Protests over BBC docu on DU campus, students detained

“We detained 24 people from outside the Arts Faculty for disturbing peace in the area,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi.

Published: 28th January 2023 07:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2023 07:50 AM   |  A+A-

Twenty-four students detained during protest at DU on Friday | Parveen Negi

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Heated exchanges with police personnel posted inside and around Delhi University’s Arts Faculty over the screening of the controversial BBC docuseries on 2002 Godhra riots led to the detention of at least two dozen students on Friday.

The screening of the documentary could not take place at Delhi University. Many students, however, watched the series on their mobile phones at Ambedkar University as the power supply was cut off and the police imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 to thwart a large assembly of students eager to watch the blocked series.

“We detained 24 people from outside the Arts Faculty for disturbing peace in the area,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi. On the permission for screening the documentary, Rajni Abbi, university proctor, said: “We did not receive any request for the screening, so how could we deny the permission?”

In the evening, over 50 students affiliated with the Bhim Army Student Federation protested inside the Arts Faculty despite restrictions imposed by the authorities. Several students alleged that the police personnel barged into the university compound and manhandled the protesting students. However, police and university authorities denied the charge.

“In order to maintain peace in the university, we had given permission to police to enter the university premises. However, police personnel did not enter the campus,” said Abbi. “After ascertaining the identity of the detainees, we will get to know whether the organisers were ‘outsiders’ or the students. The university will surely take action against those students who disturbed the campus peace.”

Meanwhile, the SFI on Friday also called for the screening of the documentary at the Kashmiri Gate campus of Dr Ambedkar University. As the power supply to the campus was cut off minutes before the screening, the student watched the documentary on their mobile phones. University authorities, however, dismissed allegations of deliberate power disruption. 

‘Power cut’ disrupts show at Presidency
The screening of the documentary was stalled for 30 minutes at Presidency University in Kolkata due to power supply disruption on Friday, with SFI blaming university authorities for such a move. The power supply was, however, restored after organisers started shouting slogans. The docu was screened in Jadavpur university without any disruption. 


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