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Press Trust of India|Jun 6, 2023
NEW DELHI: Delhi University has barred two students, including a Congress students' wing leader, for a year for allegedly participating in a screening of the BBC documentary on the Godhra riots on campus, a senior official said. During this period, the students will not be allowed to take any university or college or departmental examination, according to the memorandum dated March 10. Six other students allegedly involved in the January 27 incident have been given "less strict" punishment, the official said, while indicating that more students might be implicated.
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"We have debarred two students and six students have been given less strict punishment. We have also called the parents of several students. More action is expected in the coming days," the official told PTI. She did not specify what punishment was meted out to the other six students.
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The students barred have been identified as Lokesh Chugh -- a PhD scholar in the Anthropology department -- and Ravinder of the Law faculty. The "confidential" memorandum issued to them mentioned that the documentary -- "India: The Modi Question" is "banned".
Chugh, the national secretary of the Congress-affiliated National Students' Union of India (NSUI), said he was not present at the Arts faculty on the day of the incident and added that the documentary is not banned. "...the act of participation in the showing of the banned BBC documentary is an act of indiscipline on the part of Lokesh Chugh," the memorandum, a copy of which has been accessed by PTI, stated.
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"On the basis of the recommendations of the committee, the disciplinary authority taking cognisance of the above indiscipline exhibited by Shri Lokesh Chugh, decided to impose the penalty of debarring him from taking any university or college or departmental examination or examinations for one year," the memorandum read.
A similar memorandum has been issued to Ravinder, the official said. The university had formed a seven-member committee to investigate the ruckus outside the Arts faculty building over screening of the BBC documentary.
A commotion erupted at the university as students attempted to screen the documentary even as police and the varsity administration intervened. The police had detained 24 NSUI-affiliated students during its efforts to scuttle the screening. Chugh, however, said he was not among the 24 students.
"During the screening, I was not on campus. I was participating in a TV debate… Moreover, the documentary is not banned but blocked," he said.
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