FTII students call off hunger strike head of talks

Pune: FTII students on Sunday called off their relay hunger strike after the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry agreed to have a dialogue with them on September 29. However, this does not mean their strike would end, they said.

"We are calling off the hunger strike since the government is willing to talk on September 29. But the strike remains until a positive result comes from their end," students' president Harishankar Nachimuthu and core committee member Ranjit Nair confirmed to IANS.

Over 250 students of the Film and Television Institute of India have been on a strike for over 100 days over the appointment of actor and Bharatiya Janata Party member Gajendra Chauhan as chairman. The students find the credentials of the actor -- best known for essaying 'Yudhisthir' in B.R. Chopra's "Mahabharat" -- questionable.

Till now, neither the students, Chauhan nor the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry were arriving at even the framework of a concrete solution. But now there seems to be a ray of hope.

The FTII, the country's premier film institute which was established in 1960, has produced the likes of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Jahnu Barua, Shabana Azmi and Om Puri.

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