BBC docu screening at Jamia thwarted; protesting students detained; VC says SFI hurting campus peace

Updated: Jan 25 2023 9:21PM

BBC docu screening at Jamia thwarted; protesting students detained; VC says SFI hurting campus peace

New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Jamia Millia Islamia on Wednesday became the centre of a kerfuffle after a left-affiliated students group's plans to organise the screening of the controversial BBC documentary on the 2002 Godhra riots were thwarted by the varsity and the city police. There was heavy police deployment outside the campus throughout the day and several protesting students were detained, even as Jamia Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar said some students were trying to disrupt the atmosphere of the campus by trying to organise such events.

The development comes on the eve of Republic Day and a day after the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) witnessed ruckus and protests over the screening of the same documentary.   The screening of the documentary "India: The Modi Question", the access of which was recently blocked by the Centre on social media platforms, was announced by the Students' Federation of India (SFI) on Wednesday. The students outfit had said that the documentary would be screened at MCRC lawn gate number 8 at 6 pm on Wednesday. The Delhi Police detained several activists, nearly four hours before the scheduled event. "A screening for a BBC documentary was to be organised by a group of Jamia students inside the university today, which was not allowed by the administration of the university. The university administration informed the police that some students were creating ruckus on the streets and therefore, a total of 13 students were detained around 4 pm to ensure peace in the area," DCP (southeast) Esha Pandey said in a statement. The varsity, however, said they did not seek police intervention in the matter.

“We did not call the police. They were doing their work outside the campus. No screening took place, nothing happened inside the campus,” Chief Proctor Atiqur Rahman told PTI. The university turned into a police garrison with the deployment of a large number of security personnel, including the Rapid Action Force. For several hours, entry gates of the university were shut, causing inconvenience to students and faculty.