Soon after reports emerged regarding a section of students at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) screening the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi (questioning his role as a perpetrator when he was chief minister during the 2002 Gujarat riots) on its campus, the University of Hyderabad (UoH) claimed that no prior notice or permission was granted.
In a press release on Tuesday, UoH said that the screening was conducted on January 21 by a student group called the Fraternity Movement at the shopping complex on the North Campus without any prior notice or permission.
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“On receiving the information, the Dean along with the Student Welfare and security team rushed to the venue and requested the organizers to stop the screening. However, the organizers did not accede to this request and continued the screening in presence of a few students,” the UoH release said.
The release said that the act was in violation of the existing norms. “Though the event passed off peacefully, the University has asked for the report on the event for taking further necessary action,” the release said, concluding the atmosphere on the campus is calm and peaceful.
What is the BBC documentary on Modi?
The new two-part documentary series of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) ‘India: The Modi Question‘ focuses on the 2002 Gujarat riots that killed thousands and left millions homeless, especially in the Muslim community, and the role played by the then chief minister Narendra Modi’s government.
The documentary which is aired only in the United Kingdom looks at the escalating tension between the Muslim community and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as Hindu right-wing organisations – Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The first part of the two-part series, reportedly reveals ‘never-seen-before’ or ‘restricted’ documents in detail. These reports were never published to the public.
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It states that “Modi is directly responsible” for the riots that killed millions of people and displaced many, mostly Muslims. It also said the “violence was politically motivated” and the aim “was to purge Muslims from Hindu areas”. The riots were impossible “without the climate of impunity created by the state government.”
Speaking to the BBC, former foreign secretary, Jack Straw (2001-2006) said he was personally involved in the investigations as the data and results provided were alarming.
“I was very worried about it. I took a great deal of personal interest because India is an important country with whom we (the UK) have relations. And so, we had to handle it very carefully,” Straw told the BBC, adding, “What we did was establish an inquiry and have a team go to Gujarat and find out for themselves what had happened. And they produced a very thorough report.