Charge sheet filed against 35 FTII students

Pune: Thirty five FTII students were today listed in a charge sheet for allegedly gheraoing and illegally confining the institute's director Prashant Pathrabe last year, of whom 30 were later granted bail.

The Deccan-Gymkhana police, which is probing the case, filed the charge sheet against 35 students in a court and the next hearing will be held on April 2, the prosecution said.

"There are total 35 students against whom the charge sheet has been filed. Five students were arrested on the intervening night of August 18-19 and released on bail. 30 students, including 12 who were out on anticipatory bail, were given (regular) bail today," defence counsel Shrikant Shivade said.

Shivade moved a bail plea for 30 students in the court of first class judicial magistrate S S Bangad, who granted bail to all the students on a personal bond of Rs 3,000 each.

The FTII students, who were on a strike for 139 days since June last year against the appointment of BJP member and TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as its chairman, had allegedly gheraoed and confined Pathrabe in his office on August 17. They had challenged his decision to go ahead with the assessment of the incomplete diploma film projects of the 2008 batch students.

The incident had led to police swooping-in on the campus on the intervening night of August 18-19, and arresting five students.

The students were booked under various sections of IPC, including 143, 147, 149, 323, 353 and 506, dealing with offences, some of them non-bailable, related to unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation and rioting. Seventeen students were last year identified and named in an FIR filed in connection with the case.

Last week, the police, after screening the video footage of the incident, had identified 18 more students and asked them to present themselves in the court today.

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