about journalists’ protests has not been aired by many Telugu news channels.