India: Documentary banned for depicting insurgency

New Delhi’s Central Board of Film Classification has refused to certify the documentary Flames of the Snow. The body stated that any film which romanticises and promotes the violence of the Maoist groups in Nepal is inappropriate viewing for the general public. The feature documents over 200 years of relations between Nepalese  rebels and the Indian establishment. The director of the film, Ashish Srivastava and its Kathmandu-based producers, Group for International Solidarity, intend to launch a campaign to oppose the banning. Another film entitled, Village of Widows, which features Benazir Bhutto vehemently criticising the Indian state and the burning of an Indian flag in Kashmir has also been censored by the authorities.

Arundhati Roy under investigation by Indian police

Writer and campaigner Arundhati Roy is currently under investigation by Chhattisgarh police for her article “Walking with the Comrades”, published 29 March in Outlook magazine, describing her experiences with Maoist insurgents in the Dantewada region. The area was the location of the recent ambush launched on 6 April by the same rebels which killed 70 police troops. Police are alleging that Roy has intricate ties to the insurgents as a result of her sympathetic article. Roy stated in an interview to an Indian newspaper that the investigation was simply a way to “cordon off the theatre of war and choke the flow of critical information coming out of the forests”.