MUMBAI, Jan 22 (Portal) – India has blocked the broadcast of a BBC documentary questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership during the 2002 Gujarat riots, saying that even clips were being shared via social media be blocked.
Instructions to block the clips from being shared were issued using emergency powers available to the government under the country’s information technology rules, Kanchan Gupta, a government adviser, said on his Twitter account on Saturday.
While the BBC has not aired the documentary in India, the video has been uploaded to some YouTube channels, Gupta said.
The government has ordered Twitter to block over 50 tweets linking to the documentary’s video and YouTube has been ordered to block all uploads of the video, Gupta said. Both YouTube and Twitter have followed the instructions, he added.
Modi was the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat when it was hit by communal unrest that has killed more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, according to the government. The violence erupted after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire, killing 59 people.
Human rights activists estimate that at least twice as many died in the unrest.
Modi has denied allegations that he failed to stop the riots. A special investigation team set up by the Supreme Court to investigate the role of Modi and others in the violence said in a 541-page report in 2012 it could not find any evidence to prosecute the then prime minister.
Modi was later appointed leader of his party, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which he led to power in general elections in 2014 and then 2019.
Last week, a spokesman for India’s Foreign Ministry called the BBC documentary a “propaganda piece” designed to spread a “discredited narrative”.
Reporting by Ira Dugal; Edited by Raju Gopalakrishnan
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