MG Road and Brigade Road saw heavy police deployment on Sunday night, as the people of Bengaluru decided to ring in the new year with some revelry. Considering this time last year, there were allegations of ‘mass molestation’ in the popular New Year hotspot in the city, the police this time around decided to take no chances.
In fact, MG Road and Brigade Road looked like fortresses in the middle of the city. The roads were heavily barricaded with separate ‘rows’ for men and women from the Cauvery Emporium junction to the Residency Road junction.
Revellers celebrating 2018 were kept on their toes and not allowed to gather in groups in and around MG Road.
15,000 police personnel were deployed across the city with a bulk of them concentrated around MG Road, the scene of last year’s alleged molestation.
Police precautions included prohibiting vehicles entering Anil Kumble Circle to Mayo Hall junction to manage the crowd.
While the presence of so many police personnel was alarming for many, some people welcomed the extra precautions.
"We were definitely pleased to see that security arrangements were taken seriously, but it is also daunting to see policemen everywhere. We are not used to seeing this in Bengaluru but after last year's events, I think safety of people was a priority," said Ramita, a resident of the city who celebrated New Year's Eve at a bar on MG Road.
But despite the security measures, many people decided to stay indoors and escape the crowd. "I decided to stay in and have a house party because I didn't want to risk being outside after last year's events. It is simpler to celebrate new year's at home," said Divya, a resident of Koramangala.
New Year’s Eve last year saw Bengaluru cast into national limelight, after multiple allegations of molestation on MG Road and Brigade Road. In fact, within the first seven days of 2017, seven cases of molestation were reported in the city.