Indian university reports power cut ahead of Modi documentary screening

NEW DELHI, Jan 24 (Reuters) – An Indian university cut power and internet on its campus on Tuesday ahead of a student union screening of a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi that it rejected. India as propaganda, said media outlet NDTV. .

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in the capital New Delhi has threatened disciplinary action if the documentary is aired, saying the move could disturb peace and harmony on campus.

The documentary was branded “propaganda” by Modi’s government, which questioned his leadership during the deadly riots in his state of Gujarat in 2002, blocking its broadcast and banning video distribution in through social media in India as well.

Modi was the prime minister of the western state during the violence that killed more than 2,000 people, mostly Muslims.

The JNU student union, long considered a bastion of left-wing politics, aired the documentary, “India: The Modi Question,” at 9 p.m. (1530 GMT).

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A person present said students on campus were watching the survey on cellphones through a link shared on Telegram and Vimeo ( VMEO.O ) when the power went out.

“There are about 300 people streaming the screening right now on campus on their cell phones because the power went out about half an hour before the screening,” said the person, who did not want to be identified. known, by Reuters.

Footage from inside the campus showed some students huddling together and watching the movie on their laptops sitting on chairs.

The JNU media coordinator did not comment when asked about reports of internet outages and power outages inside the campus. Sources in the administration said that the teachers’ residences and other infrastructure were damaged due to power outages and that the problem was being looked into.

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The university administration previously said it had not given permission to air the documentary.

“To emphasize that such unauthorized activities may disturb the peace and harmony of the university,” he said.

“Students/individuals concerned are requested to cancel the proposed program immediately, failing which strict disciplinary action may be taken as per university rules.”

Union president Aishe Ghosh asked the students via Twitter to attend the reservation, describing it as “banned” by the ‘elected government’ of the largest ‘democracy’.

Ghosh did not respond to phone calls and messages after reports of power cuts on the campus surfaced.

Police security has been beefed up following the university’s request, police said.

The documentary was also aired in some campuses in the communist-ruled southern state of Kerala, The Hindu newspaper reported.

India’s home ministry did not respond to requests for comment on the government’s plans to screen the film at JNU and in Kerala.

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Violence broke out in Gujarat in 2002 after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire, killing 59 people. In 2017, 11 men were jailed for life for setting fire to the train.

Modi has denied allegations that he did not do enough to end the unrest and was acquitted in 2012 after a Supreme Court inquiry. Another petition questioning his conviction was dismissed last year.

Last week, the BBC said the survey was “rigorously researched” and included a wide range of voices and opinions, including responses from people in Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly, Shivam Patel and Rupam Jain; additional reporting by Krishna Kaushik; Editing by Robert Birsel and Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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