BBC docu screening: DU creates committee to ensure ‘discipline’

The committee will submit a report of the incident on January 30 to the vice-chancellor. DU proctor Rajni Abbi has been appointed as the committee's chairperson.

Delhi University has constituted a 7-member committee to investigate and ensure discipline and maintain law and order on the campus following tensions between the student community and the government over the screening of the banned BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The committee will submit a report of the incident on January 30 to the vice-chancellor. DU proctor Rajni Abbi has been appointed as the committee’s chairperson.

The other members of the committee are Professor Ajay Kumar Singh of the Department of Commerce, Professor Manoj Kumar Singh, Joint Proctor, Professor Sanjoy Roy of the Department of Social Work, Professor Rama, Principal of Hansraj College, Professor Dinesh Khattar, Principal of Kirorimal College, and Gaje Singh, Chief Security Officer, it added.

MS Education Academy

“The Committee may specifically look into the incident of the 27th of January, 2023 which occurred outside the Faculty of Arts and opposite gate No. 4, University of Delhi,” the notification said.

What happened at DU

The Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) had announced to show the documentary titled – ‘India: The Modi Question’– on the 2002 Godhra riots at 4 pm on Friday in North Campus while the Bhim Army Student Federation said it will hold the screening at 5 pm outside the Arts Faculty in DU.

Similarly, at the Delhi government-run Ambedkar University at Kashmere Gate, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) has given a call for screening the documentary at 1 pm.

But the Delhi police and university authorities refused permission to screen.

“We have received information that NSUI is planning to screen this documentary at the Arts faculty… No permission has been sought for it. We will not allow such behaviour,” proctor Rajni Abbi said. 

Despite no permission, many students gathered outside the Arts faculty for the BBC documentary screening. Police had to be called in to disperse them, leading to tensions. Around 24 students affiliated with the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) were detained by the Delhi Police.

Speaking to the media, the deputy commissioner of police, North Zone, said, “At around 4 pm today (Friday), some 20 persons came outside the Arts faculty gate to screen the banned BBC documentary. As it can cause disturbance of peace and tranquillity in the area, they were asked to disperse from there. When they did not, they were peacefully detained.”

Ever since BBC released its two-part episode documentary on the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots during his tenure as the state’s chief minister, there have been several reports of tensions between students and university authorities from different parts of the country.

While the Indian government has banned the documentary, student unions such as the Student Federation of India (SFI) called for a mass screening prompting university authorities to take action against them.

While reports of tension were reported in JNU, Jamia Milia Islamia (New Delhi), Madras University (Chennai), University of Hyderabad (Hyderabad), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai), certain universities across Kerala, peaceful screenings were reported in Jadavpur University (JU) in Kolkata.

(with inputs from PTI)

Back to top button