Narendra Modi: India bans BBC documentary on PM’s role in Gujarat riots

New Delhi

India has banned a BBC documentary essential of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged function in lethal riots greater than 20 years in the past from being proven within the nation, in a transfer critics decried as an assault on press freedom.

A senior adviser for the Ministry of Info and Broadcasting mentioned instructions to dam the documentary had been issued utilizing “emergency powers” out there to the federal government beneath India’s info and expertise guidelines.

“Movies sharing @BBCWorld hostile propaganda and anti-India rubbish, disguised as ‘documentary’, on @YouTube and tweets sharing hyperlinks to the BBC documentary have been blocked beneath India’s sovereign legal guidelines and guidelines,” senior adviser Kanchan Gupta wrote on Twitter Saturday, including each YouTube and Twitter have complied with the order.

CNN has contacted Twitter and YouTube for remark however is but to listen to again.

The 2-part documentary “India: The Modi Query,” criticizes Modi, who was the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat in 2002 when riots broke out between the state’s majority Hindus and minority Muslims.

Violence erupted after the bombing of a prepare killed dozens of Hindus and was blamed on Muslims. In retaliation, Hindu mobs set fireplace to Muslim-owned houses and shops. Greater than 1,000 individuals – principally Muslims – had been killed, based on authorities figures.

Modi and his ruling ruling Bharatiya Janata Social gathering rose to energy in India in 2014, using on a wave of Hindu nationalism within the nation of 1.3 billion, the place almost 80% of the inhabitants observe the religion.

He has beforehand denied accusations that he did not cease the violence in 2002 and a particular investigation workforce appointed by India’s Supreme Courtroom in 2012 discovered no proof to recommend he was accountable.

India’s Ministry of Exterior Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi has referred to as the documentary “a propaganda piece designed to push a specific discredited narrative.”

Talking to reporters at a information convention Thursday, Bagchi mentioned: “It makes us marvel in regards to the objective of this train and the agenda behind it and albeit we don’t want to dignify such efforts.”

In response, the BBC mentioned in an announcement shared on social media that the documentary was “rigorously researched based on the best editorial requirements.”

The movie took under consideration, “a variety of voices, witnesses and specialists… together with responses from individuals within the BJP),” the assertion mentioned.

The Indian authorities had declined to answer when contacted by the BBC, the assertion added.

CNN has reached out to the BBC for additional remark however is but to listen to again.

The banning of the documentary has led to rancor amongst many in India, with Modi supporters rallying to his protection and opposition politicians criticizing the transfer

BJP spokesman R. P. Singh mentioned he welcomed the ban.

“Retaining in thoughts 2024 elections, an eco-system is being constructed to tarnish the picture of PM Narendra Modi ji,” he mentioned in an announcement on Twitter.

However opposition lawmaker Mahua Moitra mentioned the federal government’s “raging censorship actions are unacceptable.”

“What BBC present proves or disproves is as much as viewers to determine,” he mentioned.

The documentary explores an unpublished British authorities report obtained by the BBC, which the British public broadcaster mentioned got here within the type of a diplomatic cable.

The report, based on the BBC, reveals the violence which confirmed the occasions had “all of the hallmarks of an ethnic cleaning,” claiming there was “widespread and systematic rape of Muslim ladies.”

The BBC mentioned Jack Straw, who was British overseas secretary in 2002 and options within the documentary, claims that Modi had “performed a pre-active half in pulling again the police and in tacitly encouraging the Hindu extremists.”

The primary a part of the documentary aired on the BBC on January 17, with half two attributable to air Tuesday.