One of the men convicted in the brutal 2012 gang rape and murder of a woman in Delhi, India, has gone on record saying that the victim was more responsible for the attack than the men.
Mukesh Singh is one of five men convicted in the attack that sent shockwaves through India and ignited a series of protests demanding that Indian society stop turning a blind eye to the discrimination, harassment and sexual violence directed towards women.
In a soon-to-be-released documentary, Singh tells an interviewer about the night Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old medical student, was attacked.
“You can’t clap with one hand – it takes two hands. A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night,” Singh says in the interview, according to The Journal, an Irish news site.
“A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy,” he adds. "Boy and girl are not equal. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20 percent of girls are good.”
Jyoti Singh was retuning home from a night out at the movies in December 2012 with a male friend when the two hitched a ride in a small bus driven by Mukesh Singh. The five male passengers in the bus beat Jyoti Singh’s friend and then dragged her to the back of the bus where they raped her and beat her with metal bars.
Mukesh Singh has maintained that he never took part in the attack but only drove the bus.
The attack left Jyoti Singh with severe injuries to her genitals, abdomen and intestines. The group threw the woman and her friend from the moving bus after the attack. Jyoti Singh died in a hospital 13 days later.
In the interview, which is scheduled to be aired as part of the documentary on BBC on March 8, Mukesh Singh says the victim likely would have lived if she hadn’t fought her attackers.
“When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her,' and only hit the boy,” he says.
Mukesh Singh was sentenced to death for his part in the crime. He is appealing that sentence.
Three others are also appealing their death sentences. A fifth man, Mukesh Singh’s brother, was also sentenced to death but was found dead in his prison cell in March 2013. A juvenile, who was 17 at the time of the attack, was also convicted of rape and murder and sentenced to three years in a reform facility.
Mukesh Singh says in the interview that executing him will only make the streets less safe for women.
“The death penalty will make things even more dangerous for girls. Now when they rape, they won't leave the girl like we did,” he says. “They will kill her. Before, they would rape and say, ‘Leave her, she won't tell anyone.’ Now when they rape, especially the criminal types, they will just kill the girl. Death.”