Professor at Chennai Dance Academy Charged With Sexual Harassment

According to officials,  sexual harassment complaint by  a former student led to the arrest of an assistant professor at a renowned Tamil Nadu school for classical arts.

The city cops detained Hari Padman this morning. Padman is a dance instructor at Kalakshetra Foundation’s Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts.

The former student who had left the institute’s postgraduate course a few years prior, allegedly as a result of the professor’s sexual harassment, told NDTV, “He once sought sexual favours. He invited me to his house and assured me that nobody would find out.

She added, “He took on me for saying no. He took me away from an important role in a dance”.

Around 90 male and female students complained last week to AR Kumari, the head of the Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women, about the sexual harassment, body shaming, and verbal abuse by the professor. Three additional repertory artists have also been named.

“The complaints include sexual abuse and sexual harassment of female and male students by a faculty member and three repertory artists,” AR Kumari had told NDTV last week after visiting the institute.

According to the students, the management has been uncaring and unresponsive to their complaints.

“We used to get inappropriate text messages from them. They gave low grades and denied us opportunities” for not cooperating with them,” an undergraduate student said.

The institution’s management organization, the Kalakshetra Foundation, had previously denied the accusations and called them a disinformation effort.

Mr Stalin had said in the assembly that no written complaints had been received yet, but that the revenue and police departments were investigating the matter. “Legal action will be taken against whoever is found guilty,” he said, also tacitly suggesting a flip-flop by the National Commission for Women for first seeking action on the issue and then putting brakes on it.


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