Pune: Intensifying their agitation, three students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) went on an indefinite hunger strike on Wednesday to press their demand for the removal of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the prestigious institution.
The decision to thus step up the stir follows 91 days of sustained protest by the students that has seen all academic activity on the campus having come to a halt since June 12. "Our fast is indefinite. The three students - Hiral Savad, Alol Arora and Himanshu Shekhar - if they are hospitalised, will be replaced by another batch of protesters," FTII Students' Association (FSA) representative Ranjit Nair told PTI.
FTII director Prashant Pathrabe, when contacted, said, "We have informed police and medical personnel about the hunger strike after receiving a letter by the students to that effect."
Union Information and Broadcasting ministry officials, too, have been informed about the hunger strike by the protesting students, said Pathrabe.
In a letter to the FTII administration, FSA said that while they are seeking 'immediate resolution of the present crisis', the students had no option but to go for the hunger- strike because of the government's 'apathy' to the issues raised by them.
The students have called for a transparent process for the selection of the FTII body and cancellation of the existing appointments.
An FTII faculty member, Abhijit Das, had broken his fast at the request of the students and his colleagues early this week after his sugar level 'dropped dangerously'.
The FSA delegation, which had held an unsuccessful round of talks with I&B minister Arun Jaitley and other officials on July 3, has sought a second round of dialogue to break the impasse.
The ministry - which recently sent a three-member panel to interact with the students has, however, remained unresponsive to the overture.