Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 22:
India’s RAW star winner Rituraj Mohanty did his first ever show in Odisha in front of thousands of ecstatic fans at the Toshali Crafts Mela organized here on Sunday evening.
The Odia singer, who shot to fame after winning the coveted reality TV show -‘India’s Raw Star’ – performed Sufiana songs such as Teri Galiyan, Banjara, Muskurane ki wazah, Dil Harare, Moula mere moula, Kurbaan Hua, Chahun mein ya na, Preet ki Lagan and hit Odia tracks such as Jagannatha Swamy Nayanapatha Gami, To Katha Bhabuchhi, Batare chalu chalu and Rangabati’ to loud cheers by the frenzied crowd.
The show, also attended by his parents, witnessed an audience of more than 30000 fans trying to get as close as possible to their favourite star. Many who were not able to make it to the venue, were seen gathering in front of the large LCDscreens to watch the performance.
Such was the craze for Rituraj that many were seen dancing on their seats and standing on chairs – breaking some in the process – and pushing the barricade to shake hands with him. As if that was not enough, some of the fans stranded outside even went on the break the grill to get inside the venue giving a hard time to the six platoons of cops deployed.
Extra police force, bouncers and private security guards were deployed to manage the crowd with IICs of Infocity and Chandrashkekharpur police stations along with zonal ACP Fagua Singh taking charge of crowd control. However, Commissionerate Police had a tough time managing the female fans due to lack of female cops at the event.
Also, all was not well at the performance. At times the speakers gave in while the show was in progress and the organizers had to stop the show for few minutes to control the unruly crowd. The seating arrangements had gone haywire with reserved seats taken by early entrants and journalists were seen sitting on the ground to cover the event.
The organizers and Commissionerate Police had clearly underestimated the volume of audience and were ill-prepared to control it. The traffic from Jayadev Vihar square of the city to the venue Janata maidan was a clear mess and worse was the parking arrangements at the venue. The distance of couple of kilometres used to take 45 minutes to cover adding to the woes of commuters and emergency service providers such as ambulance.