CM Arvind Kejriwal to FTII students: Hold classes in Delhi

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2015 14:24 IST
Five students were arrested by police under sec 353 of IPC by a complaint filed by Prashant Pathrabe, director of FTII. (Image via Twitter, @Ani_news)

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday offered a temporary space in Delhi for FTII students to hold their classes, saying he was "shocked" at the midnight crackdown on their protests.

"My offer to FTII students - Del govt can provide u temp space in Del. Run ur classes here till central govt agrees," Kejriwal tweeted after five students of the premier Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) were arrested on charges of rioting, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation.

Kejriwal also said he would convert the temporary space into a full-fledged film institute if the Central government did not agree to the demands of the striking students.

Opposition Congress leaders Manish Tewari and Randeep Surjewala too condemned the crackdown saying midnight knocks and arrests of dissenters were very typical of Modi government's style of operations.

On Tuesday, police officials arrived at FTII around midnight and picked up the students from the campus and hostel on the basis of a complaint filed by the institute's director Prashant Pathrabe.

Pathrabe had been gheraoed the previous day by students protesting against "irrational and unjustified" assessment of some incomplete diploma projects. Three women students are among the 15 named in the FIR.

The crackdown was the latest in the tussle between the students and the Narendra Modi government which started in early June after little-known film actor and BJP sympathiser Gajendra Chauhan was appointed as the institute's chairman.

The arrests created a storm of protests on social media with many people calling the arrests an overreaction on the part of the government. Some even went so far as to compare it with the midnight knocks of the Emergency period.

Others accused the striking students of abusing the FTII facilities and said the government's hand was forced.

Read:FTII row: 44 ex-students asked to vacate hostel

'Gajendra Chauhan's body of work not impressive to head FTII'

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