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SRFTI stalemate ends as students call off strike, authorities revoke pupils' expulsion

Kolkata: The nearly two-week long stalemate at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) came to an end on Tuesday as the agitating students withdrew their strike after the management issued a formal notice revoking the expulsion of 14 girl students.

The students have been on a relay hunger strike since Saturday night demanding unconditional revocation of the expulsion order of the girl students from the institute over their refusal to shift to the newly built girls' hostel from a common accommodation which also had boys.

 SRFTI stalemate ends as students call off strike, authorities revoke pupils expulsion

Representational image. www.srfti.ac.in

The expelled girls also submitted a written note to the SRFTI authorities individually stating the reasons behind their initial opposition to the hostel segregation order.

"We have withdrawn the relay hunger strike after authorities accepted our demand for formal revocation of expulsion of 14 girls and we have already shifted to the new girls' hostel building," Rupkatha Purakayastha, one of the 14 expelled girls, told PTI.

"Classes resumed on Tuesday and all of us decided that the institution will also be functioning normally from Wednesday," she said.

The agitation was withdrawn after another round of talks between the faculty, including the SRFTI director, and the students' body earlier in the day, another students' body spokesperson said.

When contacted, SRFTI director Debamitra Mitra said, "Yes, the talks have been fruitful and the impasse has been resolved. The 14 girls have given formal letters stating the reason behind their opposition initially and we have accepted that. The notification confirming revocation of their expulsion has also been issued."

Purakayastha said the student's body would hold another meeting with the faculty on Wednesday to discuss other demands, including a hike in budgetary allocation for film projects by students and better academic facilities.

The autonomous SRFTI, the premier institute for film training that stands in line with the Film and Television Institute of India, had been in the limelight since October 17, after protests against the girl students' expulsion rocked the campus.

The students had initially objected to building a separate accommodation facility for girls and had described it as an act of moral policing.

Mitra had said the authorities had decided to build a separate ladies hostel and upgrade the curriculum and infrastructure of the institute after receiving an approval from the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry in 2013 in this regard.

She had said the objective behind shifting the girls to the new hostel was to ensure students' safety.

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Updated Date: Oct 31, 2017 20:44:19 IST