Mob scares off SRK!

By Hindustan Times

NEW DELHI, Dec. 15 -- Actor Shah Rukh Khan's first-ever visit to Patna was called off at the last minute amid security concerns. On Tuesday, the actor was to visit a mall in the city to promote Don 2, but the crowd got so unmanageable that the visit was cancelled.

"When people got to know that SRK was coming to our mall, there was utter chaos," said a spokesperson from Cinepolis Multiplex, the venue. Once the crowd learnt that SRK wouldn't be coming, they got so violent that the police had to resort to water canons and lathicharge.

Organisers, Spice Bhasha, said that the police prevented Khan from visiting due to security concerns. However, the cops blame his no-show on bad weather. Stuck in Mumbai, Khan tweeted an apology to the fans who had been waiting. "Bags packed...plane ready...my Bihari accent was also being worked upon. Feel awful couldn't make it. Was super excited with my first ever visit to Patna but distt authorities said sum security issue. Will come sum other time. Damn!!! (sic)" he wrote.

This is not the first time a star event in a mall has gotten ugly. Earlier this year, Salman Khan's visit to a Jaipur mall caused a stampede, while actor Ranbir Kapoor was mobbed in a Lucknow mall. Organisers say that the key to such an event is being realistic about security requirements.

"If a big star comes to us for a promotional activity, we do an assessment of the crowd on the basis of who the star is. If a star is very big, we involve the Delhi Police, and put in place a two-phase security with bomb and dog squad," said Arindam Kunar of DLF Place, Saket. In fact, some malls avoid promotional events altogether as they feel security can never be enough. "We did host a few big events in the past, but such things get crazy and unmanageable, including parking! Also, our usual shoppers get disturbed," say a spokesperson from Select CityWalk, Saket.

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