A 45-year-old man died while trying to catch a glimpse of actor Dulquer Salmaan, who was inaugurating a mall in Kerala on Saturday. Videos which did the rounds on social media show thousands of fans gathered on both sides of the road as Dulquer arrives at the venue in his car. In another video, Dulquer in a black shirt, can be seen addressing a sea of crowd in Malayalam. The crowd jumps and chants his name as he greets them.
The deceased has been identified as Hari, from Pravachambalam in Thiruvananthapuram. Hari had come to see the actor inaugurating a mall at a private event in Kottarakkara, Kollam, 65 kms away.
Hari, a heart patient, fainted and was rushed to the government taluk hospital in a police van. He, however, passed away on the way to the hospital.
“The deceased was a heart patient and was standing away from the crowd. He happened to faint and collapse during the event and was rushed to the hospital,” the police officer said.
While several media reports reported that a stampede had lead to the man’s death, police have vehemently denied it.
Kottarakara police have registered a case against the organisers of the event for bad planning and mismanagement.
The police officer said, “We have registered a case under IPC section 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or navigation) against the owner of the i mall web centre, which is the mall in question. This is because the whole of MC Road was blocked for close to two hours because of the event and the crowds.
Former DGP Jacob Punnoose took to social media to speak about sensitising the crowd on the dangers to self and other by gathering in such large numbers. Putting up a TV screen shot of the crowds, he said "Once such a crowd forms, it becomes difficult for the police to act, because any effort to remove by force will add to the danger. Such accumulations must be well regulated through physical barricading and advance planning by organisers in consultation with the police. Even the idols and heroes can get seriously hurt in the melee, if there is a stampede!!."
The event was Dulquer Salmaan's first public appearance in the state following his Bollywood debut film Karwaan. The young actor has a massive fan following and several fans had come to catch a glimpse of him in Kollam on Saturday.