Brahmastra event cancellation: Hyderabad Police say permission sought at last minute, organisers reply 'not true'
Brahmastra team was all set for a large-scale event in Hyderabad on Friday but it was cancelled at the last minute.
Hours after Hyderabad Police said the permission for the grand Brahmastra pre-release event in the city was denied as application was sent late, the event's organisers have denied this. The mega event was to be held at Ramoji Film City on Saturday evening with the film's cast--Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Mouni Roy, producer Karan Johar, as well as special guests SS Rajamouli and Jr NTR. However, it was cancelled hours before it was to begin. (Also read: Brahmastra event with Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Jr NTR cancelled with just hours to go, upset fans demand apology)
Brahmastra, directed by Ayan Mukerji, is set to release on September 9. A week before the release, the mega event was to see the cast and the guests on stage in front of thousands of fans. As per the organisers, large-scale pyrotechnics and fireworks had also been planned.
As the news of the event's abrupt cancellation spread, a letter, purportedly from Hyderabad Police, claimed the permission for the event was denied due to security reasons and that the application had been made at the last minute. Sources from the department confirm that the letter is genuine and the permission was indeed denied as the department could not spare the required amount of personnel needed for such a large event. The police also claimed there were no proper arrangements for the event considering the crowd expected. As per some reports, 30,000 fans had turned up while only 10,000-12,000 had been expected.
However, in response, Shreyas Media Group, the event's organisers, have defended their arrangements and that they made the request for permission well in time. In a statement, the company said, "On 25th of this month, on behalf of Adhyashree Infotainment (Shreyas Media) organization, we applied in the events department of Rachakonda CP office seeking police permission for the Brahmastra pre-release event. The acknowledgment copy was handed back on 26th. It is not true that the application was made at the last minute. We applied as per the rules eight days ago."
The statement also added that the area's police representative had visited the site of the event--Ramoji Film City--on Thursday and inspected the venue, giving suggestions, which were implemented. "The local Circle Officer came to the event area two days ago to supervise the arrangements and advised some precautions. Based on past experiences, this time we arranged to deploy CCTV cameras along with barricades and a large number of bouncers to ensure that all the precautions mentioned by the CO are followed so that no mistakes are made," it read.
The Hyderabad Police said that apart from the arrangements and timeline of the permission, another reason for the denial was that they could not spare enough personnel for such a large-scale event given the law and order situations due to Ganesh Visarjan. Shreyas Media says that they had made arrangements for 800 cops at the event
In its statement, the company claimed that the permission was denied 'despite everything going well' and that they were 'deeply disappointed'. "They rejected the file despite of the fact that everything was going well... When the matter was brought to the attention of the higher authorities, they said that they would also deny the event permission for security reasons. We have been deeply disappointed by the rejection of the permission, which said that we will give a declaration that we are ready to cooperate with the police in all ways," the statement read.
The organisers said they have incurred massive losses monetarily due to the last minute cancellation. Reports have claimed that the company incurred losses of around ₹2.25 crore due to the last minute cancellation of the event.
In the end, a small-scale press meet with the stars and the guests was held at a hotel in the city later on Saturday, which was attended only by the media with no fans present. However, the press meet was streamed live on YouTube. Sources also say that an extra ₹10 lakh was spent in organising the press meet at the hotel later in the day to make up for the cancelled event.
At the press meet, SS Rajamouli and Jr NTR apologised to the fans about the cancellation and said they were disappointed the event could not take place despite 'fantastic arrangements'.