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The Great Khali’s visit ends India International Trade Fair in Delhi on a note of chaos

Indian-born American wrestler The Great Khali visited the trade fair on its last day, and security personnel on duty indulged themselves in clicking selfies with him than managing the crowd.

delhi Updated: Nov 29, 2017 17:24 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
IITF,India International Trade Fair,The great Khali
Popular wrestler The Great Khali visited the trade fair on its last day, which led to chaos among visitors who were startled at the security personnels clicking selfies with the celebrity.(AMAL KS/ HT PHOTO)

Whose responsibility is it anyway? The question was asked by many after The Great Khali visited the India International Trade Fair, on its concluding day. Invited for a promotional activity at the fair, the professional wrestler made it to Hall 18 of Pragati Maidan where international participants had displayed their products. And, to see him live, a huge crowd turned up, gathered around the wrestler, followed him to the stall, and never left him alone for the approximate 30 minute duration that he was present for. “I am a huge fan of Khali, and luckily I managed to click a selfie with him! I had to jump over the tables at the stall to click it, but anything for him,” says Mohit Khurana, a college student.

How did Khurana get to know about Khali’s visit? “He is huge. We don’t need any announcement; he can be seen from a distance.”

There were many like Khurana who did everything possible to get clicked with the wrestler, and this lead to quite visitors at the fair getting hurt. Kanishka Khanna (name changed), another visitor, says, “It was maddening. Everyone was rushing to see him. I could not stand firm, kabhi right se dhakka lag raha tha, kabhi left se (I was being pushed from all sides). I even shouted at some people because they didn’t care about others when jostling for space. And it was so annoying to see the police officials and other security personnels busy clicking pictures with Khali. I mean wow, who will ensure the safety then?”

Another visitor, Mahima Aggarwal, an IT professional, was puzzled that when a popular personality is invited to the fair, whose responsibility is it to ensure there’s proper crowd management. “Is it the police, the trade fair authority or the organiser of the event who is inviting the star? I wish I could see the guidelines on the same because I was pushed down thrice, even when I was not present there to see the man, but to enjoy the fair on the last day. This has been my worst experience at IITF, ever.”

The officials of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) — authority that organises IITF — say that if anyone faces such lapses in security, they can directly reach to the Delhi Police and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel available on the spot. “If anyone is inviting any celeb, they have to give prior information to the police and CISF and in case of any problem; they can reach to them directly,” says Sanjay Vashistha, deputy manager, ITPO.

Kumar Gyanesh, DCP, DSF, Delhi Police, says, “The newly recruited batch of police personnel often get excited on seeing celebs. I agree that the officers on duty shouldn’t have clicked pics with Khali. Also, the organisers informed us just the night before his vsisit; had they told us earlier, we would have managed the situation better.” 

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First Published: Nov 29, 2017 11:57 IST