Indian police arrest students who gathered to watch a BBC documentary on Modi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Delhi police detained college students on Wednesday as they gathered to observe a current BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India referred to as propaganda and banned from broadcasting and sharing on social media.

It follows comparable unrest, a few of which turned violent, at scholar gatherings this week to observe the documentary questioning Modi’s management throughout lethal riots 20 years in the past, as his opponents raised questions on authorities oversight.

Modi, who’s aiming to win a 3rd time period in elections subsequent 12 months, was chief minister of Gujarat in February 2002 when suspected Muslims set hearth to a prepare carrying Hindu pilgrims, sparking one of many worst outbreaks of spiritual bloodshed in India.

In reprisal assaults throughout the state, at the very least 1,000 folks, most of them Muslims, have been killed as crowds roamed the streets for days, focusing on the minority. Activists put the demise toll at about 2,500, greater than double that determine.

The federal government has mentioned the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Query” broadcast final week is a biased “propaganda article” and has banned any clips from it from being shared on social media.

College students Federation of India (SFI) mentioned on Wednesday that it plans to display screen the documentary in each Indian state.

They won’t cease the voice of dissent,” mentioned Mukh Biswas, normal secretary of SFI, the scholar wing of the Communist Celebration of India (Marxist).

Forward of a type of performances at Jamia Islamia College in Delhi, 13 college students have been arrested amid a heavy police presence. Police mentioned the college blamed the scholars for making a “road commotion” and mentioned they didn’t have permission to stage the parade.

“There isn’t a likelihood that anybody attempting to disturb the college system will go free,” Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar instructed Reuters.

College students mentioned {that a} day earlier, members of a right-wing group had thrown stones at college students who have been hoping to observe the documentary at Jawaharlal Nehru College in Delhi.

Scholar chief Ayesha Ghosh mentioned they have been watching the documentary on their telephones and laptops after the ability went out about midway earlier than the scheduled exhibiting.

The college refused permission and threatened disciplinary motion if the documentary was proven.

“It’s clear that the administration has minimize off the electrical energy,” Ghosh mentioned. “We encourage universities throughout the nation to conduct the screenings as an act of resistance towards this censorship.”

The college’s media coordinator didn’t remark when requested concerning the energy outage on campus.

A spokesman for a right-wing scholar group didn’t reply to a message looking for remark. A police spokesman didn’t reply to inquiries.

Protests additionally erupted following a screening of the movie on a school campus within the southern state of Kerala on Tuesday whereas a halfway screening at a college within the northern Indian metropolis of Chandigarh was canceled, in keeping with native media reviews.

Derek O’Brien, a member of parliament within the Senate, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the opposition “will proceed to combat good censorship,” referring to the ban on sharing clips from the documentary on social media. .

The BBC mentioned its collection of documentaries examines tensions between India’s Hindu majority and Muslim minority and explores Modi’s insurance policies in relation to those tensions.

“The documentary has been meticulously researched to the best requirements of enhancing,” the BBC mentioned.

The BBC mentioned it had approached “a variety of voices, witnesses and specialists” and supplied a spread of opinions, together with responses from folks in Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Celebration.

(Reporting by Shivam Patil in New Delhi and Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai). Further reporting by Krishn Kaushik; Modifying by Robert Purcell and Jonathan Otis

Our requirements: Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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