Insight Online News
Chennai, Apr 3 : A day after formally registering a FIR, the Chennai
City police on Monday arrested an assistant professor of the Kalakshetra
Foundation on sexual harassment charges.
The Assistant Professor, Hari Padman of Rukmani Devi College of Fine
Arts run by the Foundation, was absconding after he was booked on
sexual harassment charges based on a complaint by a former student
of the prestigious institute.
Police said Hari Padman was arrested on his return from Hyderabad.
“Though his mobile phone was found switched off, we have secured
After further interrogations, he will be produced before a court for
Police said so far only one arrest has been made in the case based
on a lone complaint. No others had preferred any complaint till date.
Based on the written complaint from the former student, a native of
Kerala, the Adyar All Women Police Station registered cased under
Sec 354-A (sexual harassment), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended
to insult the modesty of a woman) and under Sec 4 of the Tamil Nadu
Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act against Hari Padman.
The complainant had stated in her complaint that the faculty had sent
obscene messages to her through social media and had also sexually
harassed her when she was a student at the institution.
The FIR was filed following a sit-in protest by the students demanding
justice and action against the offenders.
In all four members of the faculty were named as offenders by the
Meanwhile, in a related development the Director of the Institute
appeared before the Tamil Nadu Shate Human Rights Commission
(SHRC) for questioning following summons issued by it.
Acting on a written complaint given by an alumna, the police team
filed a case and started investigation into the case.
Examination of witnesses will be conducted in the coming days and
as a follow up of it, a special team has been deputed to Kerala to
question the complainant and five others, who were said to have also
submited their complaints to the State Human Rights Commission.
The SHRC has said that it has received more than 90 complaints from
the students, both in writing and on online, and that after ascertaining
it, SHRC Chairperson Kumari will be submitting a report to the Tamil
She also said that several students has said that the sexual harassment
has been happening for the last few years, in the form of SMS mesages
and through video calls.
The students after two days of holding sit in protest had called off the
protest, but warned that they will fight till they get justice and the four
faculty members in the Institute, said to be involved in the offence and
were named by complainants, are arrested.
Ms Kumari had also visited the campus held inquiries with the students
wherein several complaints were presented to her.
It may be recalled that as the issue snowballed into major controversy
as the Institute was run by the Union Cultural Ministry and students
outpouring their emotions resulting in various political parties demanding
strict action, Chief Minister M.K.Stalin told the State Assembly that legal
action will be taken against those if the charges against them were proved.