Kanhaiya Kumar row: FTII receives packet containing suspected explosive substance

Pune: A packet containing some suspected explosive substance, a detonator and a threat letter in connection with JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar's expected visit in April, was received by the office of the director of the FTII here this evening, police said.

Kanhaiya KumarKanhaiya Kumar. File pic 

The packet was addressed to the previous director of the Film and Television Institute of India, Prashant Pathrabe.

Bhupendra Kainthola, the present director of the institute, said, "My office received the packet at 5.30 pm today (Saturday) and since the contents were suspicious, we alerted the police."

Soon, a team of Bomb Detection and Disposal Solution (BDDS) was rushed to the spot.

Police at the FTII campus in Pune
Police at the FTII campus in Pune

Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) Sunil Ramanand said, “Our team has inspected the parcel and checked it. The parcel components has powder and that has been sent to forensic laboratory for testing. We have filed a case against unknown person with Deccan Gymkhana police station and are probing the case."

Senior police inspector Sushma Chavan of the Deccan Police Station said the parcel contained a detonator and a white powder, suspected to be some explosive material. It also had a letter, warning the director against allowing Kumar to visit the FTII campus.

The FTII security guard who alerted the police of the packet
The FTII security guard who alerted the police of the packet

Police suspect that the packet must have been sent before Kumar's visit to Pune on April 24, when Pathrabe was the director of FTII.

Kumar, who addressed a gathering in Pune on that day, was reportedly going to visit the FTII too, but eventually he did not.

A police officer who is probing the case said, “The letter and the parcel had come from New Delhi and the components were similar to those that were sent to Sambhaji Brigade people.”

The FTII Students Association said it was shocked by the incident.

The FTII students, throughout the strike last year (against the appointment of TV actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of FTII) had received numerous threat letters, "but now the price of questioning the government has reached a stage where you receive an explosive substance", it said.

"This only speaks of the intolerant, insensitive and criminal attitude of people who are doing everything to stop dissent across the country. We strongly condemn this cowardly act and appeal to the government to immediately enquire into this issue," the association said in a statement.

(With inputs from PTI)

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