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Indian authorities in the capital this week arrested dozens of students, who were planning to screen a banned BBC documentary about the 2002 riots in Gujarat state and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in the violence, Bloomberg reported.

Police arrested around 70 students of the Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi, according to students’ union representatives. Although the majority were released, 13 others remain in detention.

The arrests are related to the screening of the controversial documentary, “India: The Modi Question.” Days before the arrests, the government ordered a ban on the documentary, and asked social media platforms to remove videos and posts about the film.

Any attempt to screen the film will constitute a breach of intellectual property rights, according to Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs.

The documentary focuses on the sectarian violence in Gujarat when Modi was the state’s chief minister. More than 1,000 people – mostly Muslims – were killed across the state after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was allegedly burned by a Muslim mob.

Human rights organizations accused Modi of doing little to halt the violence, allegations he has disputed, and were eventually rejected by India’s Supreme Court.

The government dismissed the documentary as propaganda.

Even so, students from other universities across the country are planning their own screening of the film. Opposition politicians, meanwhile, have criticized the government’s censorship.

The arrests came days before a major holiday celebrating India’s constitution, indicating the Modi government’s increased sensitivity to criticism amid declining media freedoms, the newswire wrote.

According to the 2022 edition of Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index, India has dropped to 150th place – its lowest ever – out of 180 nations in the rankings.

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