Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) Visakhapatnam unit foiled an attempt by the members of Students’ Federation of India (SFI) Andhra University (AU) campus in Visakhapatnam to screen the BBC documentary on PM Modi on the university campus on January 27.
A group of ABVP activists reached the Satavahana hostel on the AU campus around 10 p.m. on January 27 when the SFI activists tried to screen the film on a LED screen outside the hostel for the students of the university.
“When ABVP leaders asked SFI leaders to stop the film as it was banned across the country, SFI ignored their words. A war of words started between the two groups and led to a minor clash,’ said an eyewitness.
Visakhapatnam Three-town Police and AU Chief Warden of Arts College Hostels G. Veerraju reached the spot and brought the situation under control.
ABVP Visakhapatnam Organizing Secretary G. Subbaraju said, “The documentary film on Prime Minister Narendra Modi was banned across the country, but SFI activists tried to broadcast it publicly in the university campus. This is legally incorrect. We will meet the AU VC PVGD Prasad Reddy on January 28 to request him not to encourage such acts in the campus.”
SFI AU campus member N. Ajay, who reportedly was involved in the screening along with his some of his union members in the the university campus, said, “We are not against the Prime Minister. We have tried to telecast it to show the public ‘freedom of expression and of such documentary films, which are in the interests of the people of the country.”
Ajay further said that in other parts of the country, such as in JNU-Delhi and Pondicherry, ABVP activists pelted stones on SFI activists. University authorities also stopped power supply in some other institutes, he added.
Speaking to The Hindu, Three-town Circle Inspector K. Rama Rao said, “No case has been registered so far and no one has been detained. We stopped the screening of the film on Friday night and a police picket with seven policemen has been place on Saturday on the university campus.”
It may be mentioned that SFI started screening the film on the premises of educational institutions including university campuses across the country a week ago. Delhi Police even imposed a Section 144 on the university campuses in Delhi, banning large gatherings.
“People including students are able to watch the BBC’s documentary on their laptops and mobile phones as there has been no restrictions on the personal gadgets, it seems,” an AU Professor opined.