I&B secretary refuses to comment on ongoing FTII row

Panaji, Nov 22 (IANS) Information and Broadcasting secretary Sunil Arora on Sunday refused to comment on the ongoing agitation by FTII students here, saying he had nothing to say over the students’ decision to make domains of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) a platform to stage their protest.

“I read what you read and I have nothing to say about that. I met some of the seniors of the institute on November 17 and told them that I will be holding an interactive session with them on December 9,” Arora told IANS on the sidelines of Film Bazaar.

The students of Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) escalated their protest over the appointment of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan by staging protest on the inaugural venue of the 46th edition of the film festival, which brings world cinema together and is considered to be a window to global entertainment industry.

Earlier, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had condemned the decision of FTII students, terming it an attempt to tarnish India’s image internationally.

It was also reported that a group of students were taken into custody after they raised their voice on the appointment row outside the venue.

In fact, as consequence of the rough treatment to the students, FTII sympathisers have announced an alternative two-day film festival in Goa from November 24.

FTII students staged a 139-day strike from June 12 in protest against the appointment of Chauhan as the institute director, claiming the artiste lacked credentials for the position.

They later called off the strike, saying their opposition over the appointment would continue in a “democratic way”.

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