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Police enter FTII after students gherao director


Pune: Police today stormed the premises of FTII here tonight to disperse a group of striking students who had gheraoed director Prashant Pathrabe, protesting against “irrational and unjustified” assessment of the incomplete diploma projects.

Tension prevailed in the campus as about 40 students gheraoed Pathrabe in his office this evening, refusing to leave unless he gave a “rational” explanation for the ongoing assessment by the faculty of the incomplete films made by the 2008 batch.

When contacted, Pathrabe had told PTI earlier in the evening that he had been gheraoed by the students, but was “safe”.

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

The FTII Students’ Association (FSA) has alleged that the assessment was politically motivated and aimed at getting rid of about 50 inmates belonging to the 2008 batch on the ground of “overstaying” due to incomplete projects.

The students, according to a communication from the association, tried to contact I&B ministry’s joint secretary to seek his intervention but received no response.

Pathrabe has maintained that he was following the ministry’s dictates in going ahead with the assessment.

Police were called by the Film and Television Institute of India registrar at around 11 pm as the students refused to end the gherao. It was not yet clear as to what action police had taken and whether the gherao had ended.

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

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