FTII director held captive 'safe' after police disperses students

  • Yogesh Joshi, Hindustan Times, Pune
  • Updated: Aug 18, 2015 10:31 IST

Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) director Prashant Pathrabe, held captive by students inside the campus for a few hours on Monday evening, was released after police stormed the premises and dispersed the group.

Anticipating further incidents of violence, police have chosen to remain at the institute.

Around 40 students ‘gheraoed’ the director to protest against the "irrational and unjustified" assessment of incomplete diploma projects. The protesting students refused to leave unless Pathrabe gave a "rational" explanation for the ongoing assessment by the faculty of incomplete films made by the 2008 batch.

Pathrabe had told PTI earlier on Monday that he was gheraoed by the students but was "safe".

A students' representative said they had "stopped" the director in his office since he "decided to go on with unfair assessment of the incomplete film projects".

The FTII Students' Association (FSA) alleged that the assessment was politically motivated and aimed at getting rid of about 50 students belonging to the 2008 batch on the ground of "overstaying" in the institute due to incomplete projects.

The students, according to a communication from the FSA, tried to contact the Union information and broadcasting ministry's joint secretary to seek his intervention but received no response.

Pathrabe has maintained he was following the ministry's directions in going ahead with the assessment.

Police were called by FTII’s registrar at around 11pm on Monday after the students refused to end their gherao.

The strike by FTII students against the appointment of BJP member and TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the FTII society entered its 68th day on Monday.

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