Pune police have registered case against 10 students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) after an employee lodged complaint of harassment and threat to kill him.
The complainant has alleged that students targeted him for taking a stand against their ongoing agitation over appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII society chairman.
Sanjay Chandekar (50), a resident of Sadashiv Peth, who has been working at FTII for about 25 years, has lodged the complaint with Deccan Gymkhana police station. He is currently working as a T C Engineer and manager of community radio station at FTII.
Chandekar and some retired and serving FTII employees have formed the “Save FTII Forum”, which conducted a press conference on July 16. They told mediapersons that they are deeply disturbed with the situation in the institute, saying there is ‘anarchy’ on the campus.
In his FIR statement, Chandekar allged that students often consume liqour, charas, ganja, cigerette on the campus and they also CCTV cameras to avoid being caught.
Chandekar claimed that some students gheraoed him in FTII around on July 20 and threatened to harm him he ‘exposed’ them. Then on July 21 he was threatened if he speaks anything against them. Chandekar filed a police complaint on Wednesday evening. The FIR has been registered against Ajayan Adat, Vikas Urs, Sakshi Gulati and Ashwini along and five to six others. They have been booked for unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation and wrongful restraint under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). None of the students have been arrested yet.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sunil Ramanand said that the situation has become fragile and police are closely monitoring the situation.
FTII students association in a statement said, “The FIR comes as a shock to us because the above mentioned staff has himself clarified in a press conference that he was not threatened by the students. Besides, we also have an audio-visual recording of the said incident which clearly shows that we haven’t harassed him in anyway. We are wondering how a complaint from the staff turned into an FIR overnight without any internal enquiry by the FTII
administration. We have already given a letter addressing our director in this regard. We the students are also worried why nothing has been done regarding the vandalizing of our art installation at the institute gate even though it has been four days since this has been done by unidentified people. Most of us are staying away from home and family and we are feeling genuinely threatened by such violent acts and the presence of armed policemen in and around the campus.”
Meanwhile FTII director Prashant Pathrabe said that notices have been issued to 13 students to vacate hostels.
Pathrabe said, “ As decided earlier the FTII administration today issued notices to 13 students who have been overstaying at the hostels even after completion of their courses. The FTII hostel rules forbid the students from overstaying except when permission is taken from the Regsitrar or the Director. These 13 students have to vacate the rooms with immediate effect. The difference between yesterdays and todays figures is because the numbers were based on information from Caretakers which was information as of April when the last vacation notice was issued.However subsequently some students had vacated the hostels. After releasing this information yesterday several students quietly vacated their rooms and this process was on till the issue of notices today resulting in the numbers coming down.The notice applies to those students who haven’t vacated.”