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Tuesday, May 21
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Kerala cops hunt Britney

Kerala cops hunt Britney

Vinod Kumar Menon / Mid-Day

BritneyJanuary 2: Pop singer Britney Spears seems to have garnered a penchant for courting trouble. After a string of drug abuse cases and her falling career, the American singer has become an enigma for the Kerala police.

For the last three days, the cops are pulling their hair over inquires about Spears’ rumoured visit to the coastal state of Kerala.

While the media is abuzz with stories about her appearance on a houseboat in Alapuzzha, the cops are clueless about her visit.
"We were busy with regular law and order bandobast for the New Year celebrations.
I did receive inquiries on Britney’s visit, but haven’t received any official intimation from the hotel or any tour operator," said A Akbar, superintendent of police, Alapuzzha.

He added that, "Action would be initiated against the hotel for not intimating the arrival of a foreign tourist and failing to submit the mandatory Form C within 24 hours to the police."

Jurisdiction issues

However Akbar clarified that if the singer is put up in a hotel in Kochi and is traveling through the backwaters of Alapuzzha, then it is the duty of the Kochi police to receive the mandatory Form C from the hotel.

The police in Alapuzzha has no role to play in that.

DCP (Kochi City) George Varghese said, "I will have to check with the special branch about this registration. If it is missing, we will ask them to look into the same."

Lax hotels
Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the Kerala Assembly that most hotels were guilty of not filing the mandatory Form C on time.

Meanwhile officials at hotel Trident, Kochi, denied hosting Britney at their property.

"These are rumors. We have no guest named Britney Spears in our hotel," said a senior manager of the hotel on condition of anonymity.

Tweeting trouble
Interestingly, a tweet posted on the official website of Kerala Tourism (Dec 24) stated, ’Britney Spears will be in Kerala in a few days. Isn’t that something to celebrate?’

Soon after, the paparazzi pushed into overdrive hunting for that exclusive picture of the singer in the backwaters.

The rumour mills were abuzz with her appearance on a double decker motor vessel, Vrinda, cruising in the backwaters till Friday evening.

Local fishermen seem to have ’spotted’ the singer shooting a video for an upcoming album, and even allegedly saw her meditating on the deck of the boat early on Thursday morning.
It is also learnt that the singer may leave for Goa today.

Noted Malayalam singer Chitra Iyer is believed to have arranged for the pop singer’s stay and planned her tour. However Chitra was unavailable for comment.

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