Published: 27th January 2023
Students & members of NSUI detained; section 144 imposed at DU ahead of the BBC documentary screening
Section 144 has been imposed at the Faculty of the Arts at Delhi University ahead of the call for the screening of the controversial BBC documentary on PM Modi by NSUI-KSU
The BBC documentary row escalates further as the Delhi Police impose Section 144 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) at the Faculty of Arts at Delhi University ahead of a call for screening of the controversial BBC documentary on PM Narendra Modi by the National Student's Union of India-Kerala Student's Union (NSUI-KSU). As per an ANI report, several protesting students and members of the organisation were also detained outside the Faculty of Arts at DU and outside a sizable security presence has been stationed.
The documentary has caused a new controversy to emerge in the nation. Earlier this month, the Indian government evoked emergency laws to ban the BBC documentary, 'India: The Modi Question', calling it a propaganda piece. The documentary was also taken down from many social media sites including Twitter and Youtube. However, students at various central universities have been screened, causing a clash between students and the administration.
The controversy intensified on Wednesday, January 25, when 13 students of Jamia Millia University were detained by the Delhi Police following the announcement of a screening on campus. Chaos also unfurled at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), where several members of the JNU Student's Union (JNUSU) complained of being attacked by members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) during the screening and alleged a deliberate power cut by the administration to halt the screening.
A similar power outage also happened at Ambedkar University today, January 27, where the students claimed the power was intentionally snapped by the authorities to interrupt the screening. Similar to Ambedkar University, power was also snapped at JNU during the screening, which the students alleged was a deliberate attempt to halt the screening. The Hyderabad Central University (HCU) and Jadavpur University (JU) are among the other institutes that screened the documentary.
The opposition has slammed the ban on the documentary as an attack on freedom of speech, despite the government calling it a 'propaganda piece'. The university administrations, especially JNU and JMI warned students against the screening of the documentary after the pamphlets for the film were circulated. JNUSU responded to the warning by declaring that they intend to simply watch it on campus and they "do not seek to create any form of disharmony", states the ANI report. The letter further stated that only the students who expressed a "voluntary interest" in participating in the screening would do so.