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Delhi University bars students for BBC doc screening attempt

  • Delhi University has barred two students over screening of banned Godhra riots on campus
  • During this period, students will not be allowed to take any university or departmental examination
  • Six other students allegedly involved have been given less strict punishment

18 Mar 2023

Delhi University has banned two students, including a Congress student wing leader, for a year for allegedly attending the screening of a BBC documentary on the Godhra riots on campus, a senior official said. According to the memorandum dated March 10, students will not be allowed to take any university, college or departmental examination during this period.

Six other students allegedly involved in the Jan. 27 incident received "less severe" punishment, the official said, hinting that more students may be involved. “We expelled two students and six students received less severe punishment. We also called the parents of several students. More action is expected in the coming days,” an official told to reports.

The blocked students have been identified as Lokesh Chugh – a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology – and Ravinder from the Faculty of Law.

A "confidential" memo issued to them says the document - "India: The Modi Question" - is "banned". Chugh, national secretary of the Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI), said he was not present at the Faculty of Arts on the day of the incident, adding that the document was not banned. “…the act of attending the screening of the banned BBC documentary is an act of indiscipline on the part of Lokesh Chugh,” said.

"On the recommendation of the committee, the disciplinary authority, taking cognizance of the above indiscipline of Lokesh Chugh, has decided to impose a penalty of debarment from holding any university or college or departmental examination or examinations for one year," the memorandum read. A similar memorandum was also issued to Ravinder, the official said. The university set up a seven-member commission to investigate the ruckus outside the art faculty building over the screening of a BBC documentary.

An uproar broke out at the university when students tried to screen the documentary, even as the police and university administration intervened. Police detained 24 students affiliated with NSUI during their efforts to scuttle the screening. However, Chugh said he is not among the 24 students. “I was not on campus during the screening. I participated in a televised debate... Moreover, the documentary is not banned but blocked,” he said.


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