India seeks to block footage and screenings of BBC documentary ‘A Question of Modi’: NPR

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi awaits the arrival of Indian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at his home in Hyderabad, New Delhi on Wednesday.

Manish Swarup/AP

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Manish Swarup/AP


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi awaits the arrival of Indian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at his home in Hyderabad, New Delhi on Wednesday.

Manish Swarup/AP

NEW DELHI – Days after India blocked a BBC documentary examining Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots and banned people from streaming it online, authorities are moving to stop showing the program at colleges and universities and restrict clips of it. Critics criticized this action on social networks as an attack on press freedom.

Tensions rose in the capital New Delhi on Wednesday at Jamia Millia University, where a group of students said they planned to screen a banned documentary, prompting dozens of police officers armed with tear gas and riot gear to gather outside the campus gates.

Police, some in plainclothes, clashed with protesting students, arresting at least half a dozen people and taking them away in vans.

“Now is the time for the youth of India to speak the truth that everyone knows. We know what the prime minister is doing to society,” said 20-year-old Liya Shareef, a geography student and member of the Brotherhood’s student group.

Jawaharlal Nehru University in the capital cut power and internet on campus on Tuesday ahead of the screening of a documentary by the student union. Authorities said it would disturb the peace on campus, but students watched the documentary on their laptops and cellphones after sharing it on messaging services like Telegram and WhatsApp.

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