As many as 24 Delhi University students who had gathered in the north campus for the screening of the banned BBC Documentary, India: The Modi Question which claims to investigate the 2002 Godhra riots, were detained by the police, a senior police official said as per media reports.
The action comes two days after Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia witnessed a similar treatment of students trying to screen the documentary, by the varsity administration and police. The two-part documentary, labeled as a propaganda piece by the BJP government navigates into the Gujarat riots that happened under the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The university administration has banned all large gatherings outside DU's Arts Faculty, where a screening was planned, and authorities have also disconnected the power supply in Ambedkar University to stop another planned screening of the docu-series. A group of students raised slogans and protested at both universities, many of whom were detained by the police.
There was heavy police deployment at the varsity's north campus after students' outfits gave a call to screen the documentary. More students gathered at DU's Arts faculty as the day passed, protesting against the imposition of Section 144 in the area to stop the screening. A huge crowd could be witnessed clashing with the police and security guards of the university, raising slogans of "go back Delhi Police" and accusing the police of manhandling protesters.
Earlier in the day, Delhi University Proctor Rajni Abbi said they would not allow the screening and stressed that the students' outfits had not sought the administration's permission.
The Congress-affiliated National Students' Union has announced a screening of the documentary at 4 pm on the north campus while the Bhim Army Students' Federation said it would hold a screening outside the varsity's Arts Faculty at 5 pm. Delhi Police personnel entered the Ambedkar University campus to stop Students' Federation of India (SFI) activists from screening the controversial documentary, several students alleged, even as the outfit made alternative arrangements to watch it on phones and laptops.
Police officials, however, said they were visiting all college and university campuses in the district to ensure peace and tranquility in the area. The Left-affiliated SFI alleged that the screening could not be held as the administration of the government-run varsity disconnected the power supply but a QR code with a link to the film was shared with students so that they could watch it on their personal devices.
Jamia Millia Islamia became the centre of a commotion on Wednesday after the SFI's plans to organize a screening of the documentary were thwarted by the varsity and the police. Jawaharlal Nehru University also witnessed a ruckus, protests, and alleged stone pelting by ABVP over the screening Tuesday.
(With PTI inputs)