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Hooliganism,thefts mar Surajkund Mela

Police begin electronic vigil to nab miscreants.

Haryana’s much-touted and internationally acclaimed Surajkund Crafts Mela is being eclipsed by incidents of theft and hooliganism. On Monday,two youths,allegedly in an inebriated state,climbed onto the stage,snatched mics from the artistes and shouted vulgarities at the audience.They went on to sing vulgar songs and make suggestive gestures at the audience before the police came and nabbed them.

Confirming the incident,Anil Kumar,Joint Commissioner,Faridabad,said: “We have taken a serious note of the incident. Though we have in place a system to scan all visitors,an event on this scale requires a huge effort to keep the crowds under control. We have deputed more personnel to the Mela to check any untoward incident.”

The two youths,identified as Ravi Sharma and Amod Thakur,have been booked under Section 294 (obscene acts) and Section 510 (misconduct in public in a drunken state) of the Indian Penal Code.

Dhanpat Singh,Financial Commissioner,Tourism,said the department won’t spare anyone who tried to create a ruckus at the Mela. “One of our employees allegedly tried to misbehave with a troupe of dancers in a drunken state. We suspended him and filed a police complaint against him. All steps will be taken to ensure the safety of participants and visitors to the Mela,” he said.

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Cases of theft have also been reported from the Mela. At least two thefts were lodged with the police while many smaller thefts went unreported,said police.

Farooq Ahmad who came from Kashmir to put up a stall at the Mela filed a police complaint that shawls were stolen from his stall. Hareth Mudian Dayawathi from Sri Lanka lodged another complaint saying a cash bag was stolen from his shop.

Following the incidents,police have set up CCTV cameras at the Mela venue. Metal detectors and hand-held scanners are being used to scan visitors. “People also object if we put them under a very strict vigil. Hence,we have to be careful not to annoy anyone and at the same time ensure law and order at the venue,” said a police officer.

First published on: 08-02-2012 at 02:25:38 am
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