Netflix is releasing a series about the 2012 Delhi bus rape case

Netflix is releasing a series about the 2012 Delhi bus rape case

Delhi Crime will recreate the police investigation, tracing the pursuit of the six men behind the violent, heinous act.
20 Mar, 2019

Film-maker Richie Mehta was at first reluctant to make Netflix’s latest Indian series, documenting the aftermath of the notorious gang-rape and murder of an Indian student that made global headlines.

A 23-year-old physiotherapy student was violently raped and assaulted and left for dead by five men and a teenager on a bus in New Delhi in December 2012. The horrific crime shone an international spotlight on India’s high levels of sexual violence, and sparked weeks of protests and eventually a change in the law to introduce the death penalty for rape.

“Initially I was against the idea. I thought it was inappropriate for anyone to do it,” the Indian-Canadian director told AFP during an interview in Mumbai.

“But after I read the verdict and met some of the officers involved, I was amazed. The verdict detailed the manhunt and who these people were and how they were found.

“I realised that this analysis of hunting these guys is also a way of understanding why these things happen,” he added.

Delhi Crime, a seven-part series written and directed by Mehta, will be released on Netflix worldwide on Friday.

The thriller recreates the police investigation, tracing the pursuit of the six men behind the shocking crime.

Four of the adults accused received death sentences, while one died in prison by a suspected suicide. The teenager was released after three years in a youth detention home.

Mehta said Delhi’s police commissioner at the time of the atrocity, Neeraj Kumar, had first suggested to him that the investigation would make a powerful film.

The film-maker disagreed at the outset. But gradually he changed his mind and went on to spend four years interviewing police officials involved in the case. It is their perspective on the case that he tells.

“When the crime happened, there was a lot of anger pointed toward this institution. But when I got to know their point of view I realised the police were trying their best, especially given the statistics.

“As we say at the start of the show: ‘11,000 heinous crimes are reported every year (in Delhi). Prevention is nearly impossible with half the police force stuck on traffic duty and VIP protection’,” he added.

Mehta said he spoke to the victim's family to assure them their daughter’s horrific murder would not be depicted in the drama.

But her father said the series would still open too many old wounds: “We will not watch it because it will be too painful. Of course we can’t ever forget what happened to our daughter but we don’t want to be taken through the horror all over again. The pain will be too much to bear for my family.”

The series, filmed in English and Hindi premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. It stars Shefali Shah (Monsoon Wedding) as the lead investigating officer, and also features actors Adil Hussain (Life of Pi) and Denzil Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel).

Nearly 40,000 rape cases were reported in India in 2016. But activists say that is just the tip of the iceberg, with many victims too scared to come forward. Politicians and religious leaders initially blamed the victim for inciting her own murder, echoing prevailing attitudes in India where rape victims face overwhelming prejudice.

Even one of the perpetrators blamed her, saying women who went out late at night attracted men.

Indian authorities banned the broadcast of a BBC documentary by British film-maker Leslee Udwin about the case in 2015, saying they would not allow anyone to use the incident for commercial purposes.


Shubham Chakraborty Mar 20, 2019 06:33pm
I watched the trailer. The story is really gloomy sad and depressing, for me the most terrifying and unbearable part of that particular trailer was when the victim in her quaking, aching and exhausted voice, while still breathing, on her way to the hospital begs the police women "please mummy ko mat batana". At that very moment i lost all my strength to watch the upcoming series.
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Surya Kant Agrawal Mar 20, 2019 06:34pm
Not a good idea specially when main culprit got away without any punishment due to one month less than 18 years of age. He inflicted most gruesome internal injuries on victim.
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Mumbaikar Mar 20, 2019 08:09pm
Nothing has changed in India. Why risk your life speaking out?
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bhaRAT© Mar 20, 2019 11:12pm
Indians banned the documentary of this case. This won't go down well either.
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jaredlee007 Mar 20, 2019 11:54pm
India will say that Pakistan was involved in this case. The world should know that traveling to India is NOT safe. The crazy people there are ready to take undue advantage of tourists.
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Uffan Saeed Mar 21, 2019 04:39am
Interesting to see no commens from India!!!! Indians are very eager to comment on anything criticial of Pakistan
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Mudassar Raza Mar 21, 2019 03:43pm
Kindly make a series or film on Samjhota Express incident too, showing the terrorism by the indian RSS and the justice system of so called Incredible India. :)
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