Kalakshetra sexual harassment case: Malayali professor held in Chennai

A former student of the accused had filed complaint against him.

Chennai: Days after student protests rocked South India's premier dance school, the Chennai police have arrested an assistant professor of the Kalakshetra Foundation who is accused of sexually abusing his students.

The accused, Hari Padman, hailing from Kerala has been absconding since he returned to Chennai from a study tour to Hyderabad. Reportedly he was arrested from a house in the city's Madhavaram area in the wee hours of Monday.

Hari Padman has been charged under Sections 354A (sexual harassment), 509 (use of words, gestures, or acts intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC and Section 4 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act.

The case was registered after a former girl student of the accused lodged a complaint with an all-woman police station under the Greater Chennai Police.

She alleged that Hari Padman used to send her obscene messages and had physically abused her while she was studying at the institute. The survivor further claimed that she discontinued her studies following his physical abuse.

Students of the institute had sent a letter to the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Culture, complaining that current and former students of the institute had faced verbal and physical abuse in the institution.

Repertory artists of the institute Sanjit Lal, Sai Krishnan and Sreenath have also been booked in the case.

The students have formed a union with Jisma K K as president and Shakthi Shivani as secretary. They have also alleged the director of the institute Revathi Ramachandran and head of the dance department Jyotsna Menon body shamed them and hurled casteist remarks against them.

(With IANS inputs)

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