Students’ wing members of the BRS were taken into custody, on Wednesday, 1 February, for allegedly planning to screen the controversial BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots inside the Osmania University Campus in Hyderabad, “without permission”.
Six members of the students’ organisation, who gathered in front of the Arts College on the campus on Wednesday and planned to organise the screening “without permission” were detained and later let off, police said on Thursday.
“They did not screen the documentary. They were planning (to do so)… As they had no permission (to screen the documentary) they were immediately taken into preventive custody,” a senior police official said.
Earlier, the documentary tilted India: The Modi Question — claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state — was screened twice on the University of Hyderabad (HCU) campus and in the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) campus.
Screenings in HCU, EFLU
The first screening at the HCU was conducted by members of the Fraternity Movement on 21 January and the second was conducted by the Student Federation of India (SFI) on 26 January.
After the announcement of the screening by the SFI following its Central Executive Committee’s calls for nationwide screening of the documentary, they received an email from the administration and a call from the police regarding the screening.
Meanwhile, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) HCU unit responded by screening The Kashmir Files, a controversial film, at the same venue and at the same time.
The SFI after discussions with the police and the administration conducted the screening at a different location on the campus with the participation of around 400 students.
Around 60-70 students of the EFLU Students’ Collective also screened the two episodes of the BBC documentary on the campus at Amberpet in Hyderabad on the same day. The screening went on without any incidents.
The Union government is trying hard to curb the screening of the BBC documentary India: The Modi Question, college and university students across the campuses are pushing back against the block by showcasing it with their own means and new ways.
(With inputs from PTI)