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Centre red-signals Delhi rape show
- Sony told to pull Crime Patrol episodes

New Delhi, Jan. 11: The Centre has asked Sony TV not to beam a crime show’s two episodes based on the Delhi gang rape, making a last-minute dash to halt the telecasts that were scheduled for today and tomorrow.

The episodes are part of Crime Patrol, which shows a dramatised reconstruction of crime cases from across the country and is among the most widely watched shows on the entertainment channel.

A senior official in the Manish Tewari-headed information and broadcasting ministry said the channel was asked through a “verbal communication” this morning to withhold the episodes because “of the sensitivity” of the case.

“The channel was intimated informally today morning after we got complaints that the episodes were to be telecast this evening. The case is highly sensitive and sub judice, so a story based on it should not be aired under the present circumstances,” the official said. Sony refused comment on the issue.

But a source in the channel had said about a week ago that the January 11-12 episodes of Crime Patrol — anchored by actor Anoop Soni — would be based on the December 16 gang rape in the capital.

The official cited the widespread protests after the incident to justify the restrictions, seen by some as the government’s bid to dictate creative content and curb the independence of channels. The clampdown also came against the backdrop of restrictions on movement in Delhi during the rape protests.

“The incident caused such massive protests in the capital and elsewhere. We don’t want people’s emotions to flare up again after they watch such TV shows. That’s why the show should be put off lest it cause further trouble,” the official said.

The victim, a 23-year-old paramedic student, was assaulted and brutalised in a bus while she was returning with a male friend after watching a film.

The duo had taken the bus from Munirka in South Delhi and were attacked by six men who later dumped them at a spot off the Delhi-Gurgaon highway. The woman battled for life for two weeks but succumbed to her grievous injures in a hospital in Singapore on December 29.