Fans retired hurt 3 days before match

Fans retired hurt 3 days before match

Cops cane hundreds of ticket-seekers who queued outside KSCA

Fans retired hurt 3 days before match

The situation turned violent near Gate Nos 5, 7, 17, 18, and 19 when fans, who had waited the night out on pavements of Cubbon Park and other places after police prevented them from forming queues, began jostling to reach the counters. It was pure fracas at Gate Nos 5 and 7 where tickets for Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,500 were being sold.

To bring order, police conducted baton charge. This worsened the situation as several ticket-aspirants were injured when they ran helter skelter to avoid being beaten up.
Three were injured grievously and were rushed to the Bowring Hospital. Police, however, claimed that one spectator had fainted. Others fell down when they started running away, police said contending that they did not lathi charge the spectators. They maintained that canes were used only to warn the spectators and bring the situation under control.

Chaos, at first, began near Gate No 7 when the KSCA officials declared that 1,500-rupee tickets were sold out. Enraged spectators raised slogans against the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), accusing it of ‘planning to sell tickets in black market’. Some of them started pushing themselves against the counters. Within no time, hundreds poured in.

Serpentine queue

Over 2,000 people had assembled near the stadium, hundreds of them since Tuesday late night. By 7 am, a serpentine queue was formed. Just before the KSCA began issuing tickets around 8.30 am, the queue spilled over to M G Road near Anil Kumble Circle.

As fans tried to push their way towards the counters, policemen began to cane them. When things were about to go out of hand near Gate No 7, authorities displayed a board which read ‘Tickets sold out’ at Gate No 5. But irate fans refused to leave.

“We requested them to calm down and maintain discipline. We decided to use canes to control them when the situation was about to go wrong,” Cubbon Park police said.

Every person was determined to buy tickets come what may. “Many of them had made up their minds to push others and reach the ticket counter. As very few tickets were available for us, the situation really turned grave,” Somu, who along with friends Vishwanath, Maruti and Praveen, had come all the way from Haveri to buy tickets, told Deccan Herald. Their efforts, however, failed.

Narrating what happened thereafter, Praveen said: “Police began thrashing the people. Many of them sustained injuries on their legs and struggled to run away. A few others, anticipating the danger, began fleeing. In the melee, some fell down and sustained injuries.”

Many alleged that less than 500 tickets were sold, although more than 7,000 tickets were available. According to them, the situation wouldn’t have turned violent had all tickets been sold. A few of them even blamed KSCA President Anil Kumble and Secretary Javagal Srinath for the mess.

Slippers, cloths, shawls, etc were scattered all over near the KSCA Club. Normalcy returned only around 11 am.

However, no complaint was lodged, police clarified. One platoon of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) was deployed near Gate Nos 17 to 19 as a precautionary measure.

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