Brawl outside Auto Expo as visitors with online booking shut out
Noida: Many who had booked online tickets for the ongoing Auto Expo 2020 in Greater Noida were denied entry at the gate on Saturday simply because they were not carrying hard copy of the tickets. There was commotion outside the venue for a couple of hours as the annoyed visitors were not ready to take it lying low.
The security officials present at the spot resorted to cane charge to control the unruly crowd.
The Auto Expo, which began on Wednesday at the Knowledge Park, saw a huge footfall at the venue on Saturday. Since many people had booked their tickets online, the queues outside the entry gates were unusually long.
Organisers refused entry to those without a hard copy of their online tickets which agitated the crowd. The QR or barcode scanning machine at the venue also developed a snag for some time following which many people wanted a direct entry without the physical passes, officials said.
As the crowd started creating ruckus, the gates were closed by security officials. However, many people started pushing the doors in a bid to forcibly open them. Following this, the security personnel present there, including those from the Central Industrial Security Force, resorted to lathi-charge to control the situation.
Witnesses said that a man was also manhandled and repeatedly slapped by security officials.
Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) senior director Debasish said when tickets are booked online, customers get a QR code which needs to be presented at the ticket counter. The barcode is then scanned after which people get a physical ticket and are allowed to enter.
“There were long queues at the QR code counter, some people wanted an entry based on the online booking. Many also assumed that the online bookings were default entry passes. Due to this, there was a dispute and the gates were closed for some time,” said a visitor.
He further said that queues for online tickets were longer than those for on-the spot passes. “Convenience charges are also taken when we booked our tickets online. And then they asked us to stand in long queues.”
Greater Noida Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajesh Kumar Singh told the press, “Visitors who had booked tickets online had to face some problems. However, the situation was brought under control after a while and people were allowed in.”