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Thursday, Oct 24, 2019

Post suspension order, FTII student missing since January 13 in Pune

According to the FIR, Manoj Kumar Verma (31) was disturbed after being suspended and left without informing anybody. According to the students who also checked with CCTV with the FTII security, Manoj was last seen on 10.30 pm on Sunday on January 13.

pune Updated: Jan 20, 2019 14:16 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Manoj Kumar Verma.
Manoj Kumar Verma.(HT PHOTO)
         

A third year student of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Manoj Kumar Verma, batch of 2016, art direction and production design, has been missing from the institute since January 13, Sunday evening. The institute had issued a letter, dated December 21, 2018, to Manoj suspending him from all academic activity following an incident on campus.

A first information report (FIR) was filed by his classmates on January 17.

According to the FIR, Manoj (31) was disturbed after being issued the suspension letter by the institute and left the campus without informing anybody. According to the students, who also checked the CCTV footage with the FTII security, Manoj was last seen at the campus at 10:30 pm on January 13.

The suspension letter mentions an incident that took place on December 19, 2018, during one of the long takes at the art direction and production design department. The letter states that Manoj and his classmate misbehaved with Vikram Verma, associate professor and head of art direction and production design department, and was given 24 hours to express remorse over the incident and apologise.

Stating that he had been suspended from all academic activities of FTII, which includes classes, practical training, workshops and exercises, the letter said that the proctor of FTII would conduct an inquiry into the incident and recommend final decision about this case of indiscipline.

Meanwhile, the students said that Manoj was deeply disturbed since his suspension and had even apologised to the professors, but it was not accepted. Kavita Manoj Kumar, the wife of the missing student, called some of his classmates when there was no contact from Manoj, and then, when the students tried to call his number, it was switched off.

Dheeraj Meshram, dean, FTII, said, “I am not entitled to make a statement to the press.” FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola said, “FTII has already lodged a missing complaint with the local police in Pune with respect to the student of the institute. A police inquiry is underway. We are hopeful that he will return to the campus.”

The police also visited Manoj’s room in the hostel and according to Bhaskar Jadhav, Deccan police station in-charge, “Investigation is going on. We don’t know much about the case. Two classmates reported the case to us. It is an internal issue. That the FTII director served a strongly worded letter to the missing student is one reason being cited, but since it is a central institution, we are not being given access and can’t do much in this case.”

First Published: Jan 19, 2019 17:30 IST

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