Stalin vows action on Kalakshetra issue

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Saturday, 1st April 2023
Page No. 10
Chennai Print Edition

The team — comprising the Revenue Divisional Officer, the Tahsildar, the Joint Police Commissioner, the Assistant Commissioner of Police and others — visited the campus on Friday, too, and held talks with students and the management. A police security team, led by a woman inspector, was deployed on the campus.

Mr. Stalin said that soon after the information reached him, he got additional information from the Collector. Thereafter, the team was sent out for investigation.

The Chief Minister said the National Commission for Women (NCW) made a post on the social media about “sexual harassment” on March 21 and sent a communication to the Director-General of Police. “In this connection, the Director of Kalakshetra Foundation met the DGP and said there was no complaint of sexual harassment in the organisation.”

Inquiries held

The NCW, in a communication to the DGP on March 25, said it inquired into the issue on the basis of a media report and closed the probe. However, the NCW chairperson arrived at Kalakshetra and held inquiries with 210 women students. Following a sit-in protest by the students on the campus, it was announced that the college would remain closed and students would have to vacate the hostel.

Soft on the case: VCK

While moving the motion, S.S. Balaji (Tiruporur) of the VCK said the police were being “soft” on the case. Panruti MLA T. Velmurugan questioned how the Kalakshetra Director could withdraw a complaint when students staged a protest. K. Selvaperunthagai (Sriperumbudur) of the Congress named four persons, who he said were involved in the sexual harassment of women students.

Mr. Selvaperunthagai said “threats” were being used to silence the students and urged the Chief Minister to crush such “threats” with an “iron fist”. R. Arul (Salem West) of the PMK said sexual harassment charges at Kalakshetra had become a long-time issue, without any action taken. T. Ramachandran (Thalli) of the CPI said that despite these charges, no action had been taken against the management.

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