A statement by ex-students of the Pune based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and FTII Students Association yesterday emphasised that the International Film Festival of India  (IFFI) was an important 'academic activity' for students, and they should not be deprived of it.

The ex-students and the students association appeals to the director to immediately intervene and resolve and free students from all such discrimination.

The students are participating with valid authorizations and are representing FTII. They need to be respected and treated with utmost dignity.

This comes after two former FTII students were arrested for protesting over the appointment of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan at the inaugural venue of the 11-day film gala in the presence of union ministers Arun Jaitley and Manohar Parrikar.

In another instance, Ashutosh, an FTII student, also claimed that he was detained by police on Saturday for wearing a T-shirt with an FTII logo.

FTII students staged a 139-day strike from June 12 in protest against the appointment of Chauhan as the institute director, claiming that the artiste lacked credentials for the position.

They later called off the strike, saying their opposition over the appointment would continue in a 'democratic way'.

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