Chaos at Eden as one lakh fans turn up to celebrate Shah Rukh Khan's IPL 7 champs Kolkata Knight Riders

Written by PTI | Kolkata | Updated: Jun 4 2014, 02:24am hrs
Chaos reigned supreme at the Kolkata Knight Riders felicitation ceremony at the Eden Gardens today as five persons were injured after police resorted to lathi charge in order to control the unruly crowd.

With nearly one lakh fans turning up to witness the star-studded Kolkata team including team owners Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Jai Mehta at the 67,000-capacity Eden, hell broke lose as fans tried to catch a closer glimpse of their heroes.

Kolkata's Mounted Police division manning the Maidan area, where all major clubs and stadia are situated including Eden Gardens, tried to disperse the huge gathering which turned chaotic after the gates were closed.

Five persons, including two women, were injured in the chaos, police sources said.

Policemen also used batons in certain places to stop over-enthusiastic fans turning aggressive after being denied entry.

State Cabinet Minister Firhad Hakim when asked about the situation, told newspersons "You may have seen (chaos), but I have not.

"You are Bengal media, so project what is good about Bengal."

While the capacity crowd managed to enter the stadium, thousands jostled in the surrounding Maidan area to gain entry which was 'free' but only with 'complimentary passes' from police stations in the metropolis and through CAB affiliated clubs in the state.

The stadium authorities opened the gates at 11:00 am to enable supporters to enter well ahead of the start of the programme scheduled at 1:00 pm, which was delayed.

People started queuing up at Eden Gardens from as early as 9:00 am as all roads led to the stadium.

The delirious scenes with people, including women and children jostling, resembled KKR's victory celebration on May 29 two years ago.

Indipop singer Usha Uthup belted out popular Bollywood chart busters to keep the spectators engaged till the arrival of KKR.

Taking a cue from PM Narendra Modi's hugely successful 'Ab Ki Baar...' campaign, she sang a new theme song -- 'Ab ki baar KKR, Baar baar KKR, Baar baar chhukka maar' -- to the delight of spectators.

There were also a host of Bengali film and TV industry celebrities in attendance.

Sports Minister Madan Mitra, who was present with a host of other state ministers, was seen sitting on the Eden outfield giving shutterbugs a photo opportunity.

Needless to say there were traffic gridlocks and people commuting by public or private transport faced a harrowing time.

Shah Rukh reached the venue late because of a technical snag in his flight.

"Sorry Kolkata technical snag on flight. Will be a bit late but will be there. Apologies," SRK said on his Twitter handle.

"Kolkata bound. Delay in flight but will make it Insha Allah nothing can stop us now," SRK tweeted.