Pune: Five Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students, who were arrested in a midnight swoop, for 'gherao' and alleged illegal confinement of institute director Prashant Pathrabe, were granted bail by a local court here on Wednesday.
Magistrate Narendra Joshi rejected the prosecution’s plea for police custody of the students, granting bail in the sum of Rs 3,000 to each of them. Defence lawyers Shrikant Shivade and Aseem Sarode refuted the prosecution’s charge that the students had indulged in violent behaviour during the sit-in “gherao” of the director.
Defence lawyers Shrikant Shivade and Aseem Sarode refuted the prosecution's charge saying that the purpose was only to discuss the assessment issues of the 2008 batch, and the students were not "thugs".
Those arrested included the FTII Students' Association (FSA) representative Vikas Urs.
The accused students were charged under various sections of IPC including 143, 147, 149, 323, 353, 506 etc. dealing with offences some of them non-bailable related to unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation and rioting.
Earlier today, FTII director said that a group of students kept him in illegal confinement for 8-10 hours and vandalised his office, forcing him to lodge a police complaint.
After a discussion on the agenda of the assessment of the projects of the 2008 batch of students, when Pathrabe conveyed them his decision, the students said they would not let him to leave till he reversed it.
While that assessment decision has been put on hold, a three-member committee from the information and broadcasting ministry will visit FTII on August 21 after which the final picture would be clear, Pathrabe added.
On April 27 last year, the FTII Academic Council decided an "as is where is" or "pro rata assessment" of 2008 batch's pending projects since the students had been repeatedly given time to comply.
Later, the audit team raised objections by saying that despite two zero years and extension of the course, the projects remained incomplete, adding to backlog.
Accodingly, the FTII decided to initiate action, starting with the oldest batch of 2008 which had 49 students.
After the developments of recent days, the assessment decision has been put on hold, Pathrabe said.
Many students alleged that the police action was meant to break the students' strike going on since June opposing the appointment of television actor Gajendra Chauhan as the FTII chairman.
(With agency inputs)