Principal Amal Neerada, who expressed solidarity with the protesting students of the KR Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts (KRNNIVSA) in Pallikkathode, was reportedly prevented from entering the university campus by the police.
In a post that appeared on KR Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts Students (the student page of India’s third National Film Institute run by the government of Kerala), the students said the filmmaker had arrived at their university campus to deliver. class as part of an “Art of Protest” session initiated by the student council.
However, according to the students, Amal Neerad was denied entry to the campus by security and police. “Film director/cameraman Amal Neerad came to give a lecture as part of the ‘Art of Protest’ started by the student council, but was barred from the campus by security forces and police. He stood in front of the gate and interacted with the students. The meeting was held in a nearby off-campus auditorium. He condemned the anti-student actions and discrimination occurring in the institute. He also expressed solidarity with the student movement. Thank you @amalneerad_official for coming all the way and giving an insightful session,” read the post.
The KR Narayanan Institute was shut down after students of the college threatened to go on a hunger strike from December 25 to protest against the institute’s director Shankar Mohan, who is facing charges of caste discrimination. Several filmmakers supported the protesting students by expressing solidarity with their cause.
A video released by a leading online news portal showed Amal Neerad being denied entry to the campus by the police. He was also seen seeking permission to enter the campus as he traveled from Ernakulam to meet students. According to the police, they have strict orders from District Collector PK Jayashree that the institute has been closed. Only protesting students were allowed to stay inside the campus. However, it was not clarified whether outsiders will be allowed in the campus.
Meanwhile, the students have said that they will continue their strike until the director of the institute resigns. Though Onmanorama tried to contact Amal Neerad regarding the incident, he was not available for comments.