PUNE: A 3-member I&B Ministry team today held "fruitful" talks to end the prolonged strike by FTII students demanding removal of TV actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman and will submit its report to the government on Monday.
The team, headed by Registrar of Newspapers S M Khan, despatched by the Centre to break the deadlock, engaged with agitating students, faculty and other stakeholders.
"We had very good discussions with all the stakeholders -- staff, faculty, students and the alumni -- and we could understand the issues involved. All are satisfied with the discussions and we will submit our report to the I and B ministry very soon by Monday," Khan said after the talks but remained non-committal on whether Chauhan will be removed, saying the details cannot be disclosed.
A representative of the FTII Students' Association (FSA) also described the talks as "very fruitful and much awaited discussion".
Khan, who was accompanied by two other Information and Broadcasting Ministry officials-S Nagnathan and Anshu Singha- declined to comment on whether the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) administration would withdraw criminal cases filed against 17 students involved in the Monday evening's gherao of the institute's director Prashant Pathrabe in his cabin. "Police is doing their job," he added.
Addressing the media in the presence of Pathrabe, Khan, however, said," The students are very nice and the security (beefed up for director with induction of bouncers) is not required".
The bouncers, who were called on the campus after Pathrabe was confined to his room by agitating students where he claimed he was subjected to "torture", are a topic of hot discussion at the prestigious institute.
Vikas Urs, representative of the FTII Students' Association (FSA) told reporters "We are really happy as the Ministry has taken the first step to listen to our concerns."
The students have been on strike, boycotting classes and other academic activity since June 12 to demand removal of Chauhan, claiming he lacked "credentials, vision and academic excellence" to head the premier institution.
The campus unrest reached a flashpoint when police swooped down on the campus in the wee hours of Wednesday and arrested five students for vandalising the premises and confining Pathrabe to his chamber.
The arrests had triggered outrage and several top politicians including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal condemned it, prompting the Centre to despatch the team headed by Khan to Pune.