India police detain students gathered to watch BBC documentary on Modi

Students had been detained by the Delhi police on Wednesday as they collected to observe a latest BBC documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India has dismissed as propaganda and blocked its streaming and sharing on social media.

This follows comparable disruptions, some of which grew to become violent, at gatherings this week by college students to look at the documentary that questions Modi’s leadership all through lethal riots two a long time ago, as his opponents boost questions of government censorship.

Modi, who is aiming for a 3rd time period in elections subsequent 12 months, become chief minister of Gujarat in February 2002 while a suspected Muslim mob set hearth to a train sporting Hindu pilgrims, setting off one in all unbiased India’s worst outbreaks of religious bloodshed.

In reprisal attacks across the nation at least 1,000 people had been killed, broadly speaking Muslims, as crowds roamed the streets over days, concentrated on the minority organization. Activists positioned the toll at around 2,500, extra than twice that variety.

Modi has denied accusations that he did no longer do sufficient to prevent the riots, and he turned into exonerated in 2012 following an inquiry overseen via the Supreme Court. A petition wondering his exoneration became disregarded final 12 months.

The authorities has said the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question” launched last week is a biased “propaganda piece” and has blocked the sharing of any clips from it on social media.

The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) stated on Wednesday it plans to reveal the documentary in every Indian state.

“They might not prevent the voice of dissent,” said Mayukh Biswas, standard secretary of the SFI, the scholar wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Ahead of 1 of those screenings at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia university, 13 students had been detained amid a heavy police deployment. The university blamed the scholars for developing a “ruckus on the street” and said they did no longer have permission to maintain the show, police said.

“There is no chance that everyone who attempts to disturb the field of the college will move unfastened,” the college’s vice chancellor, Najma Akhtar, advised Reuters.

A day in advance, bricks had been hurled, allegedly through members of a proper-wing group, at college students hoping to observe the documentary at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, college students stated.

Student chief Aishe Ghosh stated they were looking the documentary on their phones and laptops after electricity changed into cut off about 1/2 an hour before a scheduled screening.

The college had denied permission and threatened disciplinary movement if the documentary was screened.

“It became manifestly the administration that reduce off the electricity,” Ghosh stated. “We are encouraging campuses across the united states of america to hold screenings as an act of resistance against this censorship.”

The media coordinator for the college did now not remark whilst requested approximately the on-campus electricity reduce.

A spokesperson for the proper-wing student institution did no longer reply to a message in search of remark. A police spokesperson did now not reply to queries.

Protests additionally erupted following the film’s screening at campuses inside the southern country of Kerala on Tuesday, while a show became cancelled mid-way at a university in the northern town of Chandigarh, in step with local media reports.

Derek O’Brien, a member of parliament inside the higher residence of parliament, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the competition “will maintain to fight the good combat in opposition to censorship” in connection with the block on sharing clips from the documentary on social media.

The BBC stated its documentary series examines tensions between India’s Hindu majority and Muslim minority and explores Modi’s politics in relation to those tensions.

“The documentary turned into rigorously researched in line with maximum editorial requirements,” the BBC stated.

It approached “a extensive range of voices, witnesses and professionals” and featured various opinion which includes responses from people in Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the BBC said.

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