Abhijit Das, the faculty of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), who had embarked on an indefinite hunger strike from last Saturday withdrew it late on Monday night due to concerns raised over his health. Das had started his hunger strike, seeking an immediate resolution of the impasse. The students of the institute have been on strike for the past 89 days.
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Blood sugar levels of Das had dropped significantly after fasting for 66 hours. Students and faculty members of the institute had persuaded him to break his fast. Das was served an official notice by the police Monday, asking him to refrain from fasting. In reply to the notice, Das had stated that he was responsible for his health and had taken full responsibility of his actions.
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Late Monday night, as his blood sugar levels dipped, students and faculty convinced him to give up his fast. Ranjit Nair, a student, said Das had survived only on water for the last 66 hours and the director had met him only once. “Abhijit sir had risked his life yet the government did not respond,” he said.
Meanwhile, students continued to demand that the process of appointment to the governing council be made more transparent. The students made this demand while reacting to news about Rajkumar Hirani declining to head the academic council of the institution. The students had also warned of embarking on indefinite hunger strike in case talks with the government failed.