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PM Modi should visit institute and solve crisis: FTII students

india Updated: Aug 20, 2015 18:05 IST


Protesting students at FTII on Thursday called for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in resolving the two-month old crisis in the premier institute over the appointment of little known TV actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman.

"Prime Minister should visit FTII to resolve the issues. All students in the country are feeling threatened by the government's insensitivity towards the problems being faced by them. The students should strike hard and strong if this continues", representative of the FTII Students' Association (FSA) Vikas Urs told reporters.

Five students, including Urs, were arrested on Tuesday midnight on charges of rioting after they gheraoed the institute's director Prashant Pathrabe in his chamber. They were later released on bail by a Pune court.

A three-member team of officials from the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry is set to visit the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) to find a solution to the crisis.

"We are very curious to see with what agenda they (the officials) are coming with. We are clueless. The students' body has not been told that the delegation is coming...We are hearing everything from the media. We are still expecting a good dialogue," Urs said.

Another student said, "We are open to talks. From day one, we have been ready for a dialogue and finally the ministry has understood that we should sit across the table and discuss the core issues...I hope the officials come with an open mind and we are hoping a productive dialogue."

Pathrabe has said he was "tortured, threatened, physically pushed around and subjected to disrespectful and insulting behaviour" by about 40-odd students.

The students were reportedly agitated over Pathrabe's decision to go ahead with the assessment of the incomplete diploma film projects of the 2008 batch.

Academic activity in FTII came to a grinding halt after students went on a strike from June 12 protesting against Chauhan's appointment.