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FTII students want fresh talks, write letter to Rajyavardhan Rathore

With no end in sight to the 82-day-old strike at FTII, agitating students on Tuesday sent a fresh letter to the government for resumption of talks but remained "firm" on their main demand of removal of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the institute.



Pune/New Delhi: With no end in sight to the 82-day-old strike at FTII, agitating students on Tuesday sent a fresh letter to the government for resumption of talks but remained "firm" on their main demand of removal of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the institute.

Meanwhile, the three-member committee constituted by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to examine the "ground situation" at Film and Television Institute of India submitted its report though there was no official word about its contents.

Sources said the report was submitted by Registrar of Newspapers for India DG SM Khan, who headed the committee, to officials in the I&B Ministry.

The agitating students appear upset over the fact that there was no concrete outcome of their talks with the committee that met them last month to break the deadlock.

"We today sent a fresh letter to MoS Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore on suggestion from the FTII Director," FTII Students Association (FSA) President Harishankar Nachimuthu told reporters.

Another FSA representative Vikas Urs, however, made it clear that while they are open to talks, the students are and will remain "firm" on their stand demanding cancellation of appointment of TV actor and BJP member Chauhan as chairman of the institute and some other members.

Meanwhile, a second-year student of cinematography course, Sathish, undertook a fast today demanding continuation of 82 contract employees put on notice of termination by the FTII administration effective September 1 on the ground their presence was "unjustified" in view of lack work on the campus resulting from the prolonged strike.

He withdrew his fast after a late evening release quoted FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe as saying the temporary lay- off of the employees had been deferred and will now be effective from October 1 if the strike by the students is not called off before that date.

The FSA also demanded reinstatement of the employees engaged in various film production related works as part of the academic activities, and whose services were terminated earlier.

The I&B Ministry had last month formed the committee to assess the ground situation at FTII, a day after students had gheraoed director Pathrabe in his office over the "assessment" process.

Pathrabe had then lodged a complain with the police after which some students were even arrested.

Members of the team which apart from Khan comprised a Director and Under secretary level officers from the I&B Ministry had then visited the institute and spoken to the students, faculty, other staff members, alumni and other sections of people. 

From Zee News

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