Pune, 25th January 2024: A controversy has erupted at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) as six students find themselves booked by the Pune police following a cross-complaint filed late Tuesday night. The charges stem from the display of a banners on the institute’s campus.
The students now face charges of imputations and assertions prejudicial to national integration, along with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings, as lodged by Rutuja Mane, the women’s wing president of Samast Hindu Bandhav Samajik Sanstha.
Senior Police Inspector Bipin Hasabnis, Deccan police station, clarified, “No one has been detained yet. We will act in the case according to the court’s directives, considering that the charges are bailable in nature.”
The police had earlier detained and subsequently released six members of the Samast Hindu Bandhav Samajik Sanstha on Tuesday evening. This occurred after more than 20 people stormed into the FTII campus, assaulting four students, burning a banner with ‘Remember Babri, Death of Constitution’ written on it, and tearing apart posters.
Originally, the police had booked the six men based on FTII security in-charge Sanjay Jadhav’s complaint. The charges included criminal trespassing, unlawful assembly, rioting, mischief causing damage to properties, intentional insult, and criminal intimidation. The controversial banner and posters were related to developments preceding the construction of the Ayodhya temple.
In a turn of events, Rutuja Mane filed a cross-complaint alleging that the act of the students’ organization was against national integration. The police have registered a case under sections 153B and 295A of the Indian Penal Code against the students and are actively investigating the matter.
The Pune police maintained a visible presence at the entrance of FTII on Wednesday, underscoring the gravity of the situation.