New Delhi: Three members of a left-wing student union were taken into custody and classes were suspended at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia university on Wednesday due to their plan to screen a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Police in blue riot gear and vans with tear-gas cannons arrived at the university gates. Jamia had issued an order on Tuesday, forbidding any unauthorized gatherings on campus after the Students Federation of India had advertised the screening on Facebook.
The documentary, based on Narendra Modi’s tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat during the 2002 riots, has been banned by the government and social media companies have been asked to remove links to it.
This has prompted criticism from the opposition who are accusing the government of censorship. A similar screening organised by some students at Jawaharlal Nehru University resulted in electricity and internet being cut in the students’ union office.
However, a crowd of hundreds still gathered outside in the dark, watching the documentary on phone screens and laptops. The incident ended with a protest march and JNU authorities warning of disciplinary action if the documentary was screened, saying it could disrupt peace and harmony on campus.
PM Modi’s government has labelled the two-part documentary series ‘India: The Modi Question’ as a “propaganda piece”.