It was supposed to a flash mob like the one at CST on November 27 but the crowd at Churchgate went berserk after Tamil actor and singer Dhanush’s four-minute performance of the latest craze Kolaveri Di.
On Friday, the promotional campaign was scheduled between 4pm and 4.30pm by youth icon Dhanush and the station had been taken over by private security guards since afternoon.
Wednesday being a working day, the station was crowded as usual when Dhanush arrived. There was mass hysteria as Dhanush starting singing and more than 100 youngsters joined him in the dance.
But instead of dispersing after Dhanush left, youngsters continued to dance in groups. This added to the chaos on the platform teeming with people and the police swing into action to drive away the dancers.
“We had a tough time driving out these people out of the premise. Churchgate has a narrow passage as compared to that of CST. Railway officials are taking the security issue lightly. There were people standing and recording the event from the Railway Protection Force office too,” said a top GRP official.
The police said the railways should not be giving permissions for such events at stations. On November 26, 200 dancers took CST commuters by surprise, when they broke into a dance to a song from Rang de Basanti.
Assistant commissioner of police Dattatrey Sidam said that they had objected to the event. “There is a serious security threat of terror attack in Mumbai and such events should be organised on open grounds not stations. Who will be responsible for any untoward incident when such large mobs are brought in the station?” he asked.
Western Railway spokesperson S Chandrayan said the event was organised as a part of promotional and awareness campaign and the railway police had been informed about it. “Dhanush will also be creating awareness about cleanliness and trespassing,” he said.
The former member of the National Railway Users Consultative Committee, Subhash Gupta, did not approve of flash mobs inconveniencing commuters. “What has awareness campaigns got to do with blocking movement of passengers during evening time at a busy station like Churchgate? How can a responsible general manager give permission for such events? I have recorded the entire chaos at the station. I will send it to the railway board,’’ he said.