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I was abused, pushed around: FTII director Pathrabe

FTII director Prashant Pathrabe on Wednesday justified the arrest of agitiating students saying he was tortured by them for several hours "using interrogation techniques."

india Updated: Aug 20, 2015 01:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
FTII row,FTII director,Prashant Pathrabe
Prashant Pathrabe said that it was a pre-planned event to show the Director and the Institution in poor light. (ANI Photo)

Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) director Prashant Pathrabe on Wednesday justified the midnight police crackdown on agitiating students saying he was tortured by them for several hours "using interrogation techniques."

"I was illegally confined. Asked the same questions again and again. They were abusive and disrespectful," Pathrabe said at a press conference in Pune, a day after police arrested five students of the institute on his complaint.

Pathrabe had been gheraoed the previous day by students protesting against "irrational and unjustified" assessment of incomplete diploma projects of 2008 batch students.

Read |FTII director held captive 'safe' after police disperses students

"On what yardstick can you call them students?... It is not just the freedom of a few students, Isn't my freedom important too?" he asked.

Narrating what happened on Monday, Pathrabe said about 40 students barged into his office on Monday and forced him to hold a discussion on his decision to go ahead with a pro-rata assessment of the project reports.

"They asked me questions and said that if I can't answer them, then I am inefficient and not eligible to sit in my chair," the FTII director said.

He alleged it was a, "pre-planned drama by the students before television cameras to show the institute and its director in poor light."

He said he called the police only after 4-5 hours of ill treatment and that there was a scuffle between the police and the students in which he too was pushed around.

Pathrabe said he registered a police complaint at 9.30pm on Tuesday, more than 24 hours after the incident, because he was taking rest as advised by doctors.

He rejected questions on whether he filed a complaint under pressure from the information & broadcasting ministry, but added that all his actions had the support of the government.

The police crackdown was the latest episode 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.


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First Published: Aug 19, 2015 15:29 IST