Stones Thrown, Blackout As JNU Students Screen BBC Documentary On PM Modi

BBC Documentary On PM Modi: Some students planned to screen the controversial BBC series on PM Narendra Modi at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University

BBC Documentary On PM Modi: Some students planned to screen the controversial BBC series on PM Narendra Modi at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University on Tuesday, but power and internet were cut off. ABVP members allegedly threw stones at those watching it on their phones.

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Two students have been caught throwing stones, according to left wing supporters. According to them, the two belong to the ABVP, the student wing of the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. ABVP students pelted stones at us, said N Sai Balaji, former president of the Students Union. 

We have come to the main gate to ensure the safety of students. We want immediate restoration of electricity, and we will not leave the gate until it is restored. The police are not responding to our calls,” he explained.

According to Aishe Ghosh, president of the Left-backed Students’ Federation of India, the blackout was the result of the administration’s actions. “We will watch the documentary with the help of QR codes on our mobile phones,” she told NDTV. No comment was available from the JNU administration.

Despite India’s ban on online sharing, the JNU administration refused permission for the screening. If the documentary is screened, disciplinary action will be taken.

After the blackout, students watched the documentary in a cafeteria on their cellphones and laptops. During the documentary, some stones were thrown at them from behind the bushes, sources said.

A protest was held at the police station late at night by the students. Later, the protest was called off after the police assured them they would investigate. In an interview with ANI, Ms Ghosh said, “We filed a complaint, and the police assured us they would investigate the incident immediately. We provided the names and details of all those involved.”

The documentary was screened earlier in the day by a student group at Hyderabad University. The university has requested a report on this matter.

Twitter and YouTube were asked last week to remove the controversial BBC series about Prime Minister Modi, which claims to have investigated certain aspects of the 2002 Gujarat riots when he was Chief Minister.

In a sharp attack on the BBC, the Centre called it a “propaganda piece designed to push a discredited narrative”. According to the foreign ministry, “the bias, lack of objectivity, and colonial mindset are blatantly evident.”

Several opposition leaders had tweeted alternative links where the first part of the two-part series could be viewed, slamming the government for its “censorship”.  “Shame that the emperor and courtiers of the world’s largest democracy are so insecure (sic),” Trinamool Congress’s Mohua Moitra tweeted.

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