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News |  27 Oct 2015 18:36 |  By RnMTeam

Abhijeet Bhattacharya opens up about Durga Puja controversy

Abhijeet Bhattacharya

MUMBAI: Abhijeet Bhattacharya has a never ending list of Bollywood songs to his credit. But of late, it is not his music that is being talked about. What is getting the singer attention is news of him having allegedly molested a 34-year-old woman at the Lokhandwala Durga Pandal.

While news about the incident has been circulating, not everything can be believed. In fact, Bhattacharya too did not open up clearly before this. But, he spilled the beans to

The word ‘sabotage’ is very clear in Bhattacharya’s dictionary and he means it with all the might when he connects it with the ‘Lokhandwala Duraga Puja’ that he organises every year. “I organise the Durga Puja without any monetary help from anyone. The only big media house associating with it is Times of India, and apart from that, there are a few corporate houses. Thus, 99 per cent of the people who attend the puja are a part of the celebration,” stated the ‘Suno Na Suno Na’ singer.

He went on to add that the only way to get entry to the pandal is with a pass. Those who do not have passes are not entertained. However, there are some who try to get in without passes, but they are found and asked to leave. People without passes are not the only ones to be thrown out; people creating a ruckus at the pandal are also usually shown the door, and the day of the incident was no different, according to Bhattacharya.

“We usually have these kids from event management institutes handling the entire event. In return we give them certificates. On that particular day too, the kids were looking after everything when this woman refused to listen to them. That was when I intervened, and told her that we would be forced to throw her out if she does not sit down. Instead of following our instructions, she counter questioned me asking who I was, and then she started to abuse me. All this was happening during Kailash Kher’s performance,” said the ‘Wada Raha Sanam’ singer.

As reported earlier, the woman was blocking the view of the other spectators, but there are different versions of what happened next, and interestingly Bhattacharya does confirm a certain part of the story. “I am not denying the fact that I warned her that we will push her out, but I did not push her out. We have security at the pandal which consists of both male and female guards. Thus, the female security moved her out of the pandal,” he confirmed.

However, the story took the molestation route with the woman filing an FIR at Oshiwara police station. Bhattacharya believes that the root cause of the issue was the lady’s temperament. “Before leaving the pandal she said that ‘she will shut it down forever.’ Thus, in anger she called the entire incident an act of ‘molestation’. Around 70 to 80 people from my family, both from India and abroad, attend the Durga Puja every year; I have friends from the industry attending it too. Why would I do such a thing in their presence?” questioned Bhattacharya.

The ‘Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Mein’ singer further added that the woman was mentally unstable, and that earlier, she also tried maligning actor Sudhir Pandey’s name. “Sudhir and his family had a verbal spat with her in their building lift and she called it molestation,” he said.

The offence that Bhattacharya was charged under is a baliable offence; hence the singer was granted bail for Rs 10,000 at a magistrate court in Andheri on Monday (26 October, 2015).