Students debarred from exams for screening BBC exposé - IAMC
BBC exposé

Top university debars students from exams for screening BBC exposé of Modi

In a shocking move to suppress criticism of the Indian government, the administration of Delhi University, one of India’s most prominent colleges, debarred eight students who participated in the screening of the BBC documentary on Hindu supremacist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in the killings of nearly 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.

In a notice announcing that the eight students would not be allowed to take their upcoming exams, the administration referred to the documentary as “anti-national” and “propagandist.”

Outraged students have responded with a protest on campus grounds, saying that the “arbitrary notice” by the college administration “denies freedom of expression and academic freedom of students.”

The documentary screening was organized on January 27 by several student groups. Afterward, some students were detained by the Delhi Police on the spot.

After the BBC aired a two-part documentary entitled “India: The Modi Question” on January 17, the Indian government used its emergency powers to ban the film from being aired in the country. Modi’s government also forced Twitter and YouTube to block the documentary in India using draconian laws.

US citizen arrested over tweet critical of Hindu supremacism

An Indian actor, Chetan Kumar, who is a US citizen and a Fulbright scholar, was arrested over a tweet criticizing the Hindu supremacist ideology, or Hindutva.

Kumar was arrested for tweeting that Hindutva “was built on lies.” A court has sent the actor to judicial custody for two weeks.

He was arrested after a Hindu supremacist filed a police complaint against him, accusing him of “malicious intent to outrage religious sentiment” and “creating or promoting enmity.”

This is the second time in just over a year that Kumar has been arrested over a tweet. Last February, he was arrested for questioning why a judge who had victim-blamed a rape survivor was hearing Muslim women’s pleas against Karnataka state’s ban on wearing hijabs in schools. 

Despite international condemnation, Kashmiri sent to 10-day custody

Despite several international human rights groups, media bodies, and journalists demanding the immediate release of detained Kashmiri journalist Irfan Mehraj, a court has remanded him to 10 days of custody under India’s federal probe agency. 

Mehraj was arrested under India’s draconian anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities  Prevention Act (UAPA), on baseless charges of “terror funding.”

Mary Lawlor, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, denounced the arrest and called for his immediate release.

 Aakar Patel, the chair of Amnesty International in India, said Mehraj’s arrest was “a gross injustice” and “travesty.”

Condemning the arrest, the Editors Guild of India said that Mehraj’s arrest “continues a trend in Kashmir of security forces arresting journalists because of their critical reporting of the establishment… The space for media freedom has progressively eroded in Kashmir.”

Other Kashmiri journalists including Fahad Shah, Aasif Sultan, and Sajad Gul are currently facing detention under various sections of the draconian UAPA law.