The university board insisted that no permission had been given to show the documentary, which had been banned by the government. “Jamia takes all possible measures to prevent people/organizations with vested interests from destroying the peaceful academic atmosphere of the university,” a statement said.
The incident in Jamia comes a day after Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union was also thwarted from showing the documentary after power was disconnected but shared links on mobile phones. There were also reports of stone bullets at JNU.
A poster from the Students’ Federation of India announced the Tuesday night screening in Jamia. An MA student, who had a viva on Wednesday, said: “There were security people on campus from the morning. Even our vivas were done in a hurry. I think the administration wanted the campus to be empty by 3 p.m. Some students were detained later. I don’t know what harm it is that the university allows the screening of such documentaries. Shouldn’t a university be a free space?”
As SFI members were detained, the student body called for a protest outside the Bab-e Maulana Abul Kalam Azad gate. But Delhi police intervened, detaining a few students and asking others to disperse.
A statement released by SFI said, “In a horrific manner, students of Jamia Milia Islamia and the secretary of SFI Jamia Unit were detained by the Delhi Police prior to the screening of the documentary. One of the students was also assaulted by the guards, who tried to take the phone on which she was recording the situation.”
JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh, an SFI member, said, “What is happening in Jamia is reprehensible. The internet has been broken and students have been detained.”
DCP (South East) Esha Pandey confirmed: “The university informed us that some students were causing a commotion. We have arrested 13 students to ensure peace in the area.”
On January 24, the proctor had issued a notice reiterating that no assembly or gathering would be allowed on campus without prior approval.