The Telegraph
Monday, November 20, 2017

'Happy bomb' boomerangs

Clince Varghese takes a selfie in front of the Red Fort

Bangalore: The "selfie king" cut a sorry picture on Monday.

An event manager and VJ who had won a selfie contest organised by the channel was taken into custody for saying "I am going to hijack this place with a happy bomb" while taking a selfie video with a plane in the background at Kochi airport in Kerala.

The passengers, who had already boarded the Jet Airways flight to Mumbai, were evacuated and the plane searched, an airline spokesperson said. "Nothing suspicious was found," the spokesperson said.

Clince Varghese, who is in his 20s, was taking the video while standing near the boarding ladder of the aircraft when the ground staff, who were ushering in passengers, heard him utter the "B" word and raised the alarm. The Central Industrial Security Force was called in immediately and Clince was handed over to the police.

Clince, who won MTV's Great Selfie Challenge in 2016 and whose Facebook page is replete with selfie pictures and videos, hails from Thrissur in Kerala and had come to the southern state from Mumbai to organise a wedding.

A youth whom Clince had apparently befriended during his stay in Kerala also got dragged in. Ajay Menon was taken into custody for questioning after Clince apparently mentioned his name when accosted by the ground staff. Menon had already boarded the flight.

Clince's Facebook page describes him as a "happy hippie". He runs an event management company called Shunyata Entertainment.

His last Facebook post, earlier on Monday, had been a selfie video in a car, captioned "Sunkissed Monday! Heading to the Kochi airport and then flying off to Mumbai...."

The travel website The Culture Trip carried an interview with Clince in February. Titled Meet India's Selfie King, Clince Varghese, it featured his selfie exploits. The interview has a picture of Clince with actor Abhishek Bachchan and a selfie video taken in front of the Taj Mahal.

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