India’s prime courtroom to contemplate circumstances towards block on BBC documentary

By Arpan Chaturvedi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Supreme Court docket will think about petitions subsequent week towards a authorities order blocking the sharing of clips of a BBC documentary that questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s management throughout riots in 2002 within the western state of Gujarat.

The federal government has dismissed as a biased “propaganda piece” the movie launched final week, titled “India: The Modi Query”, and blocked the sharing of any clips from it on social media.

The Supreme Court docket will take up the petitions subsequent week, Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud stated in courtroom on Monday.

A New Delhi-based lawyer, M L Sharma, opposed the federal government’s transfer in one of many petitions to the Supreme Court docket.

A separate petition by lawyer Prashant Bhushan, journalist N. Ram and opposition politician Mahua Moitra centered on the order to take down social media hyperlinks to the documentary.

In a Twitter touch upon the second petition, Regulation Minister Kiren Rijiju stated, “That is how they waste the valuable time of the Honourable Supreme Court docket, the place 1000’s of widespread residents are ready and searching for dates for justice.”

Modi, who goals for a 3rd time period in elections subsequent yr, was chief minister of Gujarat in February 2002, when a suspected Muslim mob set fireplace to a practice carrying Hindu pilgrims.

The incident sparked one of many worst outbreaks of spiritual bloodshed in impartial India.

In reprisal assaults throughout the state no less than 1,000 individuals had been killed, most of them Muslim, as crowds roamed the streets for days, focusing on the spiritual minority. However activists put the toll at greater than twice that, at about 2,500.

Modi has denied accusations that he didn’t do sufficient to cease the riots. He was exonerated in 2012 following an inquiry overseen by the Supreme Court docket and a petition questioning his exoneration was dismissed final yr.

The BBC has stated the documentary was “rigorously researched” and concerned a variety of voices and opinions, together with responses from individuals in Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Occasion.

(Reporting by Arpan Chaturvedi; Enhancing by Sudipto Ganguly and Clarence Fernandez)

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