Kolkata: The agitating students of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) here have launched a relay hunger strike, demanding an unconditional revocation of the expulsion of 14 girl students.
The institute has been in the limelight since October 17, after protests against the girl students’ expulsion rocked the campus.
The relay hunger strike was launched at 10 pm yesterday, one of the expelled students, Rupkatha Purakayastha, told PTI.
She said the SRFTI management, which had earlier agreed to reconsider the expulsion order and sit for talks with the students, had now put forward conditions such as the expelled students must submit a written undertaking that they would not resort to any such agitation in the future.
“We consider this an attempt to throttle the voice of our democratic protest and hence, had to resort to the relay hunger strike. We may go for an indefinite hunger strike, if the authorities are unrelenting,” Purakayastha added.
She also said the agitating students would not disrupt the classes tomorrow or prevent the director of the institute, Debamitra Mitra, from entering the campus.
“We will not physically prevent anyone from doing their duty,” she added.
Mitra, who was gheraoed by the agitating students yesterday, had maintained that it was not possible to accept the demand for an unconditional revocation of the expulsion of the 14 students, who refused to shift to a new hostel.
The students alleged that building a separate accommodation facility for girls was an act of moral policing, a charge denied by the director.
Mitra had said the authorities had decided to build a separate ladies hostel and upgrade the curriculum and infrastructure of the institute after receiving an approval from the Union information and broadcasting ministry in 2013 in this regard.
She had said the objective behind shifting the girls to the new hostel was to ensure students’ safety.