PUNE: Hoping to break the deadlock in FTII, a three-member team of central officials are expected to hold talks tomorrow with students demanding removal of TV actor and BJP member Ganjendra Chauhan as its chairman.
The team has been deputed by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry after the unrest on the campus escalated following the arrest of five students in wee hours yesterday.
According to a top FTII official, the team led by the Registrar of Newspapers in India S M Khan will assess the ground situation on the campus before interacting with "all parties concerned" in their bid to end the empasse.
The students, on strike for the last 71 days, said they are open to dialogue but ruled out any compromise on their core demand and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in resolving the prolonged crisis.
"Prime Minister should visit FTII to resolve the issues. All students in the country are feeling threatened by the government's insensitivity towards the problems being faced by them. The students should strike hard and strong if this continues",representative of FTII Students' Association (FSA) Vikas Urs told reporters here.
Five students, including Urs, were arrested on charges of rioting after the institute's director Prashant Pathrabe was confined to his chamber.The students were later released on bail by a local court.
Another student said, "We are very curious to see with what agenda they (the officials) are coming with. We are clueless. The students' body has not been told that the delegation is coming...We are hearing everything from the media. We are still expecting a good dialogue."
Another student said, "We are open to talks. From day one we have been ready for a dialogue and finally the ministry has understood that we should sit across the table and discuss the core issues...I hope the officials come with an open mind and we are hoping a productive dialogue."
Pathrabe has said he was "tortured, threatened, physically pushed around and subjected to disrespectful and insulting behaviour" by around 40-odd students.
The students were agitated over Pathrabe's decision to go ahead with the assessment of the incomplete diploma film projects of the 2008 batch.
Academic activity in FTII came to a grinding halt after students went on a flash strike on June 12 against Chauhan's appointment and boycotted classes.
The student community has received support in their agitation from a large number of film personalities, many of them alumni of the institute which has produced many leading figures of the contemporary Indian cinema.