Kolkata Police commissioner Vineet Goyal said on Friday that there was no situation where attendees were short of space at Nazrul Manch during singer KK’s performance on Wednesday.
Goyal said that the police are, however, introducing some measures to prevent overcrowding and to provide emergency medical aid if there is need for it.
”Overcrowding might e there to some extent, but there was no situation where people were short of space or sweating or having issues with (other) people,” he said. He said KK arrived at Nazrul Manch, the venue of his last soiree, at 6.22 pm and went on stage at 7.05 pm.
”At no point of time was he mobbed, we had sufficient police presence at the place,” he said.
Goyal said that a police arrangement under an assistant commissioner was in place well before the singer’s arrival.
He said that though controversy has arisen on how many people were there at the venue, the police have ”clear video where you can see people are standing comfortably and dancing.” Goyal categorically said that there was no stampede-like situation at any point of time and that when viewed from different angles of video shoots of the programme, there was ample space for the crowd to comfortably watch the performance.
He said that at no point of time the organisers, artistes, musicians on stage or the crowd told the police that there was anything amiss.
He said that the exact number of people present could not be ascertained as at various points of time the numbers would have been different.
He said that there are around 2,500 seats at Nazrul Manch and most of the crowd were standing in front of their own seats.
”We request that henceforth a medical ambulance be kept with a doctor and hospital should be identified where people can be taken to in case of emergency,” he said.
Goyal said that it should be ensured that tickets should not be distributed more than the seating capacity of a venue.
”We are putting a mechanism in place to ensure this process,” he said, adding that organisers would be requested to put up screens outside the base where excess crowd can view the programme.
Goyal said that an incident of use of a fire extinguisher happened outside the hall and about 150 metres.
It has been alleged that a fire extinguisher was used to disperse surging crowds trying to force their entry into the hall to attend KK’s performance.
”There was a small argument between some people who were trying to get to the stage and that is when I think someone used this fire extinguisher,” he said.
Goyal said that the police intervened and nothing serious took place. ”They separated the people and the situation was brought under control almost immediately,” he said.
The police commissioner said that the air-conditioning of the hall was functioning as per information from the authorities running the hall, negating allegations from certain sections that it was not working properly.