Chennai: An assistant professor at Tamil Nadu’s renowned classical arts institute has been arrested based on a sexual harassment complaint filed by a former student.
Hari Padman, a dance instructor at Kalakshetra Trust’s Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts, was arrested by the city police this morning.
The former student, who dropped out of her post-graduate studies at the institute a few years ago due to sexual harassment by the professor, told NDTV, “He sought sex once. He asked me to come to his house, saying no one would know.” .
She added, “He took on me for saying no. He took me away from an important role in a dance”.
Last week, around ninety male and female students had accused the professor of sexual harassment, body shaming and verbal abuse in a complaint to Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women chairman AR Kumari. They also named three more repertory artists.
“The complaints include sexual abuse by a faculty member and three repertory artists and sexual harassment of female and male students,” AR Kumari said after visiting NDTV last week.
The students also allege that the administration is indifferent to their complaints
We receive inappropriate text messages from them. They gave us low marks and denied us opportunities and did not cooperate with them,” said an undergraduate student.
Kalakshetra Trust, which runs the company, has earlier denied the allegations and termed them false propaganda.
The students also wrote to the Union Minister G Kishan Reddy and Chief Minister MK Stalin, seeking the removal of Director Revathi Ramachandran for alleged inaction and the reconstitution of the internal complaints committee.
Mr. Stalin told the assembly that no written complaint has been received so far and the revenue department and the police department are investigating the matter. “Legal action will be taken against the culprits, whoever they are,” he said, and implicitly suggested a flip-flop of the National Commission for Women to act first on the issue.