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Kalakshetra Row: Accused Professor’s Wife Files Complaint Against Survivor

Accused's wife alleged personal vengeance as reason behind 'false complaint.'

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Divya Padman, wife of Kalakshetra professor Hari Padman, who is accused in a sexual harassment case at Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, has filed a complaint against three people, including a sexual assault survivor, to defend her husband.

What has happened at Kalakshetra so far? The students of Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts raised multiple allegations of sexual harassment against four of the institute’s faculty members, which include professor Hari Padman and three contract staffers, Sanjith Lal, Sai Krishnan, and Sreenath.

Based on a sexual harassment complaint filed by a survivor who is an alumni of the college, Padman was arrested by the Chennai police on 3 April and sent to judicial custody until 13 April. Kalakshetra Foundation had suspended Padman and dismissed the other three who are accused of similar harassment.

Divya Padman filed the complaint on Wednesday, 5 April, with the Chennai police, alleging that her husband has been arrested based on a 'false complaint.' The complaint is registered against three people: the victim and two teachers at the institute.

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What does Divya Padman’s counter complaint say? In her complaint, Divya sought an inquiry by a team of senior women police officers and alleged that the survivor had lodged the complaint at the instigation of two teachers from the institute, India Today reported.

She has also claimed that the survivor was once reprimanded in front of all students by her husband for "nefarious and inglorious activities," due to which the survivor developed annoyance towards her husband.

Furthermore, Divya said that Hari Padman feared a mob attack, sought shelter with a well-wisher's family and did not attempt to flee from the legal system. She added that they had been compelled to stay away from their residence, which is located on the Kalakshetra campus, due to the student protests.

Divya Padman's complaint was forwarded to the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police Adyar.

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