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Papon steps down as TV show judge amid sexual assault allegations

The singer, against whom a complaint was registered for 'inappropriately kissing a minor girl', has stepped down as a judge on the singing reality show.

Papon steps down as TV show judge amid sexual assault allegations
Image Courtesy: IANS

Mumbai: Singer Papon has quit the singing reality TV show as a judge following the complaint of sexual assault that was filed against him for kissing a minor contestant of the TV programme.

Yesterday, a Supreme Court lawyer filed a complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Right (NCPCR) alleging "sexual assault" after the singer uploaded a video on his Facebook page where he is seen kissing the minor contestant of the show, "Voice of India Kids".

Papon, who had earlier said that he was being "victimised" for no fault of his as he would "never commit an indecent act", today took to Twitter to make the announcement that he is stepping down as a judge from 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," Papon tweeted.

The channel, which airs the show, also released a statement saying that Papon will not be shooting for any further episodes "till the issue is resolved".

"In light of the ongoing enquiry, and in the best interest of the participants' well-being, Mr. Angarag Mahanta (Papon) will be stepping back as the coach on the show 'The Voice India Kids'. He will not be shooting any further episodes till the issue is resolved.

"As broadcasters, it is our responsibility to act in an unbiased and just manner and we are committed to doing so. In the interim, we would humbly request everyone to please show understanding and concern towards all the parties involved and allow for the due process to be completed," the statement read.

Supreme Court lawyer Runa Bhuyan has filed the complaint under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

The child's father, however, has defended the singer in the case, saying Papon is a "father figure" to his daughter.

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