When a prankster killed off SRK!
A South African prankster falsely reported the death of top actor Shah Rukh Khan in an accident because he could not spell the first name of his original choice, Hrithik Roshan.
Call centre worker Aman Singh was marched off the premises a day before his earlier resignation became effective after investigations revealed his computer as the source of an e-mail claiming that Shah Rukh had died in an accident.
Singh copied and pasted the masthead of a leading South African news website, News24.com, to make his message look authentic. Although it was crudely designed, it conned hundreds of fans who hurriedly passed on the message to others.
In the e-mail, Singh claimed that Shah Rukh had been killed in a road accident when his car hit a tree, and that this had been confirmed by the actor's manager.
The e-mail sparked frantic calls to media here and even to India, where Shah Rukh was busy filming for his next film, Don. News24.com quickly traced the source of the e-mail to Aman Singh after the website was inundated with queries about the story.
Singh tendered apologies after both his employer and News24.com called for strong action, saying that he had merely intended the story as a prank to be played on his cousins, who are ardent fans of both Hrithik Roshan and Shah Rukh Khan.
The prankster said he had never expected the e-mail to be spread so widely, and was shocked himself to learn of the chaos he had created.
Fans here were furious at Singh's prank.
"It was the sickest thing to do. How would he feel if someone spread news like that to his family and friends - that he had died while he was still very much alive?" said Fatima Laher, admitting that she had burst into tears when her friend Resham Dhorat sent her the e-mail at her workplace.
"I sent it to at least twenty of my friends and family who, like me, are diehard Shah Rukh fans," Dhorat said.
"This man is mad to do a thing like this."