O’wood casting couch: Police registers FIR against Papu

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha police today registered an FIR against actor-turned-politician Tatwa Prakash Satapathy aka Papu Pom Pom in connection with casting couch allegations involving a minor girl.

The Mahila Police have registered an FIR against Papu Pom Pom and his associate Pradipta Swain alias Gitu under Section 354 (A), 506, 509 and 34 of IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012,” Twin City Commissioner YB Khurania said.

Notably, Child Welfare Committee (CWC) member Nirupama Rath had conducted an inquiry into the incident and had visited the minor victim’s house. Based on her report, the FIR has been filed by the Mahila Police, sources said.

Earlier in the day, the CWC had asked the Mahila Police to register a case against Papu Pom Pom and Pradipta Swain under Section 154 of CrPC. Besides, the Committee asked the police to record the statement of the minor girl under Section 164 of CrPC in the presence of a magistrate.

“This comes under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Prima facie, it appears that sexual assault and sexual harassment has taken place. We have issued an order to the Mahila Police to register a case under the ACT. As the girl is in a traumatized state, the victim and her family should be given protection. We have also asked the DCPO to coordinate with the police in the case in order to give justice to the girl,” CWC Member Benudhar Sahu had said today.

In view of the sensitivity of the case, the Committee had asked the Bhubaneswar DCP to provide adequate security to the child and her family.

Notably, a social organization The Friends Foundation Trust had on Saturday filed a complaint with the Mahila Police on behalf of the victim that she has been sexually exploited on the guise of giving her break in acting career. In addition to this, the actor and one his accomplice had allegedly threatened her of dire consequences if she dared to reveal it to police or media.

In another incident, the police have issued notices to six persons associated with the regional television and film industry for their alleged involvement in the exploitation of a female actor.

The complainant Sarmistha Priyadarshini—a television actor—had filed a complaint with the Mahila Police here yesterday against directors Tapas Sargaria and Chandi Parija, event manager Bapi Jena, producer Subrat Naik, husband-wife duo and tele serial producers Nihar Samal and Bini Samal.

Mahila Police registered a case under Sec 354, 294, 506 and 34 of IPC late yesterday evening.

Following this, the actor has recorded her statement under Sec 161 of CrPC. Based on her statement, the Twin City Commissionerate police have issued notices to these six persons to depose before it for questioning as part of the investigation.

On the other hand, Chandi Parija, Nihar Samal, Bini Samal and other actors working under the banner of production house Urmee Communication today held a press conference at a city-based hotel and refuted the allegation.