A day after singer Papon was charged with accusation of sexually harassing a minor girl on the sets of singing reality show Voice of India Kids, he has announced that he will be quitting as the judge of the show.
Papon made the announcement with this tweet.
The incident came to surface after Supreme Court lawyer Runa Bhuyan filed a case against him after she saw a Facebook Live video in which Papon allegedly forced himself on the minor, who happens to be one of the contestants of the show.
Lawyer Runa Bhuyan requested the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to initiate an inquiry against Papon regarding the matter.
"On seeing the video, I am seriously concerned regarding the safety and security of minor girls participating in reality shows across India," the lawyer told News 18.
Reacting to the incident, Papon had issued this statement:
Singer #Papon issues statement over allegedly 'inappropriately kissing a minor girl', says 'my humble request to everyone, when you do come across this matter is to just pause & think about how much harm this does to the people involved' pic.twitter.com/vnuZsOcwUF— ANI (@ANI) February 23, 2018
This was followed by many celebs slamming him for his gross behavior.
If anybody behaved with my daughter the way #Papon did with the teenage girl I would slap him several times in such a way that no one dared behave that way again— Suchitra Krishnamoorthi (@suchitrak) February 23, 2018
#papons legal representatives doing not good for him either,spoiling it further by making silly arguments,if it happened unintentionally and the girl moved her face,admit it happened,apologise,instead of giving it a “guru shishya” love spin,sounds repulsive.— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) February 24, 2018
Wasn't smothering a child's face with your palm rubbing color all over it for 4 secs enough as fatherly love, that u had to pull the child's face then to strategically peck her on the lip??? There was no wrong camera angle or the child moving her face mistakenly BTW 🙄😡#papon👎— Gauahar Khan (@GAUAHAR_KHAN) February 23, 2018
You're a celebrity. The child is a contestant who's looking to get a toehold in your industry. You CAN'T grab and kiss her.EVEN if that's your idea of affection #Papon— Padmaja joshi (@PadmajaJoshi) February 23, 2018
Papon may label it as his idea of affection for his mentees but his was clearly a bad touch and made the child uncomfortable. He only stopped when he was told that the act was being relayed on Facebook live. His reaction hints that he’s a serial offender.— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) February 23, 2018
However, there were also some that took his side.
I got so many calls yesterday for this ridiculous misinterpretation of a man’s gesture of affection! I am a girl n I know what is sexual perversion in a man! And Papon is anything but that! Leave aside for a kid! Lotsa love @paponmusic #iStandbyPapon 🙏🏻https://t.co/UJhX9P8fZH— Monali Thakur (@monalithakur03) February 24, 2018
#IStandByPapon a supremely talented musician whom I have worked with and know well .i will never believe that there was any ugly ulterior purpose to that show of affection from him. So, #istandwithpapon #IStandByPapon— suchitra pillai (@suchitrapillai) February 24, 2018
Earlier on Saturday, the minor girl and other contestants from the show clarified, through a video, that the singer did not have any bad intentions.
As per a report by The Hindu, girl's father also defended Papon, terming the incident as a 'moment of affection' and calling him a 'father figure' to her.