Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) who are protesting appointment of the new FTII Society president and four other members. The incident happened last night between 10.30 to 11 pm, according to the students.A group of unknown persons vandalised an installation set up by the students of
The students, who are on a strike for well over a month, had put up a giant question mark made out of wood and film reel just outside the main entrance of the FTII situated on the Law College Road, Pune.
Vikas Urs, a final year cinematography student, said that they got to know about the incident immediately.
“Some of us were near the gate when this group suddenly came and knocked down the installation. Although, the students could not figure out what was happening. We didn’t knew who there were. We later checked the CCTV footage of a camera installed at the FTII gate to find out that those who committed the act were persons in their 40s. Police visited the spot soon after. We are yet to lodge a complaint,” Vikas said.
Deccan Police said that they are waiting for a formal complaint from the students or FTII authorities to investigate the alleged case of vandalism.
The students at FTII seemed unfazed by the incident. “We are not bothered about the incident at all. It is a kind of a distraction from the core issue that we are fighting for and we would not like to react as it would give undue importance to it,” said Yashasvi Mishra, a former student, who is actively involved in the protests on campus. Students also rubbished any political involvement with the incident. “These are all speculations. And we are not intimidated by any kind of political pressure. Since the first day of the strike, we have used art to express our concerns and will continue to do so. Such acts only strengthen our urge to think more creatively. If one question mark is broken, we may construct three more or may not,” added Yashasvi.
In fact, such incidents aren’t new to students. A few days ago, an installation that was made inside the campus with broken chairs and reels, was unceremoniously removed. Students are not sure who did it. Meanwhile, Prashant Patharbe, the new director who joined office on Monday, still has to have a formal discussion with the students regarding the rustication letters which were issued by the former director DJ Narain, asking students to end their protest or face severe action. “We have had some informal discussions with the director where he asked us about the strike. However, we are yet to sit and formally discuss. There is no update on the email sent about the rustication last week,” added a student at the campus.
Meanwhile, Patit Pavan Sanghatana, a right-wing group in the city, has announced a protest in front of the FTII main gate to support the appointment of the President of FTII society. The society which was reconstituted last month resulted in the student protests opposed to the appointment of Chauhan and four other members claiming there did not have the required ‘artistic vision and calibre’ to head the institute of national repute.
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