Mithibai College Stampede: Colleges alleges students had fake passes; parents slam fest organisers

Updated: Dec 22, 2018, 07:34 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Organisers say passes not legitimate, but parents claim wards had the right passes to festival at Mithibai College

Kunal Chavan, Nikhil Pawar and David Bhangera have been admitted to the Cooper Hospital with Hitesh Kamble after they were injured in the stampede-like situation. Bhangera is in a serious condition
Kunal Chavan, Nikhil Pawar and David Bhangera have been admitted to the Cooper Hospital with Hitesh Kamble after they were injured in the stampede-like situation. Bhangera is in a serious condition

While eight people were injured due to injuries sustained in the stampede-like situation during a concert at Mithibai College on Thursday, it is being alleged that some who had tried to barge into the venue had fake passes. While parents of the injured students insist that the passes were genuine, college authorities say they will have to be come up with ways to ensure fake passes are easily identifiable.

David Bhangera who is one of the students admitted to Cooper hospital after the stampede like situation, is just 16 years old and was not supposed to be anywhere near the event, which is exclusively for college students. David, who is a class X student from an Andheri school, is critical after suffering a rib-fracture and is undergoing treatment at the SICU in the Vile Parle hospital. Nikhil Pawar, Kunal Chavan and Hitesh Kamble are three others who are still undergoing treatment at the Cooper hospital, but are stable.

'Wards had passes'
All of them were admitted to Cooper Hospital after the unfortunate incident. Popular rapper Divine was performing at Mithibai College at the Colosseum festival organised by the Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) section. Families of the injured youngsters have alleged that their wards had passes. But it seems none of them were aware if their children had legitimate passes.

David is scheduled to appear for his SSC examination beginning from March 1. But now his family is worried if he will recover in time. "His friends who are collegians apparently had tickets to the event. But they were stopped at the gate and told that the passes were fake. Following the chaos, David bent down to pick up his sandal that had slipped off and then started to run, and that is when people stamped on him," said Premala Bhangera, David's mother.

'Not students' fault'
Shivani Pawar, mother of Nikhil, a class XI student of GPM College in Andheri said, "My son had the pass with him even when he was brought to hospital. He also had a wrist band of the same festival. Why were so many passes given out if there was not enough space? More so, why were students from other colleges invited to the event if the place was enough to only accommodate their own students?" Kunal Chavan's mother, Pooja said, "The organisers said the passes our kids had were not appropriate. How is it the students' fault? The organisers should have ensured that fake passes were not circulated."

'Will take precautions'
Dr Rajpal Hande, principal of the Mithibai College, when asked about the parents' allegation of fake passes, said, "We have to learn a lesson from this and take extra precautions when it comes to passes, such as having a hologram on them, so it will be very easy to differentiate between right and wrong passes.

"Such young children were not expected to be there as the festival is for degree college students. This specific performer who was born and brought up in J B Nagar has a huge fan-following in his locality. He had posted on his social media accounts that he would be performing at Mithibai College, which is why we saw the general public from that area come. The incident was certainly unfortunate, but we were caught unaware with so many people trying to get in, and there was a bit of chaos."

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