India: a major university bans the screening of a BBC documentary on Modi

India: Major university bans screening of BBC documentary on Modi


A prestigious Indian university has banned Tuesday's scheduled screening of a BBC documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's role in the deadly 2002 communal riots, after his government tried to prevent his streaming online. 

The film claims that the Prime Minister, then Chief Minister of Gujarat State, ordered the police to turn a blind eye to the serious violence that killed at least 1,000, most of them among the Muslim minority.

Students at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi had planned to screen the documentary on Tuesday, defying authorities trying to restrict its release.

The university, however, ordered students Monday night to cancel the screening. event, warning them that she would take “strict disciplinary action” if they disobeyed.

“Such unauthorized activity may disturb the peace and harmony of the college campus,” is- he writes in a memo from the establishment.

Mr Modi's government has for years been accused by the opposition and free speech activists of suppressing dissent.

On Saturday, his government announced it had blocked sharing of the documentary on social media, with an adviser calling it “hostile propaganda”.

The 2002 riots started in Gujarat after the deaths of 59 Hindu pilgrims in a fire, aboard a train. Subsequently, 31 Muslims were convicted of criminal association and murder.

The BBC documentary includes a declassified report from the British Foreign Office, citing unnamed sources that Narendra Modi met with police officers to “order them not to intervene” in the anti-Muslim violence that followed the death of the pilgrims. 

The violence, committed by far-right Hindu groups, was “politically motivated” with the objective of “purging Muslims from Hindu areas”, the report adds.< /p>

These riots were impossible “without the climate of impunity created by the state government (…) Narendra Modi is directly responsible”, concludes the text. 

Mr. Modi ruled the state of Gujarat from 2001 until he was elected Prime Minister of India in 2014 and was briefly banned from the United States due to the violence. 

A team of investigators mandated by the Indian Supreme Court to study, among other things, Mr. Modi's role in the violence said in 2012 that they had identified no evidence to prosecute him.