BBC Documentary and The Kashmir files screened by different student groups at UoH

ABVP students staged a protest outside the campus’ main gate alleging that the college security personnel were not letting students inside
FIle photo of University of Hyderabad | (Pic: Express)
FIle photo of University of Hyderabad | (Pic: Express)

On Thursday, January 26, there was mild slight tension at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) as members of the Students' Federation of India (SFI) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) separately screened The Kashmir Files and the banned BBC documentary on the Gujarat riots on campus.  

Students from the ABVP organised a protest in front of the main entrance to the campus and claimed that the college security staff were preventing them from entering. Sharavan B Raj, a member of the ABVP central working committee, said, “Hindrances were created on the instructions of the university Vice-Chancellor. Due to this, the screening of The Kashmir Files depicting the exodus of Kashmiri migrants in the 1990s was delayed for an hour."

The conflict between the two student groups arose following the recent screening of India: The Modi Question, the banned documentary, in the Velivada block of the campus. In response, Anupam Kher's film was to be screened, according to the ABVP.

The planned location for both movie screenings, the north complex, was buzzing with excitement and tension in the time leading up to the incidents. Before the screening, SFI activists organised a rally to celebrate Republic Day by upholding the ideals of the Indian Constitution from the North Hostel block to the block's shopping centre. However, they later let visitors know that the screening's location had changed, stated a report by The New Indian Express.

The official word

Later that day, the Dean of Students' Welfare counselled the student groups and asked them not to screen any of the movies in order to preserve law and order, according to a statement from the University of Hyderabad Registrar Dr Devesh Nigam. Nigam stated that tranquility and peace were required because end-of-semester exams would begin the next week.

While he stated that only one of the groups held a screening in one of the hostels, sources say that both movies were screened. No clashes or instances of vandalism were recorded.

“There was no disturbance in the environment of the campus, there were only peaceful protests and screenings. No material, which is used for the screening of movies, was seized. Security forces were deployed only to bring the situation under control in cases of violent acts or hindrances," said police officials refuting claims of ABVP activists that force was used, as reported by The New Indian Express.

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