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Since 1st March, 1999
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Bunty & Babli dupe babus

You would be forgiven to think Bunty Aur Babli was modelled on Simran and Ashish.

Nikita alias Simran and Satish Chaurasiya, also known as Ashish, duped 40 government officials posing as agents of the telecom service provider Airtel.

On February 15, the duo went to the charity commissioner’s office and told the employees they had cards for a good Airtel scheme. Every call to a mobile would cost 10 paise and mobile to landline calls would cost 50 paise, they told the babus. A card would cost Rs 1,500 with talk time worth Rs 1,000. There was also a refund — Rs 500 after three months.

The offer sounded too good, so the 40 employees bought 65 cards. Nikita and Satish netted Rs 97,500.

The next day the cards were not activated and the customers called the Airtel office and found out they had been duped. On Friday, Simran and Ashish were in cuffs.

Two more persons, Ajinke Sutar and Nitesh Waghela, were arrested. Waghela is suspected to be the brain behind the fraud. Simran later said Waghela had also told them that he would settle the matter with police, if they were caught.

So, Bunty and Babli may be out on the road again, soon.

Carrom champ gets a boost

She’s a carrom champ back with a gold from Cannes, but no sponsor would come to Ilavazhagi’s slum in Chennai.

The 23-year-old could not study beyond Class X because of financial constraints. “Even chess is honoured, but not carroms, why? Is carroms also not a sport?” she would ask.

The answer came from DMK MP Kanimozhi, who is Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi's daughter. Kanimozhi presented Ilavazhagi a cheque for Rs 1 lakh. “We have just made a beginning to encourage the girl and this sum would be useful for her to travel,” Kanimozhi said, promising to “take up her case with the government”.

Minutes after Kanimozhi’s gesture, Akila Sivaraman, on behalf of the Shriram Group of Companies, offered Ilavazhagi Rs 50,000 in cash.

Mongooses in movie

GV Films Ltd of Chennai and Lees Films Du Reve of France will come together to make a $20-million movie.

The star attractions will not be from Bollywood or French cinema — only two Indian mongooses and a cobra.

Called Tapati, the film is the story of struggle of two mongooses against a cobra.

Several other animals will be there in the supporting cast, GV Films director V. Ravee has promised, of course, after enough training for their parts.

The movie would be produced in English and French first and could be dubbed into any number of languages, said Guillaume Vincent, the director of the film.

It would be a film on wildlife, but not a documentary, he said.

Beggar tracker

Biometric identification is coming to Delhi’s beggars. The step is being taken not just to eradicate begging with an eye on the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but also to ensure that they benefit from rehabilitation schemes. “Many times, it has been seen that the same beggar is caught several times. Our aim is to keep track of their record so that the needy are rehabilitated while habitual beggars can be convicted,” an official in the social welfare department said.

The Delhi government’s statistics show that of the 2,537 beggars arrested last year, only 1,133 had been convicted. Many beggars get away in court because of lack of evidence. The new system will help us increase the conviction rate and deter them from begging,” the official said.

Delhi: On Friday, the All American Diner will lay on the table lip-smacking cheese cakes. You can have Raspberry Swirl, Chocolate Cappucino, Blueberry, Black Forest, Rose and Pistachio and more. All this from 11am to midnight at Habitat World, India Habitat Centre, on Lodhi Road.

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