FIR, NCW summons against hairstylist Jawed Habib for spitting on woman's head

(Source: The Hindu)

Popular hairstylist Jawed Habib found himself in trouble on Friday for allegedly spitting on a woman's head while styling her hair, and apologised for his action, even as the Muzaffarnagar police registered an FIR against him and the National Commission for Women (NCW) issued a summons.

The police said the FIR was lodged at the Mansurpur police station in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar on a complaint filed by Pooja Gupta, a resident of Baraut town on whose head Mr Habib allegedly spat.

He has been booked under Section 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person) of the Indian Penal Code and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, they said.

In Jaipur, former city mayor and Congress leader Jyoti Khandelwal also lodged a complaint against Mr Habib, accusing him of insulting women.

The NCW has summoned him on January 11 for explaining his action. It also asked the Uttar Pradesh Police to probe the veracity of a purported video which shows Mr Habib spitting on the woman's head.

In its summons issued on Friday, the NCW said it has taken serious note of Mr Habib’s action.

"Therefore, you are directed to appear before the Commission in-person on 11.01.2022 at 12.30 P.M. for deposition of your statement," the NCW said.

A noted hairstylist, Mr Habib operates more than 850 salons and around 65 hair academies in 115 cities across the country.

In the purported video of the incident, which took place in Muzzafarnagar on January 3, Mr Habib is seen spitting on the woman's head while she sits with her back to him. "If there is scarcity of water, then use saliva," he can be heard saying.

The audience can be heard laughing and applauding in the background in the video which has now gone viral with Mr Habib being criticised by netizens for his action.

Hindu activists also held a protest against Habib and demanded action against him.

In a video statement issued on Friday, the hairstylist apologised for the act.

"Some words spoken by me have hurt people. I want to say one thing that these are professional workshops and are long shows and when they are long, we have to make them humorous. What can I say? If you are truly hurt, I apologise from my heart. Please forgive me. Sorry," he said.

In her complaint, the former Jaipur mayor said, Mr Habib's act "shows perverted mindset of the person who insulted women through his act". "He is a celebrity and such an act warrants strict action. We have lodged a complaint with the police to register an FIR."

Jaipur Kotwali SHO Om Prakash Matwa said, "We have received the complaint that the hairstylist spat on a woman's hair. Though the incident happened in Uttar Pradesh, we have started investigating the matter."

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