Plans of some students to screen the controversial BBC series on PM Narendra Modi at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University went awry as power and internet were cut off. Stones were thrown at those watching it on phones, allegedly by the ABVP.
Left wing supporters have caught two students, who, they claimed, were throwing the stones. The two, they said, belong to the ABVP, the students’ wing of the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “Students of ABVP pelted stones at us,” said N Sai Balaji, former president of the Students Union.
“To ensure the safety of students we have come towards the main gate. We want urgent restoration of electricity. We will not move from the gate till the time electricity is restored. The police are not responding to our calls,” he added.
Ayeshi Ghosh, president of the Left-backed Students’ Federation of India, alleged that the administration was responsible for the blackout. “We will watch the documentary with the help of mobile phones using QR codes,” she told NDTV. The JNU administration was not available for comment.
The JNU administration had refused to give permission for the screening, which India has barred from online sharing. The administration said disciplinary action will be taken if the documentary was screened.
The students argued that the screening will not violate any rule of the university, or affect communal harmony. The screening was scheduled for 9 pm, but before that, power and internet went off at the Students’ Union office.
After the blackout, the students headed for a cafeteria inside the campus, where they watched the documentary on their cellphones and laptops. While they were watching the documentary, some stones were thrown at them from behind the bushes, sources said. Later, they started a protest march which is still on.
Slamming the government over the “censorship”, several opposition leaders had tweeted alternative links where the first of the two-part series could be watched. “Shame that the emperor & courtiers of the world’s largest democracy are so insecure (sic),” tweeted Trinamool Congress’s Mohua Moitra.
With inputs from NDTV