Police crackdown on FTII students post midnight on Wednesday has come under huge criticism by students, members of civil society and journalists.
User @brownbrumby wrote,
Nothing says fascism like a police raid on protesting students in the middle of the night. #FTII
— Halal Khan (@brumbyoz) August 19, 2015
#FTII has been a top national trend in Indian after the news of the midnight crackdown by police spread.
Sandip Chatterjee, faculty member and acting dean of FTII described these arrests unacceptable. He said, “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.”
A student asked, “We are surprised at the government’s insensitivity. Look at the timing. Why should students be arrested in the middle of the night?”
The students will be produced in court today.
Police arrested five students in a midnight crackdown after the FTII’s director, Prashant Pathrabe lodged a complaint against them for detaining him on campus on Monday.
FTII students have been protesting against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s head. Chauhan, who students say was a mediocre TV and film actor of yesteryear, is believed to get the preference for this post because of his leanings towards RSS. FTII is India’s most prestigious film institute and the students argue that the mediocrity shown by Chauhan’s appointment will have adverse impact on the institute’s ability to produce talents in future.
But the latest escalation is related a development on Monday, when students refused to let the director go out of his cabin for nearly seven hours till their concerns were addressed. The director and registrar then called in the police at 10 pm.
Students and faculty have objected to the manner the final projects of 2008 batch students were being assessed. The students say that only 50 percent of the students have been able to complete their projects and the faculty had advised the director to put the assessment on hold until the students ended their strike.