Quintessence, the annual cultural fest of Lady Irwin College witnessed a lot of mismanagement with forged VIP passes and a stampede.
Lady Irwin College hosted their annual cultural fest, Quintessence on 9th and 10th February 2019. Ayushmann Khurrana, the star performer of the cultural festival moved the crowd to his words and flairs on 10th February 2019. The over-excitement of the crowd resulted in a stampede taking place outside the venue gates, with too many people gathering outside and trying to force their way through. Though the organisers ultimately managed to curb the situation by allowing everyone standing outside to come in, even those without the passes.
Nikita Tiwari, the President of Student’s Council of Lady Irwin College said, “There was immense police pressure since the college is near Connaught Place. The crowd gathered outside ended up blocking the roads. The situation became such that the gates were about to be broken. Some students jumped over the walls and entered the grounds. There were kids, our sponsors, and faculty members in the crowd. Taking all these things into consideration, including a call from the DCP, we decided to open the gates and let people in.”
She reinstated that this took place outside the college and the event proceeded without any hassle. However, the students who were hurt during the stampede have a different tale altogether., Pranjal Bhandari, a victim of the stampede from Jesus and Mary College informed DU Beat about the same. She said, “The officials opened the college gates and let people without the passes enter the college, resulting in the stampede at the entry gates. Some people got hurt really bad. I was badly hurt, and my feet were bleeding. Despite asking for medical assistance from the core team, I didn’t get any. I was crushed by people with feet full of blood, and footwear broken, I was literally crying for help. All that the authorities said ‘yaha se aage chalo, clear the area’. When I reached out to the union members, they excused themselves by stating bheed main lagti hi hai humain bhi lagi hai.”
Another issue that she brought to light was the issue of fake passes. Bhandari said, “Two of my friends had VIP passes. They were still denied entry near the stage. Not only this, they were not even informed by the volunteers regarding a special area for the pass holders. All we got was rude and immature responses. It was a whole deal of mismanagement and we became a victim of it.”
The union accepts that there was mismanagement in the crowd handling department. They did not foresee the issue of crowd mismanagement and the printing of fake VIP passes. The union also agreed that they provided passes to Ayushmann’s manager for his fanclub and close friends. They claim that they called these people up and tried to get them to the special designated area. According to Tiwari, the passes were only sent to the core team, faculty members and sponsors.They themselves helped these people get in, yet the chaos of people led to some being caught up and become a victim of it.
The union says that everyone with the passes was treated fairly. However, Yuvraj and June, who claim that they got passes from Ayushmann’s manager said,“We had the VIP passes, but were not allowed to stand near the stage. We were not even informed about the special seating for the pass holders and had to stand all the way back. Later, we saw many people standing right in front the stage who didn’t have the VIP passes. One of them informed us the same .Seeing this, I decided to contact the President of the Student’s Union, but I was informed that she had left the college (just after the concert ended). I called her on Monday morning, she hung up on me. I called her again, but she kept on rejecting my calls.”
However, the union stands by the claim that they tried to help as many as they could with both passes and medical help, but those who were in the middle of the crowd could not be helped. Hence, some people might have been left. The president also said, “Students of other colleges have something bad to say, only because they are jealous of us doing so well. They can’t stand someone’s success.”
Quintessence is just another example that the University of Delhi is still a long way off from organising a fest without any issues. There are always helpless victims that get caught up in the mess that is caused, the student unions claim they did all they could, and others believe that they didn’t do enough. It ends up in a blame game where some just go with wounds and bad memories.
Feature Image Credits: International Conference on Learning