I was illegally confined, tortured and assaulted: FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe justifies arrests

FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe addressed reporters and said that he had been illegally confined and tortured through interrogation techniques by students.

FP Staff August 19, 2015 16:28:45 IST
I was illegally confined, tortured and assaulted: FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe justifies arrests

After the Maharashtra police arrested five students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) from the campus in Pune for rioting, damaging properties and other charges, FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe on Wednesday addressed reporters and said that he had been illegally confined and tortured through interrogation techniques by students.

I was illegally confined tortured and assaulted FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe justifies arrests

Prashant Pathrabe. PTI

"As Director of FTII, I was kept in illegal confinement by students for about 8-10 hours on Monday night," Pathrabe said. "Six people had been asked to come and 40 to 50 people came in forcefully...I had no choice but to start a discussion with them," he said.

"After the discussion on the agenda of assessment, when I told them my decision, they said, 'we will not allow you to go'," said the FTII Director. "They formed chains to stop me. I was tortured using interrogation techniques...I was verbally assaulted," he said.

Pathrabe later also alleged that he was "pushed around" by the students.

"Initially for a couple of hours, I refused to call police. But even after 4-5 hours, they didn't give in. I had no choice but to call the police...When the police came in, there was a scuffle and in it, they broke furniture. The office has been sealed," he said. "I really wonder by what yardstick you can call such people 'students'. They wanted to enact a drama, it was all pre-planned to show the Director and institution in bad light," Pathrabe said.

"The students were enraged that despite their best efforts to break me down, they couldn't break me down," he said.

He added that he had to call the police because "tolerating this kind of lawless behavior would have emboldened them to do anything further and there should be a deterrent."

"I am still in a state of mental shock. Is it just a couple of students' freedom and not my freedom that is important? It will take me a couple of days to be normal again," Pathrabe said.

The post-midnight arrest of the five FTII students came after a group of striking students confined FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe and other staffers in his office for eight hours, according to PTI.

The students, numbering more than two dozen, were protesting against what they alleged was "irrational and unjustified" pro-rata course project assessment of the 2008 batch.

According to a Facebook post by FTII students, a warrant was issued issued against Ranjith Nair, Vikas Urs, Ajayan Adat and other members involved in the strike, out of which five were taken into custody.

(With inputs from PTI)

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