The owner of popular eatery “Baba Ka Dhaba” in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar has filed a police complaint against YouTuber Gaurav Wasan accusing him of misappropriating funds, PTI reported on Sunday.
“We received the complaint yesterday at the Malviya Nagar Police Station and the matter is being probed,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Atul Kumar Thakur. “No FIR has been registered yet in the case.”
Kanta Prasad and his wife had shot to fame after Wasan shot a video of them where the 80-year-old broke down as he spoke about the drop in his business following coronavirus-induced lockdown. The couple has been struggling to run their restaurant owing to lack of customers.
The video went viral after the YouTuber shared it on his social media account. Wasan had asked people to help the couple. A day after the viral video, #Babakadhaba was trending on Twitter and the eatery witnessed a massive footfall.
In his complaint to the police, Prasad alleged that Wasan “intentionally and deliberately shared only his and his family/friends bank details and mobile numbers with the donors and collected huge amount of donation through different mode of payments i.e bank account/wallets without providing any information to the complainant”. He also accused the YouTuber of not providing details of the financial transactions to him.
Prasad told The Indian Express he has only received a cheque of Rs 2 lakh from Wasan. “I don’t get a lot of customers now; most people come here to take selfies,” he added. “Earlier I was earning over Rs 10,000 per day, now it’s Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000,” he said. The complaint filed by Prasad, along with a group of men, at Malviya Nagar police station Saturday claims Wasan “deliberately shared his and his family’s bank details and collected a huge amount as donation”.
Wasan denied the allegations. “When I shot the video, I didn’t know it would become this big,” he told the newspaper. “I didn’t want people to harass Baba (Prasad) so I shared my bank details.”
The YouTuber said when he went to the bank to deposit the money received on behalf of Prasad, he was told that the account had been sealed as Rs 20 lakh was already been deposited in it, according to NDTV. “That is why when I emerged from the bank, I made a public appeal asking people to stop donating to Baba Ka Dhaba as it had received enough financial assistance,” Wasan said.
He said that people used to praise him for helping the couple but now they were “calling me a fraud”. “I have all the account details here, I have been forced to stoop to this level,” he told the news channel.
Wasan said that he gave Rs 3.78 lakh from the Rs 4.44 lakh from his account as part of the donation made by contributors, adding that the rest was his own money.