The list of 17 names in the FIR included three girls, who were not arrested. The FIR also mentions ” 30 others” .
The arrested students were taken to the Deccan Gymkhana police station in a police jeep. A large group of students and some faculty members also reached the police station soon after. When asked to explain the late night swoop, a police officer told the students that they had been ” instructed” to make the arrests.
Pictures from Deccan gymkhana police station where 4 students of FTII have been arrested. (ANI Photo)
The police action came following a complaint lodged by the institute’s director, Prashant Pathrabe, who was gheraoed by the students for around six hours on Monday for his resolve to go ahead with the assessment of diploma films made by the 2008 batch students despite opposition from both students and faculty members.
The arrests came hours after it was learnt that officials from the I&B ministry would visit the institute anytime this week to resolve the imbroglio between the students and the institute’ s authorities. The students have been on strike at the institute for the past 69 days over the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairperson of the FTII society and four other nominees.
The students have been charged under sections 147 (rioting), 143, 149 (unlawful assembly), 353 (obstructing public servant from discharging duty), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC.
Around 45 minutes before the arrests, two groups — one comprising students and the other of faculty members — went to registrar U C Bodake’ s residence in the staff quarters bang opposite the campus to demand that he be present while they were being taken into custody. However, no one opened the door at Bodake’s house. By then, around 100 to 150 students gathered on the campus, shouting slogans against ” police high-handedness” .
On Monday, the students had gathered in Pathrabe’ s office to protest against his insistence on the films’ assessment. The director had to call in the police twice, the second time to help him leave his office. In the melee, the glass door of Pathrabe’ s office had come crashing down.
A student whose name was in the list brought by the police told TOI, ” None of us resorted to any form of violence in Pathrabe’s office. We are ready to cooperate with the police, but they cannot take such a harsh decision against us.”
Another student said it was unfortunate that neither the dean (films), the director nor the registrar was present when the police entered the campus. ” Some of us are from outside the city. In the absence of these authorities, we feel vulnerable,” he said.
Deputy commissioner of police (zone-1) Tushar Doshi confirmed that Pathrabe had lodged a complaint ” late at night” on Tuesday against several students.