In a midnight crackdown, police arrested five students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) from its campus on charges of rioting.
The arrests come after a group of striking students had on Monday gheraoed the institute director, Prashant Pathrabe, protesting against “irrational and unjustified” assessment of the incomplete diploma projects.
15 students were taken to the Deccan Gymkhana Police station after a case was filed against them with multiple charges. Around 11.30 PM, the police charged in the institution with a warrant against 15 members.
The warrant was issued against Ranjith Nair, Vikas Urs, Ajayan Adat and other proactive members involved in the FTII strike, out of which 5 are taken under custody.
The warrant also mentions 25 to 30 other unnamed students to be taken under custody, with non bailable offenses. The case is registered by the Director Prashant Pathrabe after he was allegedly held captive by students opposing on the assessment of projects of the 2008 batch students.
“5 of our students have been arrested by the police and 25 to 30 other students might also be called in. We all students are outside the station while few faculty members are inside to support the students inside” said a student of FTII. While the I&B ministry had announced a committee to be sent to the institution soon, the arrests were unexpected.
The Deccan police officials were not available for a comment. Sections 143,147,149,323,341,353 and 503 have been mentioned in the warrant. The names of the arrested students are Raju Biswas, Vikas Urs, Himanshu Prajapati, Sachit Paulose and Ameya Gore.
8:30 ISTWednesday, 19 August 2015
Reputed institute being destroyed by govt’s wrong decisions: Arvind Kejriwal
Reacting to the arrest of FTII studends, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “I am shocked to hear whats going on at FTII. An internationally reputed institute being systematically destroyed by government’s wrong decisions.”
Meanwhile, Arvind Kejriwal also offered to help students. He said, “My offer to FTII students – Delhi government can provide you temperory space in Delhi. Run your classes here till central government agrees.”
Kejriwal also added that if finally, central government doesn’t agree, we’ll convert this place into full fledged institute and students can continue studying here only.
8:17 ISTWednesday, 19 August 2015
Government’s insistence on Gajendra is beyond comprehension: Ashutosh
AAP leader Ashutosh also condemned the action taken against students, “Police raid and arrest of 5 FTII students is condemnable. Government has no respect for democratic protest and hell bent to demolish institutions.”
He further added, “Government’s insistence on Gajendra is beyond comprehension. It shows its no respect for creative arts and nefarious design to ruin creativity. Creative art and literature is first enemy of dictators/fascists.
“It’s shame for we Indians if Gajendra continues as FTII Chief. If Gajendra has any shame he should voluntarily step down,” added Ashutosh.
7:46 ISTWednesday, 19 August 2015
(Students at Deccan Police Station)
3:05 ISTWednesday, 19 August 2015
It seems that some of the students are now back on campus. Faculty has been allowed to be present while the students record their statements. FTII wisdom tree tweeted the following:
3:00 ISTWednesday, 19 August 2015
A list of 17 names in the FIR included three girls, who were not arrested, says a prominent daily. A police officer told the students that they had been “instructed” to make the arrests.
According to the daily, around 45 minutes before the arrests, two groups – one comprising students and the other of faculty members – went to registrar UC Bodake’s residence in the staff quarters opposite the campus to demand that he be present while they were being taken into custody. But their calls were not answered. By then, around 100 to 150 students had gathered on the campus, shouting slogans.
“None of us resorted to any form of violence in Pathrabe’s office. We are ready to cooperate with the police, but they cannot take such a harsh decision against us,” said a student to the daily.
Meanwhile, here’s what Section 353 of the Indian Penal Code says
353. Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty.—Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person being a public servant in the execution of his duty as such public servant, or with intent to prevent or deter that person from discharging his duty as such public servant, or in consequence of anything done or attempted to be done by such person in the lawful discharge of his duty as such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
2:09 ISTWednesday, 19 August 2015
Here’s the warrant allegedly issued for the arrests of the students
There is also a video on the Facebook group ‘FTII Wisdom Tree’ which purports to show FTII students marching to the police station:
At Deccan Gymkhana Police station..!
Posted by Haaris Ahamad on Tuesday, 18 August 2015
2:01 ISTWednesday, 19 August 2015
ANI has provided more details about the arrests. It claims only 5 students have been arrested.
The FTII students had gheraoed Pathrabe to protest against the administration’s decision to conduct assessment of incomplete diploma film projects of the 2008 batch, which they called “irrational, unjustified and unfair.” The “gherao” was lifted after Pathrabe agreed to put on hold the assessment exercise till Tuesday morning.
Oscar awardee and musician Resul Pookutty started tweeting about the episode. He was outraged about the time and manner of the police action and was unsure whether Supreme Court rules on such action are being followed. Further, he blamed FM Arun Jaitley for not being a man of his word.
A page run by protestors at FTII claimed: “WE ASKED HIM A QUESTION AND NOW WE ARE GOING TO JAIL!!! Long Live Democracy
FTII ALERT : 15+ students to be arrested through an FIR lodged by the Director against the students. There is no woman officer, no girls warden, no boys warden, and the Director himself is not present. Police has entered the campus and reportedly an FIR has been registered against 15 students. They are taking many students to the police station. Such late night tactics and high handedness of the state truely reminds one of the dark times we are living in. Condemn the cowardly state action. This shows the true face of a fascist government. Will update more. Please share and inform your friends in the media.
#noFear #Support FTII #FTII”
WE ASKED HIM A QUESTION AND NOW WE ARE GOING TO JAIL!!!Long Live DemocracyFTII ALERT :15+ students to be arrested…
Posted by FTII Wisdom Tree on Tuesday, 18 August 2015
AAP Maharashtra unit meanwhile tweeted in favour of the students, taking on the government:
The party said a protest by its youth wing would be held tomorrow:
Watch this space for more updates.