The film directed by journalist Apsara Reddy was screened for a select audience on Tuesday and it provided a 'ringside view' into one of the state's most controversial prisons.

Hasinis killer unrepentant Prison documentary reveals hes in denial about crime
news Crime Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 11:15

“I don't know who killed Hasini? How will I know?"

"How did they find sperm in her panties when the body was burnt?"

"I ran from the police because they were hitting me with iron rods."

These are some of the statements made by 24-year-old Dhasvanth, a Chennai techie convicted for the sexual assault and 2017 murder of seven-year-old Hasini, in a documentary that discussed if reform is truly possible in Tamil Nadu's Puzhal Central prison. The 46-minute film, Unmaking of a Monster directed by journalist Apsara Reddy was screened for a select audience on Tuesday and it provided a 'ringside view' into one of the state's most controversial prison complexes.

In attendance at the screening in Madras University were Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, Former DGP Prisons Alexander Jacob, Human Rights lawyer Sudha Ramalingam, directors Vetrimaran and Gowthaman , actor Gauthami, students and the media. The documentary captured never seen before footage of the daily lives of close to 2000 prisoners of the complex and provided an insight into their mindsets. The picture painted on the scope for reformation was, however, bleak - especially for those convicted of heinous crimes.

The documentary specially focused on men convicted of sexually abusing minors and showed they were in denial of their crimes, leaving no space for the thought of reformation. Prisoners convicted for smuggling narcotics were allegedly so violent that prison officials claim to take karate masters with them for safety. The documentary also highlighted the daily routine of prisoners whose days began at 6am, the factories that existed within the complex and the skills picked up by those lodged inside.

Following the screening, the city Commissioner addressed the debate on death penalty for child sexual abusers.

"There are a lot of human rights activists who come forward to support the convict. But there is no organised support for the victims," he claimed. "Should we leave these prisoners if they repent? What is the guarantee that they won't do it again? Does any country actually have a successful model for rehabilitation?" he questioned, setting the stage for a panel discussion on whether reformation was truly possible.

The panel consisting of lawyers, directors, actors and filmmakers held a short discussion on reformation, with each panelist taking a stand on the matter. 

Both Sudha Ramalingam and Vetrimaran who were present on the panel agreed that death penalty was not the solution.

"We can give them a double life imprisonment which will keep them in prison till they die a natural death," said Sudha Ramalingam. "But an eye for eye will only leave the world blind not reformed," she added. 

 

 

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