Pune: Accusing striking students of FTII of insulting behaviour, using cruel interrogation and causing mental torture, FTII director Prashant Pathrabe today said he approached police as a deterrent step and rejected suggestion that action was taken under pressure from the I&B ministry.
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Police, in a pre-dawn swoop, today arrested five students on a complaint filed by Pathrabe and registered FIRs against 15 others under various sections of IPC. The students whose strike entered the 70th day today, are demanding removal of BJP member and TV actor Gajendra Chauhan’s from chairmanship of the FTII and stoppage of the assessment of incomplete diploma film projects of about 50 of them from the 2008 batch.
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“I was tortured, threatened, physically pushed around and subjected to disrespectful and insulting behaviour by about 40 odd students, who came to my office cabin and used cruel interrogation asking repeatedly why I ordered assessment of the incomplete film projects of the 2008 batch,” Pathrabe, looking visibly disturbed, told a press conference held in the campus.
He said the students “called me incapable and inefficient” and tried to break him down but “I did not”.
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Describing the gherao, which he said lasted for 8-10 hours on Monday evening, as a “pre-planned drama” by the students, the director alleged that it was demonstrative of violence as the students vandalised furniture in the office. “Their claim of carrying on a peaceful agitation is just a facade,” he added.
He rejected the suggestion that he was forced to file the police complaint against the students under pressure from the I&B ministry. .