Cops shoo ticket aspirants away

While tickets for the high-profile match will be issued only from 8 am onwards on Thursday, fervent fans began arriving as early as at 6 pm on Wednesday to form queues at the counters on Gate Nos 7 and 17 and wait the night out. 

A shock, however, awaited them. The City Police shooed them away saying no queue could be formed until 6 am. While many cricket buffs wanted to wait in line for the ticket sale, many others had come enquiring about the ticket prices and when and where they will be issued.

At first, police personnel patiently answered their queries and asked them to come in the morning to buy tickets. A bunch of enthusiasts, however, arrived all at once and began lining up to hang around. But they were too shooed away. Fans, however, kept arriving, much to the chagrin of the men in uniform.

A constable attached to the Vidhana Soudha police was visibly annoyed. "Go away. Don't hang around. You cannot line up until 6 am," he kept telling people.

According to Seshadripuram Police Inspector Vijay Gopal, who was on duty at the stadium, overnight queues had been banned for safety reasons.

With the memory of serial bomb blasts during an IPL fixture in April, 2010 still afresh, police did not want to take any chances. Also, they wanted to avoid lathicharging 'unruly' fans as they did on a few previous occasions.

When a policeman asked a fan to go back, the latter pleaded: "Sir, please let us form queues so that there is no trouble in the morning. What will you do if people turn up in thousands tomorrow resulting in a stampede?"

Saurabh, a software engineer from whitefield, and his friends came near the stadium around 10.30 pm but were stopped from going anywhere near the ticket counters. “We will stay awake and buy the tickets come what may,” he told Deccan Herald. Though Chinmoy Debnath, a student from Tripura, came as early as 6 pm, his efforts to buy tickets did not succeed.

Policemen in Hoysala vans went around the stadium making announcement asking people not to assemble near the stadium. Around 11.30 pm, a man sneaked past the police barricade near the car parking area next to the stadium from the MG Road side and hid behind one of the cars. But the police beat him up and chased him away.

Inspection

A team from the Fire Force Department will inspect the Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday to review the fire safety measures. After inspecting the safety measures, the team will offer guidance and suggestions to the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), according to the Director General of Police, Fire Force, D V Guruprasad.

Fire Force teams with required equipment would be deployed at the stadium during the five World Cup matches to be played here, he said.

Actors appeal for calm

Actors Shivraj Rajkumar and Puneet Rajkumar have issued a statement appealing the public to maintain calm while queuing up for tickets.

“As cricket fans and lovers, it’s a matter of great honour and privilege for all of us that our beloved Bengaluru has got to host five matches in the World Cup. We can vouch for the fact that every effort has been made to provide very good facilities to Bangloreans to enjoy the matches at the M Chinnaswamy stadium, and it is our responsibility to support and encourage the smooth conduct of all the matches.” said the stars.

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