Mumbai: Singer-composer Papon's Holi celebration with the contestants of a music reality show he is judging has led to a harassment complaint. He has been charged with "inappropriately kissing" a minor. In a video that has gone viral, Papon can be seen applying colour to a contestant's face and planting a kiss on her lips, leaving her stunned.
- In the video, Papon is seen applying colour to her face and kissing her
- A Supreme Court lawyer has filed a complaint against the celebrity judge
- The singer hasn't reacted and police are yet to file a case against him
The contestant's father, however, said that Papon is his daughter's mentor and like a father figure to her and requested the media "not to pursue this further". "He has always encouraged her to pursue her dreams. He doesn't differentiate amongst the children. What you saw in the video is not intentional. It was just a moment of affection that is being portrayed otherwise," he said.
Supreme Court lawyer Runa Bhuyan has filed a complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights against Papon under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act saying that the singer has "committed sexual assault".
Papon is currently one of the judges on Voice India Kids along with singers Shaan and Himmesh Reshammiya. On Tuesday, he went live on his Facebook page. After a rendition of Holi staple Rang Barse, he approaches the girl, smears colour on her face and kisses her.
"I am shocked to see the behaviour of the said singer Angarag Papon Mahanta towards a minor girl where he is seen to be applying colors on a minor girl and inappropriately kissing the said girl. On seeing the video, I am seriously concerned regarding the safety and security of minor girl participating in reality shows across India," her complaint said.
She also suggested that guidelines need to be set up to protect children from "such assaults" in reality shows.
The Assamese singer, known for his popular numbers from Hindi films such as Barfi!, Befikre, Sultan, and Dum Laga Ke Haisha among others, hasn't reacted to the complaint. The police are yet to file a case against him.
&TV, the Hindi entertainment channel on which the show airs, in its statement said, "As a responsible channel, we are extending complete support to all parties who are impacted by this incident and will stand by them to help them through this situation."