FTII row: Veteran actor Amol Palekar lends support to agitating students

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Pune, Aug 25: Eminent actor-director Amol Palekar today expressed his support to the now 75-day-old agitation of the FTII students for their demands that include removal of TV actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as the institute's chairman.

"I have already expressed my support to the students' agitation," Palekar, who was recently appointed as chairman of India's Oscar jury, told reporters during a visit to the FTII campus.

FTII row: Amol Palekar backs students

Palekar was at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) today for the screening of his movie "Daayra".

Meanwhile, FTII director Prashant Pathrabe declined to make any comment on any development on the students' protest and visit of the three-member delegation of Information and Broadcasting Ministry, led by SM Khan, which held discussions with the faculty, students and the staff last week, in an effort to break the stalemate over the prolonged strike.

"You ask the ministry officials," said Pathrabe, who attracted criticism from various quarters for deployment of additional security with "bouncers" for himself.

The FTII director also refused to react when asked whether the institute's administration was likely to withdraw the police complaint filed by him against 17 students.

Pathrabe had filed the complaint in connection with his alleged mental torture during the recent 'gherao' in protest against conducting incomplete diploma film projects of the 2008 batch students.

Following his complaint, five students were arrested, leading to tension on the campus after a midnight swoop by police last week. The students were later released on bail.

Meanwhile, an air of expectancy prevailed on the campus with Ameya Gore, a representative of the FTII Students' Association (FSA) saying they had no information as to whether the Khan committee had submitted its report to the ministry on Monday, as per the earlier announcement.

"We, however, hope that the ministerial committee will continue to have a positive approach to our demands as seen during the interaction with the students," he added.

Both the committee members and the striking students had expressed their "satisfaction" over the talks.

Nearly 150 students of the premiere institute have been boycotting classes since June 12 in support of their demand for reconstitution of the FTII Society and cancellation of appointment of Chauhan as chairman, claiming that he lacks "credentials and vision" to head the FTII.

PTI 

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