Singer-composer Papon has landed in trouble after Supreme Court lawyer Runa Bhayan 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”.
“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 colours to 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.
In a video shared by Papon on his Facebook profile, the singer is seen celebrating Holi with a few kids from a reality show he is currently judging. However, towards the end of the video, he approaches the girl, kisses her after applying colours on her face. Papon is currently one of the judges on the reality show Voice India Kids along with singers Shaan and Himmesh Reshammiya.
However, the contestant’s father 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,”
The Assamese singer, known for his popular numbers from Hindi films such as Barfi!, Befikre, Sultan, and Dum Laga Ke Haisha.
&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.”
Papon has now shared an official statement on his social media. His statement reads: “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 about. To show affection for an 11 year old child who I have been mentoring for a while now is not an alien concept for me. Please do remember that it a video on my own facebook live and stop for a moment and at least wonder why I would myself promote a video where I am ‘apparently’ doing all the unmentionable things that I am being accused of.”
The Assamese singer Angarag Mahanta, known by his stage name Papon, is an Indian singer, composer and record producer, known for his popular numbers from Hindi films such as Barfi!, Befikre, Sultan, and Dum Laga Ke Haisha. He is the lead singer and founder of the folk-fusion band called Papon.