Protesting FTII students detained in Delhi

New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) The Delhi Police on Tuesday detained around 25 students who were on a hunger-strike outside the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) here to protest the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman.

“We have detained around 25 students protesting outside Shastri Bhawan as a preventive measure,” a senior police official said.

The detained students were taken to the nearby Parliament Street police station.

Apart from the students from Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), a number of others from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia also joined the protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan, best known for his portrayal of Yudhishthira, the eldest of the five Pandava brothers, in TV serial Mahabharata.

As part of their protests, FTII students went on a strike 93 days ago, boycotting classes and virtually bringing the premier film institute of the country to a halt.

“As a last resort, we began the hunger-strike to make the central government talk to us. However, even after more than 100 hours, the ministry has not established any communication with us. They have not even expressed their willingness to talk to us through the FTII director or the registrar,” said Kislay Gonzalvez, an FTII alumnus.

“The ministry has made these appointments and now it’s shying away from talking to us or making statements through media. As the strike progresses, our resolve is becoming stronger,” he added.

“It was surprising that when we were on hunger strike along with the students of other varsities outside Shastri Bhawan housing the I&B ministry, the minister for information and broadcasting just passed us by in a carcade without giving us any heed,” Gonzalvez said.

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