At least five people were injured in a stampede outside Eden Gardens at the felicitation of IPL-7 winners KKR as the police tried to tame a large crowd.
The stampede occurred when at 4 pm, Shah Rukh Khan arrived at the stadium, about three hours late. Urban development minister, Firhad Hakim, who entered the stadium with the star, came out and asked the police to allow the crowd to enter. Immediately the crowd surged forward, overturning barricades and rushing to enter through gate number 4. In the rush, many tumbled and others ran over them in a blind frenzy.
“Don’t focus on the stampede that might have involved only 10 people. Instead, emphasise the ecstasy of the 65,000 to one lakh people who have gathered here,” remarked Hakim who soon became the butt of criticism.
“There was nothing that the police could do. The crowd turned into a tsunami and the police had to keep them under control to avert bigger mishaps,” said sports minister Madan Mitra outside the stadium.
“Police did an admirable in controlling the crowd and facilitating a nice programme,” Arup Biswas, housing and youth affairs minister, claimed.
However, many people also alleged that they were denied entry to the event despite having a valid pass.
Realising how the administration failed to anticipate the size of the crowd, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, “From the next time we will try to organize such functions at the Brigade Parade Grounds.”