Over 25,000 people converged at Palace Grounds on Sunday, only to end up losing their belongings to thieves
For 25,000 fans who witnessed Metallica's maiden India concert at the Palace Grounds, excitement levels were high.
Most swore that it would be the best show the city has ever witnessed, but nothing could prepare them for the rude shock awaiting them on the way out.
The fans gave their bags to security personnel for safekeeping, but were left groping in the dark when they went back to collect the same
As an added security measure, fans were frisked by bouncers at the entry points to the venue and not permitted to carry their bags inside.
Surrendering to the sheer excitement, the fans willingly gave their bags and cameras to the security personnel, but neglected to observe where the same was being stored for safekeeping.
"The organisers assured us that we could collect our bags at the exact same point after the show. However, when the concert ended we found our bags strewn around, minus most or all of its contents.
I lost my air ticket to Delhi, which I paid a huge sum for because of the short notice. When I questioned the organisers, they seemed to be clueless," said Nagen Singh, a fan from Delhi.
Even expat fans in the city solely for the show, had a much to complain about. "Not only did I lose my passport, but also a good sum of money. I approached some cops stationed nearby to inform them about my lost bag, but was driven away," said Gelita James, an expat fan.
Another fan from Mumbai also faced the same predicament and recalls her ordeal. "Bags were not allowed inside, but the organisers didn't give us a proper room where we could leave our stuff. All the bags were strewn around and I lost a camera worth Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 in cash," said Manasi Kale.
Turned away According to Metallica fan Sibharsish Dutta, the looters were seen snooping around near the bags.
Dutta said, "While the concert was going on, some of my fellow fans saw two persons, who were earlier fixing the stage, pilfering contents from the bags while it was raining.
Some people even complained to the police about them, but instead the cops started hitting people in the crowd."
When the jurisdictional police were questioned about this development, they claimed that they were present during the chaos and tried to help the fans.
"We heard about the missing belongings from members of the public after the concert ended. We have not received any official complaint so far about the missing items," said Hanumantharaya, police inspector, High Ground Police Station.
However, the ACP, when questioned about the lathi charge, argued that the crowd had to be managed and so the action was justified. "The crowd was huge. There were over 20,000 people and so we had to resort to lathi charge to fix minor problems," said T Sunil Kumar, ACP (Law and Order).