Wednesday April 4, 2012
MORE than 6,000 people fell for an April Fool prank by a radio station in the south Indian city of Bangalore when they gathered for the supposed arrival of Bollywood stars Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu and Katrina Kaif to inaugurate its studio at a hilltop.
According to Tamil Nesan, the prank created such a buzz that people travelled 60km to the scenic Nandi Hills station to catch a glimpse of the Bollywood actresses.
The only beneficiary was the horticulture department, which raked in Rs70,000 (RM4,670) in three hours from entry and parking fees for the “star-studded” event.
Fans from Bengaluru, Tumkur and Mysore started gathering atop Nandi Hills as early as 3 am on Sunday and they waited on the road in their vehicles for the gates to open.
When the gates were opened at 6 am, the Horticulture officials, who are caretakers of hilltop, were surprised to see a large crowd in the early morning. But their excitement withered after the officials clarified that no such descending of stars was happening.
As the sun rose, the crowd started swelling. On a regular Sunday, the hilltop, also known as Nandi Durga, receives close to 4,000 visitors. Since a large number of visitors turned up in a short time, there was traffic chaos on the Hills. Police had a tough time managing the crowds.
Murgod, Special Horticulture Officer at Nandi Hills said that for any kind of function on Nandi Hills, special permission was to be taken in advance from the government.
“In fact, we started getting inquiries about film stars landing here, since Satuday evening. We also checked with the police, but they too had no such information. It was only after talking to the crowd today, we realised it was a prank,” Murgod said.