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BBC documentary row: From stone pelting to power cut, high level drama unfolds at JNU; top 10 points

BBC documentary row: From stone pelting to power cut, high level drama unfolds at JNU; top 10 points

JNU Students Union President Aishe Ghosh had alleged that ABVP pelted stones during the screening of the BBC documentary, critical of PM Modi's leadership during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has called the BBC documentary a propaganda piece The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has called the BBC documentary a propaganda piece

The students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) marched towards Vasant Kunj police station late on Tuesday night amid claims of stone pelting by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) during the screening of a controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

JNU Students Union President Aishe Ghosh had alleged that ABVP pelted stones during the screening of the BBC documentary, critical of PM Modi's leadership during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

"ABVP pelted stones, but no step by the administration yet. We almost completed the film's screening . Our priority is that electricity should be restored. We will file FIR," Ghosh told ANI.

What we know so far in the case:

1. Students of JNU on Tuesday claimed that the administration cut power and internet to stop them from screening of the controversial BBC documentary on PM Modi. These students who gathered at the JNU students' union office staged a protest after stones were thrown on them.

2. These students claimed that they were attacked when they were watching the documentary on their mobile-phones as the screening could not be held. Many alleged that the attackers were members of the ABVP, a charge the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated student body denied.

3. Later in the night, raising slogans of "Inqlaab Zinadabad" and against the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration, the protesting students marched to the Vasant Kunj police station to lodge a complaint against the "stone pelters".

4. "There is a major (power) line fault at the university. We are looking into it. The engineering department is saying it will be resolved at the earliest," a JNU administration official, requesting anonymity told PTI.

5. The JNU administration, in an advisory on Monday, said that the union had not taken its permission for the event and it should be cancelled, warning of strict disciplinary action.

6. The JNU Students' Union, in a letter to the administration, said that there is no intention to create any form of disharmony through the screening of the documentary or movie.

7. On the screening not taking place, AISA national president N Sai Balaji, who was present at the spot, said, "They (the JNU administration) have cut off the power and internet." He said students had downloaded the documentary on their mobile-phones through an application to watch and share it.

8. Meanwhile, the ABVP denied the allegation made by students, saying they were not present at the spot. "We did not go the spot and no one from us (the students' body) was there. They are just taking our names to get more coverage," ABVP Delhi media convenor Ambuj told PTI.

9. The JNUSU had reportedly organised the screening of 'India: The Modi Question' on Tuesday at 9 pm. Just 30 minutes before the scheduled screening time, electricity connection to the entire JNU campus failed.

10. A senior police officer said that no stone pelting incident was reported to police.

The government had last week directed social media platforms Twitter and YouTube to block links to the documentary titled "India: The Modi Question".

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has called the BBC documentary a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative.

(With agency inputs)

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Published on: Jan 25, 2023, 10:20 AM IST
Posted by: Smriti Mishra, Jan 25, 2023, 10:14 AM IST