Bollywood singer Angarag Mahanta who goes by the stage name Papon, decided to quit the show The Voice India Kids after he was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in a video. The singer posted a video on his Facebook live which showed him celebrating Holi with the contestants on the set. He was seen smearing colour on a teenage contestant’s face followed by a peck on her lips.
"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," Papon tweeted on Saturday.
"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 added.
Earlier this week, a video in which Papon is seen planting a kiss on the lips of a minor girl contestant of the &TV show became viral online. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Friday issued notice to both the singer and the channel.
The film industry is divided on the issue. While some came out in support of the singer, others slammed him.
Actress Suchitra Krishnamoorthi tweeted: "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."
On Friday, Ppaon had said in a statement: "I might have done it spontaneously but in today's environment, to touch a girl child, however innocent your thoughts are, is not advisable. I am sorry for that."
Actress Raveena Tandon tweeted: "Whatever the situation, accidental, unintentional, affection, love, though it is sad the Papon controversy happened, it will be an eye opener and lesson for all to not getting carried away, and not crossing a line which can be seen as inappropriate."
Singer Monali Thakur, who sang the female version of "Moh moh ke dhaage" that was also crooned by Papon, tweeted in his support: "I got so many calls yesterday for this ridiculous misinterpretation of a man's gesture of affection! I am a girl and I know what is sexual perversion in a man! And Papon is anything but that! Leave aside for a kid! Lotsa love Papon. #iStandbyPapon"
Apart from that, #pervertpapon is also trending on Twitter.
(With IANS Inputs)