Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 21:
Less than a week after actors Sonika Roy and Leena Das alleged of casting couch in Odisha movie industry, yet another actor, on conditions of anonymity, today leveled the same allegations against leading actor Papu Pom Pom and said that he attempted to sexually harass her.
If harassment was not enough, the actor-turned-politician — who unsuccessfully contested from Champua Assembly constituency on a BJD ticket and is currently in soup for his alleged involvement in promoting tainted Oscar chit fund company — went on to threaten the newbie of ruining her career by making sure that she doesn’t get any work.
“I came to this industry a year back. In the last one year, after I came to ‘Jhoom Odisha Jhoom’ (a dance reality show), he gave me my first break in ‘Excuse Me’. He keeps calling me; however, I never go to see him alone as I have heard he exploits girls,” said the budding female actor in conditions of anonymity.
“On one occasion, we were travelling in the same car and he tried to touch me. I avoided him and told him that I will get off the vehicle if he continues to do that. He didn’t proceed afterwards,” she added.
Upon being questioned, how exactly Papu exploits the girls, she explained, “He maintains physical relation”.
Recounting one of her horrid experiences, she revealed how she was warned of consequences after turning him down.
“He kept asking me to check in to a hotel with him or attend a programme in Bargarh”. “I will see how you are going to work in this industry” he said after I turned him down, said the actor.
“I will get you good films, good characters, but you need to spend a night with me. However, I have always turned him down. That is the reason we do not share a good rapport. He still talks to me whenever he sees me; but, I try to avoid him. I always tell him, you don’t need to give me a chance. I will find work on my own and with directors and producers I prefer. Why should I work with you unnecessarily?”
“I don’t want to be defamed. Anyone who stays with him gets defamed. I don’t want to do that with him to make progress in my career,” concluded the actor.
While we were not able to get the reaction of actor Papu Pom Pom over the allegations made by the actor, Odisha Film Development Corporation (OFDC) Chairman and BJD leader Munna Khan assured that action will be taken, if the allegations are proven true.
“We are going to hold a meeting on June 29 to discuss this issue and find a way out. We will not let the entire industry lose face because of the actions of a handful of people. Action will be taken, if anyone is found guilty,” said Khan while adding that his party will not extend membership benefits to the accused actor-turned-politicians.