BBC Modi documentary screening at Jamia: SFI says police detained 70 students

Heavy deployment of police personnel was seen outside the campus where the students were gathered; personnel from the Rapid Action Force were deployed at the gate
Pic: @SafooraZargar
Pic: @SafooraZargar

Delhi Police detained over 70 students who were protesting at Jamia Millia Islamia against the arrest of four activists over plans to screen a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the Students' Federation of India. Heavy police presence was reported outside the campus, with personnel from the Rapid Action Force deployed at the gate, as per a PTI report.

The secretary of the Students' Federation of India's Delhi state committee, Pritish Menon, confirmed the police's actions. "We were about to begin the demonstration but they were detained before that. They were taken to the police station," Menon told PTI.

The Left-backed SFI's Jamia unit has released a poster informing that the documentary would be screened at the MCRC lawn gate 8 at 6 pm. Moreover, Delhi Police on Wednesday, January 25 said they detained four students after the SFI announced its plan to screen the controversial documentary on the campus.

On the other hand, the university administration said the screening would not be allowed and that they were taking all measures to prevent people and organisations with a "vested interest to destroy the peaceful academic atmosphere of the university". In this regard, the varsity administration also issued a statement, saying no permission had been sought for the screening of the documentary and it would not be allowed.

In this context, the statement issued read, "It has come to the knowledge of the university administration that some students belonging to a political organisation have circulated a poster about the screening of a controversial documentary film on the university campus today." Earlier, the university had issued a memorandum/circular reiterating that no meeting/gathering of students or screening of any film shall be allowed on the campus without permission from the competent authority. It said strict disciplinary action shall be taken against organisers in case of any violation. "The university is taking all possible measures to prevent people/organisations having a vested interest to destroy the peaceful academic atmosphere of the university," it said.

The SFI's attempt to screen the documentary at the Jamia campus comes a day after a similar event was organised at Jawaharlal Nehru University during which students claimed that power and Internet were suspended and stones hurled at them, as stated in a report by PTI

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