Kabir Kala Manch performance Fracas

FTII director holds meeting with student union, files complaint with CP

 Jahnvi Sreedhar, Pune Mirror

'˜They asked to say '˜Jai Narendra Modi' before thrashing us'

I haven’t told my family in Chennai about the intensity of the incident, or about the police case. I don’t want them to get worried,” said Sriram Raja, the third-year editing student of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), who was among the five students attacked by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) outside the National Film Archives of India (NFAI) following a performance by the Kabir Kala Manch(KKM), on Wednesday.

Kislay Tiwari, another victim of the ABVP attack, said, “The scuffle started around 8:45pm, when the event concluded. They began calling KKM a naxalite body. We asked them to stop, but when they continued with their tirade, the NFAI security asked us to leave the premises due to the ruckus.

As soon as we got out of NFAI, Ajayan Adat was surrounded and attacked. The rest of us tried to save him, during which Sriram got badly injured.”

Adat added, “Before I was attacked, the ABVP people shouted ‘Jai Narendra Modi bol’. When I refused, they started beating me up.” Apart from Raja, Adat and Kisley, Ansar Shah and Shamin Kulkarni were also beaten up. While Raja received injuries to the head, the others got off with minor bruises.

On Thursday, FTII director D J Narin met with student union members and for around 40 minutes, before landing up at Commissioner of Police Gulabrao Pol’s office to file an official complaint. Narin has also issued a media release, demanding stringent action by the city police against such acts.

“As a cultural institution it’s our duty and right to encourage free flow of creativity, thought and ideology. We have demanded that the FTII administration lodge an official police complaint. The student union  will meet again to finalise details of our rally, planned for Friday or Saturday,” Kislay, a former union president, said.

He added that there had been considerable pressure following the murder on August 20 of activist Narendra Dabholkar from various quarters to cancel the screening of Jai Bhim Comrade on Wednesday. “We, however, insisted that in the light of Dabholkar’s murder, the film should be screened,” Kislay said.

The FTII media release, which condemned the incident, said, “This incident would not be seen in isolation and we are increasingly witnessing that any individual or organisation that takes an opinion contrary to the mainstream, is labeled as anti-national, and all efforts are taken to intimidate them which can also amount to murder, especially looking at the recent case of Dr Narendra Dabolkar.”

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