Though students, faculty members and alumni of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) have urged the administration to revoke the FIRs registered against students in the last three months of the agitation, the complaints are unlikely to be withdrawn as a three-member committee appointed to “assess the ground situation at FTII” have recommended that law should be allowed to take its own course.
Of the three FIRs registered against students since June 10, one is for forcefully confining the director, Prashant Pathrabe, to his office for eight hours. When the committee headed by Registrar of Newspapers SM Khan visited the campus on August 21, students, alumni and faculty members had urged it to direct the administration to withdraw the complaints against the students as a confidence-building measure.
“The incidents leading to lodging of the FIR by the director and subsequent arrests are unfortunate. However, if one views the video recordings of these incidents, one can understand the amount of mental trauma the director of the institute would have gone through. Hence, the director was well within his right to call the police and lodge an FIR. Although everyone demanded withdrawal of FIRs, the matter at present is before the court of law and the law will take its own course,” observes the committee report.
The report, however, recommends that police presence in the campus can be reduced provided students submit a written promise that they won’t misbehave with the director and others. “As regards police presence inside the campus, the director may consider requesting the same only outside the campus provided a written assurance from the students that they will not misbehave in any manner with the director, registrar, faculty or any other staff member,” it reads.