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Renowned Dancer and Former Kalakshetra Faculty Sheejith Krishna Arrested on Sexual Harassment Allegations

Renowned dancer and former faculty member of Chennai’s Kalakshetra Foundation, Sheejith Krishna, was arrested on Tuesday following allegations of sexual harassment made by former students. Krishna’s team is yet to respond to the accusations.

Krishna, who resigned from Kalakshetra and established his own dance academy, faced charges from former students who settled abroad. They alleged that Krishna sexually harassed them during their time on campus between 1996 and 2001. The Madras High Court intervened after the students filed a complaint, directing the Chennai Police Commissioner to take action.

According to reports, senior police officials stated that the former students accused Krishna of exploiting them.

This incident follows a similar case last year when Professor Hari Padman, also from Kalakshetra Foundation, was terminated and subsequently arrested after being found guilty of sexual harassment by an inquiry committee.

Initially, both the management and the National Commission for Women denied the allegations until the matter reached the court. Over a hundred students, including males, submitted written complaints to the state women’s commission.

Large-scale protests erupted as students took to the streets, demanding justice and criticizing the administration’s inaction against faculty and repertory artists accused of harassment.

Responding to the Madras High Court’s directive to implement guidelines, Kalakshetra Foundation formed an independent committee to handle sexual harassment complaints by students. The recommendations include banning students’ entry into teachers’ quarters except during community celebrations, restricting engagement with repertory artists, reducing emphasis on performance, and prioritizing deep learning and artistic refinement.

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