Delhi Police personnel entered the Ambedkar University campus on Friday to stop SFI activists from screening the controversial BBC documentary on the 2002 Godhra riots, several students alleged, even as alternative arrangements to watch it on phones and laptops were made.
Police officials said they were visiting all college and university campuses in the district to ensure peace and tranquillity in the area.
The Left-affiliated Students’ Federation of India (SFI) claimed that the screening could not be held as the administration of the government-run university disconnected the power supply but a QR code with a link to the short film was shared with students so that they could watch it on their personal devices.
The SFI had given a call for screening the documentary at 1 pm, while the All India Students’ Association (AISA) announced that it would hold a protest to condemn the events that unfolded at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the Jamia Millia Islamia earlier this week following a call for screening of the film.
AISA Delhi tweeted that “Why has the Police been called inside AUD? Students of AUD wish to express solidarity against the ABVP violence and police repression unleashed on the students of JNU and Jamia respectively. Why should the Police have any presence inside the campus,” the AISA Delhi tweeted.
A senior police officer said DCP (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi and his team were visiting all colleges and universities in his district.
“We are visiting various colleges and universities to ensure that there is no disruption of peace and tranquility in the area. The situation at Ambedkar University is peaceful and under control. Police is on the spot,” he added.
SFI Delhi joint secretary Yashita Singhi said the university cut off the electricity supply to stop the screening. “Even the supply to the adjacent Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women (IGDTUW) was cut. But we shared the QR code with students who are either watching it on their laptops or phones.”
She claimed that “The proctor was not happy seeing the screening proceeding like this and so, he has asked the guards to call the police.”
Several students claimed that the police were asking security guards to carry out “checking” of students.
There was no immediate reaction from the university administration on the presence of police inside the campus. Earlier in the day, a university official said they came to know about the screening through media reports. The official said no permission had been sought from them for the event.
The government had recently directed social media platforms to block links to the documentary titled India: The Modi Question with the External Affairs Ministry trashing it as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset.
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