Mumbai: Composer Anu Malik was back at the centre of the #MeToo controversy on Thursday with singer Neha Bhasin terming him a "predator" and reiterating her allegation that he had misbehaved with her 15 years ago when she was just 21.
Attempts to reach out to Malik were unsuccessful. A representative of Sony, where Malik is back as a judge on the reality show "Indian Idol", declined to comment.
Mohapatra has often called out Malik for his alleged behaviour on Twitter and in various media interviews. Bhasin used Mohapatra's Twitter timeline to support her colleague and recount an incident from back in the day when she was new to the industry.
Bhasin, who voiced the popular song 'Jag Ghoomiya", said she had met Malik, an industry senior, to present her work in a CD and was hoping for a song break, but his behaviour turned out to be that of an "ugly pervert".
"We do live in a very sexist world. Anu Malik is a predator, I too have run away from his strange moves when I was 21.
"I didn't let myself get into a sticky situation beyond him lying on a sofa in front of me talking about my eyes in a studio. I fled lying my mum's waiting below. He even msged and called me after that to which I stopped responding," she said in a post that created a stir online.
Bhasin said "the industry or the world" is not an easy place for a young woman away from her family.
"Perverts exist inside and outside our industry but why are we so forgiving to the men, do we realise that is what gives them the strength to ruin our dignity, hide us women in our houses," she said.
Following the allegations last year, Sony removed Malik as a judge but got him back in September this year.
Bhasin said she had said everything she had to about Malik but blamed Sony for reinstating the composer as the judge on a singing reality show.
Mohapatra, in an open letter, reiterated the claims made by Bhasin and Shweta Pandit, another singer who had called out Malik last year.
Mohapatra said speaking up about Malik cost her the judge's seat on a music reality show as she was told that her allegation against the composer helped the TRPs of their rival's programme.
"I was marked as a troublemaker and asked to leave. Overnight," she added in her Facebook post.
"A year later, a sexual predator like Anu is back as Judge on national TV. What does this say about us as a society."
Mohapatra has also accused Sonu Nigam and Vishal Dadlani, Malik's co-judge, of supporting the composer.