Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday, 24 January, alleged that the electricity supply on campus was cut off at the venue where the university's students' union (JNUSU) had scheduled a screening of the contentious BBC documentary, 'India: The Modi Question.'
Speaking to The Quint, a student of JNU, who was present at the venue said, "The electricity has been cut off here."
They also claimed, "There has been stone-pelting near the venue, in an attempt to disrupt the screening, which was going on completely peacefully."
Another individual present at the screening said, "Despite no electricity, we are continuing with the screening. A few people here are sharing links of the documentary, and people are watching it together on their phones."
What's the matter? The JNUSU had organised the screening of the documentary, which is currently officially unavailable to watch in India, on Tuesday at 9 pm.
A day late, the JNU registrar took cognisance of the same and released an advisory to cancel the screening, describing it as an "unauthorised activity" which "may disturb the peace and harmony of the campus"
The advisory also claimed that no prior permission was taken for the event from the administration.
What JNUSU Said: In a reply to the registrar, JNUSU said that "this is a voluntary action by the students who wish to watch the screening" and "by screening the documentary/movie, we do not seek to create any form of disharmony."
What happened on Tuesday? A statement by the All India Students Association (AISA) claimed,
"While the students were peacefully watching the documentary on laptops, ABVP goons suddenly started pelting stones and broken glass bottles at the the students in the dark."
It added that the students somehow escaped from the venue and marched towards the Main Gate in protest of the hooliganism.
"Even during the peaceful protest of the students, ABVP goons repeatedly pelted stones and attacked numerous students," the AISA statement read.
"The (JNU) administration is not responding to us, the police is not responding to us. What should we do?" conveyed JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh.
The aftermath: Following the ruckus, a large group of JNU students began marching towards Vasant Kunj police station.
"Do these people hurling allegations have any evidence that we pelted stones? We did not pelt stones at all," said a student from student organisation ABVP, as quoted by news agency ANI.
University of Hyderabad organises screening.. A screening of the same documentary was also organised by the Fraternity Movement in University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus on 21 January.
"On receiving the information, the security team and the Dean, Students’ Welfare rushed to the venue and requested the organizers to stop the screening of the documentary. However, the organizers did not accede to this request and continued the screening of the documentary in presence of few students," a statement from University's registrar said.
It further added that "no prior permission was obtained which is a violation of the existing norms" and "the University has asked for the report on the event for taking further necessary action."