A Left-leaning student group was prevented from screening the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Visva-Bharati University on Thursday evening, as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was present elsewhere on the campus to attend a cultural function organised by the authorities.
Singh, who will attend the convocation of the central university on Friday, reached the campus on Thursday afternoon. A spokesperson of the Democratic Students Organisation (DSO), the student's wing of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), said both the university authorities and the police prevented them from screening 'India: The Modi Question’ on a ground by not allowing a projector and a screen inside the campus.
"We had initially thought about screening the film in January but later on decided to defer it. After coming to know that Rajnath Singh, who is an important member of the Narendra Modi cabinet, would reach Visva-Bharati on Thursday, we decided to screen it in the evening,” he said.
A police officer said there was no information about any screening of the said BBC documentary on the campus and the police took the required steps as per standard security protocols owing to the presence of a VVIP like the defence minister. The Visva-Bharati spokesperson could not be contacted for comment on the issue.
Student bodies in several other universities in West Bengal had screened the documentary. Earlier, Singh arrived in a helicopter at the campus and discussed the university's academic activities with Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty. He later witnessed a cultural programme performed by students of Visva-Bharati.