Chaos reigned supreme as about one lakh fans turned up at the Eden Gardens to celebrate Kolkata Knight Riders's title triumph in IPL 7 even as Bollywood actor and franchise owner Shahrukh Khan failed to reach the venue on time because of a technical snag in flight.
"Sorry Kolkata technical snag on flight. Will be a bit late but will be there. Apologies," SRK said on his Twitter handle. Kolkata bound. Delay in flight but will make it ...Insha Allah nothing can stop us now," SRK tweeted.
While about 60,000 people managed to enter the stadium thousands jostled in the surrounding Maidan area to gain entry which was 'free' but only with 'complimentary passes' from police stations in the metropolis and through CAB affiliated clubs in the state.
The stadium authorities opened the gates at 11:00 am to enable supporters to enter well ahead of the start of the programme scheduled at 1:00 pm, which was delayed. People started queueing up at Eden Gardens from as early as 9:00 am as all roads led there. At times, police had to wield lathis to disperse the crowd with the help of the Mounted Police.
The delirious scenes with people, including women and children jostling, resembled KKR's victory celebration on May 29 two years ago. Indipop singer Usha Uthup belted out popular Bollywood chartbusters to keep the spectators engaged till the arrival of KKR.
Taking a cue from PM Narendra Modi's hugely successful 'Ab Ki Baar...' campaign, she sang a new theme song -- 'Ab ki baar KKR, Baar baar KKR, Baar baar chhukka maar' -- to the delight of spectators. There were also a host of Bengali film and TV industry celebrities in attendance.
Madan Mitra, who was present with a host of state ministers, was seen sitting on the Eden outfield giving shutterbugs a photo opportunity. Needless to say there were traffic gridlocks and people commuting by public or private transport faced a harrowing time.