India’s right-wing government has invoked a “state of emergency” law to ban the BBC documentary that holds Narendra Modi responsible for the 2002 riots, in which more than 2,000 people were killed.

The Student Federation of India (SFI) is planning to show the documentary,

The Student Federation of India (SFI) is planning to show the documentary “India: The Modi Question” in all Indian states. (Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters Archive)

Indian students said they would re-show a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi which the government dismissed as propaganda after a screening on campus on Tuesday was interrupted by a power cut and intimidation from the share of rivals.

The Student Federation of India (SFI) plans to show the documentary “India: The Modi Question” in every Indian state, its general secretary told Reuters on Wednesday.

Modi’s government branded the documentary, which questioned his leadership during riots in his home state of Gujarat in 2002, a “propaganda piece” and blocked its release and banned the sharing of any clips on social networks in India.

Modi was chief minister of the western state during the violence in which more than 2,000 people were killed, most of them Muslims.

“The imposition of undeclared states of emergency continues…but they will not stop the voice of dissent,” said Mayukh Biswas, general secretary of SFI, the student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). .

Mobile phone screening

At Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, hundreds of students watched the documentary on cellphones and laptops on Tuesday after the power went out on campus ahead of a scheduled screening, student leader Aishe Ghosh said.

The university had threatened disciplinary action if the documentary was screened, saying it had not authorized a broadcast that could disturb the peace and harmony on campus.

“It was obviously the administration that cut the power,” Ghosh said. “We encourage campuses across the country to hold screenings as an act of resistance against this censorship,” Ghosh said.

The media coordinator for the university administration did not comment when asked about the blackout on campus.

Ghosh said members of a right-wing student group threw bricks at students in hopes the documentary would hurt several, and students complained to police.

A spokesperson for the right-wing student group did not respond to a message seeking comment.

A police spokesman did not immediately respond to questions.

The 2002 violence in Gujarat erupted after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire, killing 59 people. Crowds then unleashed in Muslim neighborhoods.

Modi has denied accusations that he did not do enough to stop the riots and was exonerated in 2012 following an investigation overseen by the Supreme Court.

A petition challenging his exoneration was dismissed last year.

The BBC said the documentary was “rigorously researched” and involved a wide range of voices and opinions, including responses from members of Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party.

READ MORE: India bans BBC documentary on PM Modi’s role in Gujarat riots

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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