SRFTI Protest Continues Over Student Agitation

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Kolkata: Protesting students at Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) in Kolkata denied authorities entry into the campus on Monday. Few kilometres away from campus, some 35-odd members of the institute’s faculty and administration were huddled in an official meeting at the residence of SRFTI’s director Debamitra Mitra.

With students’ agitation taking a new turn, none of them were allowed entry to either take classes or conduct any administrative activities on campus.

The students had on Friday submitted a 27-point charter of demands with the administration with the one for revocation of the rustication of 14 female students topping the list. Other demands include academic, hostel and budget-related issues. Following the rustication, SRFTI students’ association started an indefinite strike from Tuesday.

Students at the information and broadcast ministry-funded institute sat blocking the entrance of the institution on Monday morning, forcing director Debamitra Mitra and other members of the administration and the faculty to return home.

Following this, Mitra invited members of the administration and faculty to her house for discussing the situation. After nearly five hours of deliberation, they decided that discussions on students’ demands would be held only after they allow the administration to function normally, Mitra told to reporters.

In a statement issued on Monday, the students said: “At the end of the meeting on Friday, the director staged a walkout on the students even after we gave in writing that we will undertake the process of segregation but on the assurance that there will be no surveillance or monitoring. She outright refused to even begin a dialogue about any of our other demands/issues. We are concerned that a person who is answerable to 200 students can blatantly lie and continues to go back on all of her promises. We feel cheated that our fellow friends remain rusticated and few others suspended despite agreeing to physically segregate. We were ready to allow her to enter if she was ready to have a ‘conversation’ with us.”As things stand now, the situation is likely to continue even on Tuesday.

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