Mayhem ruled at the auto expo on Monday. CII, the organiser of the expo, failed to learn any lesson from the weekend experience and the crowd proceeded to vandalise the stalls of international automobile giants like Mercedes-Benz.
Going against the Delhi Police’s advice, the organisers allowed entry to business visitors and general public on the same day. Entry for business visitors was till 1pm and after that, the show was thrown open to public.
“There was complete mayhem. People tried to crash the entry points and enter the show. Despite our written suggestion, the organisers allowed visitors with passes and general public on the same day,” a senior police officer said. Also, the numbers went beyond the 80,000 cap set by the Delhi Police.
There was a stampede-like situation at the entry gates as soon as the fair was thrown open to general public at 1pm. For both the visitors and the exhibitors, the day ended on a sour note — the visitors did not get to see any of the flashy cars while the exhibitors exhausted themselves in trying to control the crowd from entering car enclosures.
“There could have been a stampede at the display halls. All arrangements collapsed once the huge crowd entered the venue and vandalised a few stalls. Most people came with free passes which created more trouble. Poor management on ground can lead to any untoward incident. The entry cap needs to be brought down,” the officer added.
The auto show has drawn the wrath of several international automobiles companies. “It is frustrating. The show looked more like a village fair. Complete anarchy prevailed on the ground. It seemed the crowd could get violent any moment. We’ll be putting more bouncers on duty tomorrow,” said a foreign automobile exhibitor.
Entry points to all car enclosures were closed several times during the day and the police had to deploy extra force to handle the situation at entry points. The Delhi Police have deployed around 800 of its men to manage the security at the show.