Violence erupts at ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’ premiere
Fists fly as fans get into a fight with the security detail for Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra
It was meant to be a star-studded red carpet event, which took a turn for the ugly as fisticuffs ensued and several were injured during the world premiere of “Teri Meri Kahaani”.
The 8pm scheduled world premiere of the Bollywood film saw crowds swell in anticipation outside Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates, to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars, Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor.
However, fans were in for a long and exhausting wait, as the celebrities only turned up at the event two hours and few minutes after the stated time.
Manjari Mehrotra, a mother of two who was there with her young kids since 7.30pm, said: “My children were desperate to come and see their favourite heroes, but it’s 9.30pm now and still no news of what’s going on. They are hungry, tired and nobody even cares to tell us what’s going on.”
During the wait 120-odd minute wait, no information over the arrival of Chopra and Kapoor was given to the edgy fans, with radio presenters placating the crowd with platitudes of ‘15 minutes more’ after every half hour.
Insiders, who were part of the Bollywood duo’s entourage, informed this reporter that the stars only left their hotel at 9.30pm to arrive at the venue, ‘so there is no chance from them to arrive any earlier’.
Chopra had already skipped the press conference earlier in the day, taking a later flight as her brother had been hospitalised in India, with assurances given by organisers that she will greet the crowds and speak with the media.
But this was not to be.
As soon as the celebrity duo arrived, Kapoor looking dapper in a suit and Chopra in a knee-length beige drape, chaos ensued.
Crowds pushed ahead attempting to reach for the stairs where the celebs were herded, with the security detail carelessly trampling anyone in the path; even a small child who was eagerly waiting for an autograph from ‘Priyanka aunty’ did not escape the fracas.
The actors were then escorted to the mezzanine level, interacting with the waiting audience for all of five minutes before being herded upstairs to make a token appearance into the two screens that were to play “Teri Meri Kahaani”.
Several eagerly waiting fans, which were handpicked from the crowd as exclusive winners to meet the stars, were carelessly pushed aside as everyone chased the stars and their entourage up the stairs.
When ticketholders reached the first screening in hope to interact with Chopra and Kapoor as promised, the doors were barricaded by security, and the first of many arguments erupted at the scene.
A young father, desperate to enter and reach his child who was alone inside, was denied entry by the security that kept pushing him to turn around and enter the other screening where the stars were to make an appearance.
Fans were carelessly manhandled, while others barked orders to physically remove anyone who dares enter the path of the VIPs.
“Oh my God, they are just actors. Why is everyone rough handling us like this?” wailed a frail looking woman who was standing by this reporter.
Finally, the doors of the first screen were flung open and the celebrities and their entourage poured out to make way to the next screen with security elbowing anyone that strayed nearby.
A few minutes later, shouts followed, with the scene unfolding as a bad climax from a C-grade film.
A fan was caught in a headlock with one security member, screaming and punching, while a handful of other bouncers jumped on the duo, trying to break them apart. Passersby were hit in the melee, including this reporter, with others braving the violence to rush to the aid of innocent women and children caught up in the ruckus.
Trapped in the drama was the film director, Kunal Kohli’s, mother who tripped a few times before finally being escorted out by a few members of the organisers of this premiere.
“I have had enough of this!” screamed one fan, before picking up his child and storming out of the event. “I have never felt so humiliated or disgusted by such bad behaviour.”
Indeed, after a four-hour wait and being herded like cattle for a two-minute interview with Kapoor earlier in the day, followed by a three-hour fiasco that concluded in fisticuffs at the premiere itself, many in the media too felt the same.