FTII Director Held Captive by Students, Released After a Few Hours

Pune film institute students have held protests across the country, including Delhi at Jantar Mantar.

Pune: Pune film institute director Prashant Pathrabe, who was held captive by students inside the campus for a few hours on Monday evening, was released after the police was called in. The police continues to remain at the institute.

Mr Pathrabe said he had been gheraoed, but was "safe", according to news agency Press Trust of India.

The students of Film and Television Institute of India, or FTII, who have been protesting against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the Chairman of the institute, have been on strike for the last 68 days.

According to a statement by the FTII Students' Association (FSA), the Director told them that the Information and Broadcasting ministry wanted him to go ahead with the "assessment" despite their protest.

When they objected, the Director suggested that they speak to the Joint Secretary (Information and Broadcasting Ministry) directly. "But he refuses to take our calls," PTI quoted FSA representative Ranjit Nair as saying.

On August 5, the Director had circulated a notice for students of the 2008 batch, asking them to vacate the hostel.

The students have said the ministry ordered "assessment" of the film projects of the 2008 batch undertaken by the faculty as "irrational and unjustified" since the work was incomplete.

The Association alleged the move was politically motivated and aimed at getting rid of about 30 students of the 2008 batch on ground of "overstaying" due to incomplete projects.

The students have been protesting against Mr Chauhan's appointment the chairman of the FTII, saying he neither had the credentials nor the academic excellence to head the institution.