Sexual Harassment Case Against Professor At Chennai's Kalakshetra Foundation College

A group of students staged a protest at an arts college by Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai's Adyar and wrote to the Ministry of Culture alleging sexual and verbal abuse by four faculty members.

Representative image: Women protesting against sexual harassment

Chennai Police has registered an FIR against an assistant professor of the prestigious Kalakshetra Foundation’s Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts after a group of female students protested on campus demanding action against the accused professor.

The college announced that it will remain closed till April 6 due to the students' protest and requested hostel inmates to vacate the campus in the next two days. Exams scheduled in the meantime have been postponed and new dates would be announced in due course, the Principal said.

Protesting students wrote to the Ministry of Culture, which runs the Kalakshetra Foundation, alleging sexual and verbal abuse faced by current as well as former students by four faculty members including an assistant professor.

The Adayar Women Police in Chennai filed an FIR against the assistant professor in the sexual harassment case. Professor Hari Padaman has been booked under 3 sections of the Women Harassment Act, officials told ANI.

They have also demanded the reconstitution of the internal complaints committee comprising a students' representative and said that they will continue their protest till their demands are met, ANI reported.

According to an NDTV report, around 90 students had complained to the Tamil Nadu women's commission chief on Friday.

The state commission chairperson A S Kumari told PTI that the complaints received were confidential and would be detailed in the report to the government. She added that students have also given their allegations in writing. "The allegations of students are against four persons (faculty). This is a sensitive matter." 

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday assured the state Assembly of appropriate legal action on the allegation of sexual harassment of women students at Kalakshetra Foundation.

Speaking of how the allegations came to the notice of the State government, Chief Minister Stalin said that the National Commission for Women had tweeted about alleged "sexual harassment" in Kalakshetra and written to the Director General of Police on March 21 requesting action.

However, Kalakshetra Foundation Director Revathi Ramachandran met the DGP and claimed that there was 'no complaint' of sexual harassment.