At least 20 students were hit by batons or lathis as they protested today ahead of Gajendra Chauhan's arrival, some of them were detained by the police. "Go back, go back" chanted some as Mr Chauhan entered the school, where he will spend the day holding meetings with officials
FTII Students' Association president Harishankar Nachimuthu said: "Gajendra Chauhan is coming, that is confirmed, but we have not got any official intimation. There will be protests obviously, but we have not decided other things. There will be some protest at the campus on Thursday"
National Award-winning artists like Dibakar Banerjee are returning their government awards and honours to protest impediments to freedom of speech and expression. But Shah Rukh said: "The country is becoming increasingly intolerant. Respect those who returned government awards, but (I) won't return mine"
"Looking at the ministry's unrelenting approach and the amount of our valuable time spent, we have decided to end the strike and resume classes. However, our voices will not shut, but grow louder. The protests shall continue democratically and in the peaceful manner as they have," she an FTII student
"I can see there is huge dissatisfaction with liberal space shrinking at the moment and people are very much upset about it. We have a government which on one hand talks about very liberal things and on the other hand, does absolutely nothing to denounce those who are making retrograde remarks," said Shabana Azmi
The third round of meeting to break the deadlock between agitating FTII students and Information and Broadcasting Ministry officials, which was supposed to be held in New Delhi on October 6. The last meeting held in Mumbai on October 1, remained "inconclusive" with both the parties failing to resolve the row
"The ministry (representatives) will come back on Thursday to further discuss on this issue. The government has given no assurance and neither have the students done so. The talks are still on. The strike is still on," FTII Students' Association president informed the media
The students are also demanding that the FTII society be dissolved and search committees be set up with a transparent process in place to look into the appointments of the chairperson. In the past Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen, Mahesh Bhatt and Girish Karnad have served as chairperson of the institute
The students, on September 26 said that they were ready to withdraw their hunger strike to pave the way for a dialogue if the Information and Broadcasting Ministry confirmed a date and venue for talks. The students are demanding Gajendra Chauhan's removal as Chairman of the government-run institute along with some other members from the FTII Society
The students of FTII claim that Gajendra Chauhan lacks credentials for the post of the chairman and that his appointment was politically motivated and they have now urged President Pranab Mukherjee along with 190 eminent filmmakers and artists to intervene and end the stalemate
FTII students have been protesting against the appointment of BJP member and actor Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the institution. They said that Mr Chauhan lacked credentials for the post of the chairman and that his appointment was politically-motivated. On September 12, the students' strike completed 93 days
"He is not replacing Gajendra Chauhan, who is heading the governing council of FTII. He has been asked to head the academic council, but will not be able to take it up as his film work keeps him occupied and he would not have the bandwidth to handle FTII work," the director's spokesperson said in a statement