Singer-composer Papon has been accused of harassing one of the contestants of a music reality show he is judging after a video of him inappropriately kissing a minor went viral. In the video, Papon can be seen applying colour to the shocked girl’s face and planting a kiss on her lips.
The complaint, filed by Supreme Court lawyer Runa Bhuyan with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act says that the singer has “committed sexual assault”.
In the complaint, the lawyer stated: “I am shocked to see the behaviour of the said singer…where he is seen to be applying colours 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(s) participating in reality shows across India.”
On Friday, NCPCR issued a notice to the singer and the TV channel. “We have seen the video and have gone through the written complaint which came to us from Supreme Court lawyer Runa Bhuyan. We felt this is a provocative case. Necessary legal action will be taken,” the NCPCR official said.
“We are following the legal procedure. We will ask for their version as well and accordingly further action will be taken. We have guidelines on our website which clearly mentions rules for channels using children in their show,” added the official.
However, the girl’s father defended Papon saying he was a “father-figure” to his daughter and that a moment of affection was being portrayed otherwise.
Reacting to the controversy, celebrities Farah Khan, Raveena Tandon and Gauahar Khan expressed their displeasure regarding the incident and singer Shaan tweeted in favour of Papon but later deleted the tweet.
Papon issued an apology in which he wrote, “I am very painfully conscious of the accusations that have been made against me in the last few days. Anyone who knows me would be aware that I am an extremely affectionate and expressive person. That is the way I have been brought up and that’s how I have always been with people close to me or people I care for. To show affection for an 11-year-old child whom I have been mentoring for a while now is not an alien concept for me.”