Indian authorities detained several students in the national capital as they thwarted their plans to organize a screening of a banned BBC documentary about the 2002 Gujarat riots and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in the violence.
Police on Wednesday detained about 70 students of Jamia Milia Islamia University who wanted to screen the documentary India: The Modi Question, the Press Trust of India reported, citing a students’ union representative. While a majority of the students were released the same day, 13 are still in detention, according to the news agency.
A Delhi police spokesperson didn’t immediately comment on the detentions.
Students in other parts of the country also plan to screen the documentary in universities, according to the news agency. The Indian government has asked social media giants Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube to take down videos and tweets about the documentary and has dismissed it as propaganda.
The detention of students and blocking of the film on social media platforms came ahead of a public holiday commemorating India’s constitution, signaling the Modi government’s growing sensitivity to criticism amid shrinking media freedoms.