Kalakshetra sexual harassment row : Absconding Asst Prof arrested

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

judicial remand.

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

Nadu government.

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.


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