Pertinent security concerns

Being a cosmopolitan city, Bangalore is always bustling with cultural and entertainment events. Be it international music concerts, art fairs or theatre festivals, there is always something happening every now and then.

But many prominent places lack security checks. Places like Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, a hub for fairs and exhibitions; Town Hall, which can accommodate nearly 1,000 people, and ADA Rangamandira, an auditorium with a capacity for 522 people, don’t have metal detectors. Even the frisking of visitors is not undertaken here.

When asked if there is a need for security checks in these places, Shinde, an employee with ADA Rangamandira, says, “The auditorium is privately run by a trust and mostly, cultural programmes take place here. We assume that only decent people perform here and are accompanied by family, relatives and friends. So far, we haven’t felt the need to install a metal detector as untoward incidents have not been reported. Though security guards are present at the venue, we do not frisk the visitors or check their bags.”

Prevention is always better than cure, feels Dr Suma Sudhindra, a member of Chowdaiah Memorial Hall. She reveals that a notification was sent by the police to all the places, where a large number of people gather, to have metal detectors. “When the lives of so many people are in question, we should not wait for the government to enforce a rule for our own safety. We don’t have to wait for something to happen in order to tighten security. The responsibility of keeping a public venue safe lies on everyone’s shoulders, including the organisers of the show.” 

Though Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, which can accommodate 1,000 people, has a metal detector at its entrance, the visitors’ entrance is not monitored. Many walk into the hall directly and vehicles entering the premises too are not checked.

On the other hand, the Bangalore City Police has issued an advisory to install metal detectors at places with high footfalls. Police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar explains, “Venues like malls and auditoriums are places with high footfalls. Maintaining a tight security in these places is advisable and in this regard, we have sent out guidelines to all these managements. Security has become a complex issue in our City. We cannot keep a check on every new mall or auditorium. The owners of these places should understand the requirements and try their best to fulfill them.”  
However, it seems like this advisory is yet to make an impact as many places have not installed metal detectors. It is youngsters who are attracted to exhibitions and concerts most often.

Do they really care about the safety measures? Krithika, a student, says, “We usually don’t think about the consequences of lack of security until and unless someone points them out to us. When we are out with a group of friends for a show or concert, we only think about having fun. Even if someone questions us about the safety, we only give a moment’s thought and carry on having fun. Apart from tightening security at these places, there is also a need for creating an awareness about safety.”

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