The arrest comes after over 200 students boycotted exams and protested on campus for two days last week, demanding action against four teachers accused of sexual harassment.
A dance teacher from the prestigious Kalakshetra dance school in Chennai has been arrested on charges of sexual harassment following a complaint by a former student. The arrest comes after over 200 students boycotted exams and protested on campus for two days last week, demanding action against four teachers accused of sexual harassment.
Hari Padman, an assistant professor at the Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts under the Kalakshetra Foundation, was booked for sexual harassment on Friday.
A senior officer handling the case said Padman was absconding since the registration of the case and was arrested on Monday morning from Chennai. “He was in Hyderabad for a programme. On his return, his mobile phone was switched off. We took him into custody Monday morning,” the officer said.
Although over 100 students had come forward with allegations, only one complaint was received, which was against Padman from a former student from Kerala. The police have recorded statements of five students in total and names of three more teachers have emerged on similar charges. “We are probing those statements, no more arrests made yet,” the officer said.
The charges against the teachers include inappropriate behaviour and sexual abuse. Padman has been booked under section 354-A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment, as well as provisions of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Woman Act.
Students resorted to organised protests, boycotting classes on Thursday after a statement from the National Commission for Women on March 25 said there was no evidence of the allegations levelled against the teachers.
The Director’s clarification and the internal complaints committee report did not find any evidence of sexual harassment on campus, said the NCW. “The Commission has come to a conclusion to close the matter as victim has denied sexual harassment…” NCW statement added.