Almost a week after establishing the “Save FTII” forum that differed from the opinion of students regarding the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s chairman, Sanjay Chandekar, an engineer at the institute who works with Radio FTII, filed a police complaint against the students on Tuesday for allegedly harassing him.
Chandekarsaid he was disturbed and felt threatened to even enter the institute after being gheroed by the students on Monday.
Chandekar, who first approached new director Prashant Pathrabe, was unconvinced by the director’s promise to provide him security and approached police for protection on Monday night.
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In the statement addressed to the director of FTII and submitted to the police on Monday, Chandekar said, “While I was sitting in my office on July 20, 7-8 students came to my office. Since there was no other staff present in my department, I called my colleague Vishwas Nerlekar, who was a part of the forum. The students started asking questions to me in an intimidating way and kept on abusing. I ran out of my office and went to the director’s cabin. The students followed me there and asked the director how I organised a press conference without his permission. They also threatened to revive an old case which a few contractual staffers had filed against me, where I was proved innocent.”
At the ‘Save FTII’ forum’s press conference on July 16, Chandekar had said that the employees wished to protect the institute and restore it to its previous glories. He had also appealed the students to withdraw the protest and let the new governing council work.
When contacted, Pathrabe said the institute had offered security to Chandekar and the decision to seek police interference was his own.
The engineer, who has been working at FTII for the last 25 years, said he has been living under the “shadow of fear” and would require a week’s rest to get out of the trauma.
S V Khokale, inspector at the Deccan Gymkhana Police station, said, “We’re still probing the complaint and collecting details. There has been no police action so far.”