FTII row: Protesting students meet Jaitley, seek Gajendra Chauhan's removal

New Delhi: Stepping up pressure, a delegation of agitating students and alumni members of FTII-Pune on Friday met Information & Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley seeking removal of TV actor and BJP's Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the governing council of the prestigious institute.

 FTII row: Protesting students meet Jaitley, seek Gajendra Chauhans removal

I&B Minister Arun Jaitley. AFP

The students and alumni members including Oscar-winner Resul Pookutty and filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli met Jaitley in his North Block Finance Ministry office in New Delhi.

The delegation also held an "inconclusive" meeting for two hours with the senior ministry officials, who heard their demands, according to sources. However, some who attended the meeting said there were some "positive" indications of resolving the issue.

Sources said that the ministry officials included Joint Secretary (films) K Sanjay Murti and had a detailed discussion with the students.

The appointment of Chauhan, who played Yudhisthira in TV serial 'Mahabharat', as the FTII chief triggered protests among the students there as they called for a person of a higher stature to head the institution. Similar sentiments were also expressed by some of the alumni of the institution.

They also alleged that BJP member Chauhan's appointment was an attempt to "saffronise" the institute.

With the students refusing to relent and not attending classes since 9 June when the appointment was made, I&B Ministry invited them for talks to sort out the issue.

Earlier, agitating students of FTII took their protest to the heart of the national capital as they held a demonstration seeking immediate revocation of Chauhan's appointment.

The students staged their protest outside Shastri Bhavan, which houses the Information and Broadcasting Ministry office.

Students from Jawahar Lal University (JNU) and other professional institutes too joined the protests with FTII students in the capital this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Chauhan said he was confident that the ministry will find a solution.

"I got to know about the meeting through media. I will accept whatever they decide. I have been saying that protest is not the solution to the problem. It is good that they sat down together to find a solution," he told PTI.

The actor said he was quite capable of heading the premier institution but sadly questions were being raised over his credential and stature without giving him a chance to perform.

"I am sad that I did not get a chance to perform. I was given a responsibility but I am being prevented from fulfilling it."


Updated Date: Jul 03, 2015 19:13:48 IST