Saturday, December 9, 2023

Kalakshetra professor accused of sexual harassment arrested by Chennai Police

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The Chennai Police on Monday arrested an assistant professor of the Kalakshetra Foundation’s Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts based on a sexual harassment complaint.

The complaint was filed by a former student of the institution.

Hari Padman was booked under Sections 354A (sexual harassment), 509 (use of words, gestures or acts intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act.

The arrest comes after more than 250 students started a protest on March 30 demanding the dismissal of Padman and three other staff members named Sanjith Lal, Sai Krishnan and Sreenath, who have also been accused of sexual abuse.

The assistant professor had been absconding after he returned from Hyderabad, where he had gone to participate in a cultural event. He will be produced before a magistrate court.

The complainant earlier said he had dropped out of the course at Kalakshetra Foundation a few years ago due to sexual harassment and verbal abuse by Padman.

Shockingly, Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women chief AR Kumari had said that she has received 90 complaints of sexual abuse and harassment of students at Kalakshetra Foundation following a five-hour inquiry on the campus on Friday.

Following the inquiry, Chief Minister MK Stalin had told the state Assembly that the government will take appropriate legal action against the accused staff members.

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