Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The Globe and Mail

Daler Mehndi...On the Run?

According to this story from Canada's The Globe and Mail, famed Bhangra-pop star Daler Mehndi, who is under investigation for using his music touring as a front for visa scams, has skipped out on bail. I can't see him getting too far, or not being recognized, especially because, you know, he is the self-proclaimed ''Boss of Indipop," but still this is quite interesting.

From the article:

Teams of police were dispatched yesterday to hunt for the pop singer after he failed to show up for a New Delhi court appearance. He is at the centre of a people-smuggling investigation that traces back to Canada, where one of his co-accused has surfaced. Mr. Mehndi's problems began in September when an Indian villager told police that the pop star and his brother had reneged on a promise to provide him with a Canadian visa in exchange for cash. Mr. Mehndi is one of the genre's established stars, with hit songs including Punjabi, Hindi and English lyrics. "Cool daddy keep quiet," he sings in Dig Dig Daisy.

Last week, Mr. Mehndi allowed Indian police to interrogate him, but complained he was made to pull down his trousers so police could check for a birthmark on his thigh. Although the singer later described that treatment as "inhuman," he said he obliged when police asked him to sing some of his hits during questioning. Mr. Mehndi denied wrongdoing and he was released on interim bail last week. But yesterday a judge rejected further bail and told lawyers that Mr. Mehndi should quickly return for another court appearance. The accused was not in court and police say they have begun hunting for him.


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