Kohima: Five residents from Nagaland recently registered an FIR at the Kohima North police station against the organisers of an online singing competition after it allegedly hoodwinked some participants.
In the FIR, a copy of which is in possession with EastMojo, five participants who were part of the online singing competition, ‘Indies Singing Superstar Competition (Online)’ organised by ADJ Music, accused the organisers of depriving and cheating the contestants by using “unfair means of practice and trickery in their music contest platform”.
The complainants alleged that the organisers accumulated money from the contestants in the semi-final round despite saying that the competition will be conducted free of cost. It said that selection in the semi-final round was conducted unfairly by overlooking the selection criteria.
It also accused the organisers of “partiality towards the few selected semi-finalist contestants to offer help and guidance through a meet up” and that the organisers called some contestants to “convince, manipulate and manoeuvre, through malicious offer and unfair means the night before the declaration of result”.
The complainants alleged that the organisers were also “offering proposals into accepting the winning title while giving up the cash prize money to some contestant through messages” and even tried to convince a contestant to “pay judges fee and owning the title in return”.
It accused of misinforming and dim-witting about the numbers of contestants selected in the first round of competition and hoodwinking the contestants to pay some amount with the promise of promoting the contestants on various social media platforms “with no intention of fulfilling the promise” and further “manipulating” the number of views on YouTube.
Speaking with EastMojo over telephone, Vipito Swu, a complainant, narrated how he registered for the online singing competition organised by a company called the ADJ Music Production. “Many struggling musicians like me, find this kind of platform as a good opportunity to promote ourselves. I also thought it was a good chance and tried my best. I have even gone to the extend of recording my performance from a studio, as we were permitted to,” he recalled.
The budding musician, who is a third year college student from Kohima said that he took the opportunity to participate in the online competition as it seemed a good opportunity to build a reputation and become part of the music industry.
He recalled that after his selection to the semi-final, the organisers had asked to pay a sum of money for promotion, despite it being a free online event. “Since we had reached to the semi-final, many of us did not want to back out at that time and paid it,” he said.
“We were very discouraged after we found out that the organizers were conducting unfair means. Since there could be many fraud competitions like this being unreported at most times, we decided to take it forward,” he said.
While an FIR has been filed, he said that this particular incident should also be a warning for people who are engaged in cheating the public. “We feel that this should end. It is disheartening that they are exploiting talents at the interest of their own profit,” said Vipito.
The musician also encouraged upcoming musicians to do proper inquiry of any competition before participating and to compete in genuine competitions. “We were pumped up and excited but now we are so discouraged. We should be aware of such events,” he added.