Five Major Concerns Police Has With Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Event 

All’s not well for the Art of Living event.

Published
India
3 min read
 A securityman guards near the stage of the three-day World Peace Festival organised by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI) 

Lack of “structural stability” is one of the five major “shortcomings” detected by the Delhi Police in the infrastructure being readied for the three-day World Culture Festival being organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living Foundation on the Yamuna flood plains in the national capital.

The police report, submitted to the home and urban development ministries, has raised serious concerns about the law and order situation during the event, as a result of these defects.

The report reveals that the basic requirement of the festival – structural stability – is yet to get approval from the concerned authority.

1. Delhi Police had inspected the venue with other government agencies involved in the organisation of the event. The AOL Foundation had said in its promotional literature that it was expecting 35 lakh people at the venue. On Wednesday, however, it told the green tribunal that the number of people at the festival would be around three lakh only. The venue is spread over 1,000 acres.

2. The structural stability of the stage is a significant issue as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, besides other VIPs, is expected to attend the event.

The Delhi Police raised the security concern as it has to maintain law and order in the city along with the responsibility of Prime Minister’s security.
Delhi Police officer, on condition of anonymity
Workers make arrangements for the three-day World Peace Festival organised by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI) 
Workers make arrangements for the three-day World Peace Festival organised by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI) 

3. The passages leading to the event are also an area of concern  as the number of temporary pontoon bridges constructed on the Yamuna were only half the number promised by the event organisers.

Police said the event managers had promised to prepare seven such bridges but only two had been set up so far, two days ahead of the event.

Roughly 15,000 people are expected to cross these bridges in an hour, and the police is worried this could develop into a stampede-like situation.

Further, there is no protection – like handrails – on the sides of the pontoon bridges, which could prove to be life-threatening as people may fall into the river while crossing, the police report said.

Workers make arrangements for the three-day World Peace Festival organised by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI)
Workers make arrangements for the three-day World Peace Festival organised by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI)

4. The report also mentions the threat perception at the mass gathering, in the wake of an Intelligence Bureau alert that 10 suspected terrorists had infiltrated through the Gujarat border with Pakistan.

5. Lack of enough parking space is also a major lacuna in planning, the police report mentions.

Organisers have claimed that around 10,000-12,000 cars, carrying VVIPs, would reach the venue. But the land for suitable parking is yet to be prepared.
Police Report

In response to the report, the home ministry has ordered the police to handle the event “carefully with adequate measures”.

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