New Delhi: The Delhi police has detained 24 students and imposed section 144 prohibiting gatherings outside the Faculty of Arts at Delhi University after scores of students gathered there to watch the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (north), Sagar Singh Kalsi, said that at around 4 p.m. on Friday, some 20 persons came to the Arts Faculty gate to screen the banned BBC documentary.
“As it can cause disturbance of peace and tranquility in the area, they were asked to disperse from there. When they did not, they were peacefully detained. A total of 24 persons were detained. The situation is normal at present,” said the DCP.
The call was given by the NSUI-KSU for the screening of the BBC
documentary. Students said that the documentary was to be screened at Gate No. 4 of the Arts Department at 4 and 5 p.m. Delhi University authorities said that they have not given permission for the screening.
Some students however watched the documentary on their laptops and mobiles.
“No mass screening or public screening will be allowed on the campus. However, if the students want to watch it on their phones, that’s their discretion,” said varsity sources.
The police have been deployed in large numbers at the Arts Faculty after Proctor Rajni Abbi wrote to the police on the matter, and asked them to take action.
Earlier, some Left-wing students of Ambedkar University here staged a protest on Friday afternoon after electricity supply to the institute was snapped following an announcement to screen the documentary.
Despite the power supply being cut, students still managed to watch the documentary titled, ‘India: The Modi Question’, on their laptops.
Friday’s protest came two days after the Delhi Police on Wednesday detained 13 students of Jamia Millia Islamia after the announcement to screen the documentary in the Mass Communication Department of the university.
According to Esha Pandey, Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast), the screening was organised by a group of students despite no permission from the varsity administration.
The same day, the Delhi police had received cross complaints from both the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) a day after high drama prevailed on the campus, with JNUSU members alleging that they were pelted with stones while watching the documentary.
The classes at Jamia were also suspended on Friday.