Clashes Break Out In Jadavpur University Over Screening Of Pro-Right Wing Film

07/05/2016 9:12 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
vivek agnihotri/twitter

KOLKATA -- Jadavpur University found itself in the midst of violent clashes and protests after right-wing leaning filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri screened his film open-air on the university's campus. The film, a political drama, called Buddha in a Traffic Jam, had run into trouble earlier in the day when its screening at the university's Triguna Sen auditorium was allegedly cancelled. That is when the organisers of the screening decided to screen it open-air.

Agnihotri had put up the following post on Facebook on Friday morning.

Since the elections have just concluded in West Bengal, some students contended that it goes against the Election Commission's directives to screen a political film, which risks falling under the category of political propaganda or promotion - something that is strictly prohibited till the results are out.

According to reports, however, some JU students didn't leave it at that. As soon as the director reached the campus, he was shown black flags and placards by the students of university urging him to go back.

When the open-air screening was organised, the director alleged, he faced 'massive' protests from students.

"Massive protest against me and the film. They are breaking the car apart. Help needed. The registrar came and stopped the peaceful screening of #BuddhaInATrafficJam massive chaos and sloganeering," Agnihotri said on Twitter.

Agnihotri even alleged that he has hurt his shoulder in a scuffle.

The Times of India reports: "Several students were injured as members of Think India, a wing of BJP students' body ABVP , and those of Faculty of Arts Students (FAS) and Democratic Students Federation (DSF) came to blows.The students claimed the campus had been invaded by outsiders and they had retaliated only after some girls were molested by Think India members."

Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das rushed back to the campus at 10pm and had to pacify the students. Four ABVP activists, who had been held by the students for molesting girls during the protests, were escorted out of the campus. Prior to that, a mob, led by Roopa Ganguly, tried to force its way into the campus. "ABVP members and BJP workers led by Roopa Ganguly reached the university and at tempted to force their way into the campus to `free' four students who had been held captive by FAS and DSF," TOI reports.

But later, acting on a complaint made by the university authorities, a case of molestation was registered against the alleged molesters.

A student of the Film Studies department told The Indian Express, "ABVP students organised the screening like a political rally. They were raising pro-Modi and pro-BJP slogans."

"Unfortunate that film screening wasn't allowed. It should have been allowed," Agnihotri told ANI after his movie was not allowed to screen.

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