Students protest against police atrocities at Kolkata Film Festival | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Students protest against police atrocities at Kolkata Film Festival

kolkata Updated: Nov 17, 2009 19:07 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
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After maintaining close vigil to ward off pro-Maoist protests, the 15th Kolkata Film Festival grounds turned into a platform of brief protest a few hours before the official closing ceremony of the seven-day event.

On Tuesday, a group of 10 students entered the festival venue and started shouting slogans against police atrocities in Lalgarh and distributed leaflets.

The Kolkata Film Festival is actively promoted by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who is also Bengal's home minister, and the primary target of Maoist sympathisers.

"We agitated at the festival venue to remind him of the sufferings of the struggling tribals of Lalgarh. While they have been caught in a war, the chief Mminister can't enjoy movies," said Prithvis Burman, a student of Jadavpur University Film Studies' department.

The students protested at Nandan, a film complex and a favourite spot of the film buff chief minister.

The students who took part in Tuesday's agitation were from Jadavpur University and Presidency College. The leaflets named the platform as United Students' Democratic Front formed during the days of peasant movements in Singur and Nandigram in 2006-07.

The festival venue was placed under intense security to avoid anybody sneaking in to protest the operation of the security forces in Lalgarh that has been a hotbed of Maoist activity in Bengal over the past one year.

Delegates and guests alike were searched not only for explosives but also for posters and propaganda materials like leaflets and even books.

On Monday afternoon the policemen on duty were surprised at the suddenness of the attacks. But before they could push the protesters out they has distributed a number of leaflets.

Though none of the students was detained by the police panic spread at the venue in the evening.

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