5 FTII Students Arrested by Pune Police in Midnight Crackdown at Campus

FTII students being taken to a Pune police station after being arrested from the campus

Pune: In a post-midnight crackdown at the Pune film institute FTII, five students were arrested and taken to a police station after the institute's director, Prashant Pathrabe lodged a complaint against them for detaining him on campus on Monday.

The First Information Report or FIR filed by Mr Parthrabe names 17 students. Two women are also named in the FIR, but were not arrested. The police, however, confirmed that they would be brought to the police station on Wednesday morning.

The FIR also mentions 25-30 other students. Police sources say some of the names mentioned in the FIR were incorrect, and so, some arrests were not made.

"This is unacceptable. The students are our responsibility. I am surprised no one from the administration is here. The action is not justified at all," Sandip Chatterjee, faculty member and acting dean at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) told NDTV.

The students have been charged with obstructing a public servant from doing his duty, a non-bailable offence, and six other charges including destruction of property, punishment for voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation, rioting, wrongful restraint and unlawful assembly.

The students will be produced in court today.

"We are surprised at the government's insensitivity. Look at the timing. Why should students be arrested in the middle of the night?" an FTII student said.

On Monday, the students had held the director back in his cabin for nearly seven hours, refusing to let him go till their concerns were addressed. The director and registrar called in the police at 10 pm, after which students claim they were mistreated and manhandled.

Students and faculty have been objecting to the manner in which the final projects of the 2008 batch students were being assessed. While students say only 50 per cent of the 2008 batch students had completed their projects, the faculty had advised the director to put assessments on hold until the end of the strike.