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People told to go home at JLF

books Updated: Jan 22, 2012 07:40 IST
Nilesh Pinto, Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Chaos ensued at the JLF as the large crowds who showed up to attend the Oprah session at 11.15 am today led to a full house at the Diggi Palace.

The entry queue extended about 200m outside the main entrance. People waited for an hour to enter. The police abruptly put barricades and told the

crowd to leave and return only at 7pm this evening.

The disgruntled crowd tried to reason with the police by saying they wanted to attend the sessions other than the Oprah one (the other sessions were not packed).

Delegates were also prevented from entering the venue. One delegate pleaded with the police to let her in, saying she was a writer, but they

refused and told her to talk to the organisers.

A speaker at the event was also prevented entry and only after the crowd bullied the police, was she allowed inside. The police turned a deaf ear to any of the crowd’s pleas. The crowd were well-behaved for their part and did not force their way in. Nevertheless, they were livid at having to return home.

Inside, there was more drama as people were not allowed to enter the Front Lawns, the venue of the Oprah session.

A disgrunteld woman yelled at the police. In turn, they threatened to lathi charge her in order to maintain ‘law and order’.

Peace was finally brought about and the crowds slowly filtered through onto the grounds. Schoolchildren travelling all the way from Ajmer were also shown the door.