Mumbai, Aug 19: Bollywood celebrities Shekhar Kapur, Rajat Kapoor, Hansal Mehta and Resul Pookutty criticised the arrest of five students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) from its campus on charges of rioting.
The arrest comes 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.
Filmmaker Shekhar took to Twitter and wrote, "There was a time #FTII was considered one of the best film schools in Asia and produced some brilliant talent. What happened?."
Oscar-winning sound engineer Pookutty, who earlier expressed his displeasure over appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman, said, "Police arrive in the middle of the night at #FTII, arrest 40 students. So are they really anti nationals?!or are Police implementing orders."
"Its shocking that the government can not find the right person with the right vision for FTII- they'd rather let it develop into this mess!," the "Aankhon Dekhi" director Rajat tweeted. Acting on a complaint filed by Pathrabe, police lodged an FIR against 15 students.
Of them, five were arrested on charges of rioting under Section 353 of the IPC, police said. Music composer Vishal Dadlani said, "Never seen a government fall so low, so quick. Family-packs of lies being sold as achievements, while freedom is crushed daily. #JaiHind #FTII."
"ABSOLUTELY CONDEMNABLE!!! You can't ARREST dissenting students.... #FTII," filmmaker Anubhav Sinha wrote. "Shahid" director Mehta said, "'Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.
The obedient must be slaves' - Henry David Thoreau -#FTII." The gherao came amid now 71 days of protest against the appointment of BJP member and TV actor Chauhan as chairman of Film and Television Institute of India.