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Papon quits Voice India Kids over sexual assault row, says falsely implicated

A day after apologising for kissing a minor contestant, Papon took to Twitter Saturday afternoon to announce he wants to quit the show.

tv Updated: Feb 24, 2018 22:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Papon,Papon quits reality show,Voice India Kids
Singer Papon has announced that he is leaving reality show Voice India Kids over allegations of sexual assault against him.(Facebook/Papon)

Assamese singer Papon, who is caught in a controversy for forcibly kissing a minor girl on a reality show, has quit the show --- Voice India Kids --- claiming he is not in the mental state to deliver his responsibilities.

A day after apologising for the incident on social media, Papon took to Twitter Saturday afternoon to announce he wants to quit the show.

“Since I am in no mental state to fulfil most of my professional obligations, I have decided to step down as a judge on the show till the matter in which I have been falsely implicated is fully resolved and the investigations are over. I have full faith in the judicial system and eventually the truth will prevail. In the interim I would appreciate that my privacy is respected,” he said in a statement.

Papon was one of the judges on the show along with Shaan and Himmesh Reshammiya.

A Supreme Court lawyer filed a case against Papon, whose real name is Angarag Papon Mahanta, for allegedly assaulting the minor on the reality show.

The Assam Police registered an FIR against the singer after the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) filed a complaint.

“Charges have been framed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act,” assistant commissioner of police (Dispur) Sujit Saikia told PTI in Guwahati.

While the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has ordered a probe into the matter, Maharashtra state government has also ordered a separate investigation. The complainant, Runa Bhuyan, has requested that the investigation be expedited .

Meanwhile, minister of state women and child welfare Vidya Thakur took cognizance of the matter and said that relevant action would be taken in the matter. “We have taken cognizance of the matter. Even I asked the police commissioner to take relevant action in this matter. This is not our tradition. We have demanded a fast inquiry in it,” Thakur told ANI.

In the video, posted on Papon’s offical Facebook page, the singer is seen celebrating Holi with the contestants of Voice India Kids and later planting a kiss on the girl’s face. While most Bollywood celebs have condemned the act and demanded an apology, filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor and lyricist ,Manoj Muntashir have defended Papon.

The minor girl’s father has also called it a ‘moment of affection’. He issued a statement saying, “It was just a moment of affection that is being portrayed otherwise. I would request and urge the media to not pursue this further. He doesn’t differentiate among the children who are here and gives them equal guidance on pursuing their dreams. What you saw in the video is not intentional.”

(With inputs from Agencies )

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First Published: Feb 24, 2018 17:25 IST

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