Midnight Swoop in FTII, 15 Students Arrested

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Pune: Cracking whip the city police in a late night swoop arrested 15 students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTI) on Tuesday after they were booked under various sections including wrongful confinement of institute director Prashant Pathrabe.

Deccan Police officials arrived at FTII around midnight and picked up students from the institute campus and hostel. The charges slapped on students include unlawful assembly, rioting, causing hurt and criminal intimidation.

An FIR was lodged against the students based of the complaint filed by Pathrabe, who was held captive by students inside the campus for a few hours on Monday evening.

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Around 40 students ‘gheraoed’ the director to protest against the "irrational and unjustified" assessment of incomplete diploma projects. The protesting students refused to leave unless Pathrabe gave a "rational" explanation for the ongoing assessment by the faculty of incomplete films made by the 2008 batch.

It was only after Pathrabe’s assurance about project assessment being put on hold for a day that the students let him go.

Opposing the move, the students said they will not participate in the process of 'as is where is basis' assessment of their incomplete projects, the exercise that will ensure the immediate exit of backlog students, who have been blocking the seats, resulting in overcrowding in classes and hostel.

The FTII Students' Association (FSA) alleged that the assessment was politically motivated and aimed at getting rid of about 50 students belonging to the 2008 batch on the ground of "overstaying" in the institute due to incomplete projects.

Meanwhile, sources said officials from the ministry of Information and Broadcasting are likely to visit the campus in next few days to take a stock of the situation which has arisen due to the ongoing strike by students.

FTII students have been on strike since June 12 to oppose the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman.