NEW DELHI, Jan 25 (Reuters) – College students had been detained by the Delhi police on Wednesday as they gathered to look at a current BBC documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India has dismissed as propaganda and blocked its streaming and sharing on social media.

This follows related disruptions, a few of which turned violent, at gatherings this week by college students to look at the documentary that questions Modi’s management throughout lethal riots twenty years in the past, as his opponents elevate questions of presidency censorship.

Modi, who’s aiming for a 3rd time period in elections subsequent 12 months, was chief minister of Gujarat in February 2002 when a suspected Muslim mob set hearth to a practice carrying Hindu pilgrims, setting off certainly one of unbiased India’s worst outbreaks of non secular bloodshed.

In reprisal assaults throughout the state not less than 1,000 individuals had been killed, principally Muslims, as crowds roamed the streets over days, concentrating on the minority group. Activists put the toll at round 2,500, greater than twice that quantity.

Modi has denied accusations that he didn’t do sufficient to cease the riots, and he was exonerated in 2012 following an inquiry overseen by the Supreme Court docket. A petition questioning his exoneration was dismissed final 12 months.

The federal government has stated the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Query” launched final week is a biased “propaganda piece” and has blocked the sharing of any clips from it on social media.

The College students’ Federation of India (SFI) stated on Wednesday it plans to point out the documentary in each Indian state.

“They will not cease the voice of dissent,” stated Mayukh Biswas, basic secretary of the SFI, the coed wing of the Communist Social gathering of India (Marxist).

Forward of a kind of screenings at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia college, 13 college students had been detained amid a heavy police deployment. The college blamed the scholars for making a “ruckus on the road” and stated they didn’t have permission to carry the present, police stated.

“There is no such thing as a probability that anyone who tries to disturb the self-discipline of the college will go free,” the college’s vice chancellor, Najma Akhtar, informed Reuters.

A day earlier, bricks had been hurled, allegedly by members of a right-wing group, at college students hoping to watch the documentary at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru College, college students stated.

Scholar chief Aishe Ghosh stated they had been watching the documentary on their telephones and laptops after energy was reduce off about half an hour earlier than a scheduled screening.

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

“It was clearly the administration that reduce off the facility,” Ghosh stated. “We’re encouraging campuses throughout the nation to carry screenings as an act of resistance towards this censorship.”

The media coordinator for the college didn’t remark when requested in regards to the on-campus energy reduce.

A spokesperson for the right-wing scholar group didn’t reply to a message searching for remark. A police spokesperson didn’t reply to queries.

Protests additionally erupted following the movie’s screening at campuses within the southern state of Kerala on Tuesday, whereas a present was cancelled mid-way at a college within the northern metropolis of Chandigarh, in response to native media studies.

Derek O’Brien, a member of parliament within the higher home of parliament, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the opposition “will proceed to struggle the nice struggle towards censorship” in reference to the block on sharing clips from the documentary on social media.

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

“The documentary was rigorously researched in response to highest editorial requirements,” the BBC stated.

It approached “a variety of voices, witnesses and consultants” and featured a variety of opinion together with responses from individuals in Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Social gathering, the BBC stated.

Reporting by Shivam Patel in New Delhi and Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Extra reporting by Krishn Kaushik; Enhancing by Robert Birsel, Jonathan Oatis and Daniel Wallis

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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