regular-article-logo Thursday, 20 June 2024

Jamia Millia university calls cops over BBC film

Students detained to prevent screening on campus

Basant Kumar Mohanty New Delhi Published 26.01.23, 03:01 AM
A cop detains a student on the Jamia Millia Islamia campus in New Delhi on Wednesday

A cop detains a student on the Jamia Millia Islamia campus in New Delhi on Wednesday PTI

Jamia Millia Islamia university witnessed heavy police deployment on Wednesday to prevent the members of the CPM-backed Students Federation of India (SFI) from showing the BBC documentary on Narendra Modi, a day after the screening of the film in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) led to a scuffle. Around 40 students were detained by the police ahead of the screening that was scheduled to be held at 6pm on the lawns of Jamia. The screening could not be held as the organisers were detained. As word spread about the plans for screening, the administration locked the entry points of the university and called the police. The university reproduced a circular stating that no meeting of students or screening of any film shall be allowed on the campus without the permission of the competent authority, failing which strict disciplinary action shall be taken against the organisers. “The university is taking all possible measures to prevent people/organisations having a vested interest to destroy the peaceful academic atmosphere of the university,” the statement from the varsity said. Around 2pm, the police were deployed on the public road on the campus. They had detained the organisers — Azeez, Nivedya, Abhiram and Tejas -- around noon. The SFI gave a call to protest at Gate 7 at 4pm against the detentions. The police presence had increased substantially by then. The police whisked away the protesters as soon as they started their agitation. An SFI leader said that the detained male students had been taken to Fatepur Beri, about 20km from the campus. The SFI and All India Students Association (Aisa) demanded the release of students immediately. Abdus Samad, a student who had come to the protest site, said the screening should be allowed. “Let the people see and decide. Why should the government prevent people from watching it? This is an assault on freedom of expression,” he said.

Another student, Jameer Ansari, said: “If there is any programme, any protest or discussion by students, the administration calls the police. All the gates are immediately closed. I wanted to go to the library to study. But the gates are closed. The study environment is suffering.”

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