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Protesting FTII students meet government officials

A students' delegation from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) met officials of the information and broadcasting ministry here on Monday over their demand to remove the institute's newly appointed chairman Gajendra Chauhan.

"The ministry invited us to send our representative to discuss the Gajendra Chauhan issue. It (the issue) is (being discussed) with senior officials of the ministry and let's see what is the outcome of today's meeting," Nakul, an FTII student, told IANS.

He said a delegation of two members including an alumnus of FTII, Resul Pookutty, had gone to attend the meeting with the ministry officials.

Earlier in the day, over 100 students of FTII protested and marched from Jantar Mantar to Parliament Street in the national capital, demanding Chauhan's removal.

The students, who have been protesting for over 50 days, have also written to the information and broadcasting ministry to re-appoint a new qualified person as chairman.

"We are not going to give up. The government will have to listen to us or else we are not going back to the institution. The new chairman is not qualified to be the chairman of the FTII. If the situation continues, then we will make sure that FTII students sit on an indefinite hunger strike," Priyansh, another protesting student of the FTII, told IANS.

The students were joined by members of several youth wings of political parties.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said the government was open for discussions with the FTII students.

"Discussions on demands raised by the FTII students are going on for some time. The government is very liberal towards students," he said.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who visited the institute last week, had backed the students and accused the government of suppressing their demands.

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