Kerala film institute, students call off strike
The main demand of the students was to remove the director of the institute. The director Shankar Mohan has resigned and the state government will appoint a search commission chaired by TK Ramachandran to find a new director

Kerala film institute ex-director alleges conspiracy behind student stir

Shankar Mohan, former director of the state-run KR Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts, Kerala, on Tuesday alleged that students were used as a tool to oust him from the post by a section of people with vested interest.

‘Dismissed staff behind stir’

His reaction came a day after the students of the Kottayam-based institute ended their week-long agitation following a conciliatory talk with the government.

Mohan alleged that a group of former staff, including some security personnel of the institute, who were dismissed from service by him, had persuaded the students to protest against him. “I clearly know that some people were behind the incidents. It was a controversy hatched by them. I don’t blame the students. They were made a tool by these people,” Mohan claimed.

When asked about the recent resignation of a group of faculty members extending him support, the former director said he did not expect that. “I never expected that they would resign….They are the ones who stand by the truth,” he told the media.

Mohan rejected media reports that he had resigned as a report by the two-member panel, entrusted by the government to probe the matter, had some adverse remarks against him.

Also read: Film institute students call off protest after peace talks with Kerala government

‘Resigned on completion of tenure’

Making it clear that he resigned as his three-year tenure had ended, the former director said it was up to the government to release the report and he had nothing to say on the matter.

When asked whether he was a person, discriminating against people in the name of caste, Mohan said he never ever was such a person in life. “I dont even keep a caste surname…I have never thought about caste or acted on its basis. In Kerala, caste is the best marketing tool. Students were misled (by the vested interest) using this caste card,” he added.

Probe panel recommended change

Earlier, a Higher Education Department committee had recommended changing the director and conducting an investigation into the allegations against him.

The issue came to the fore after some cleaning staff of the institute complained that Mohan’s wife used to make them clean the toilets of her residence.

Institute chairman Adoor Gopalakrishnan had come under severe criticism from a section of former students after he allegedly backed Mohan and made a “slacker” comment against one of the teachers who supported the students’ protest.

(With Agency inputs)

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