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What exactly went wrong at Karachi Eat 2023?

For someone who hasn’t missed Karachi Eat for the last five years, the 2023 run of the city’s biggest food festival concluding in shambles wasn’t much of a shock. On the last day of Karachi Eat’s 10th installment, the attendees shared harrowing accounts of harassment and groping.

Eyewitnesses at Beach View Park recalled one of the entrances being breached by stags as several miscreants entered the premises without tickets. Videos of the unruly crowd went viral right after, where many called out the organisers for a mismanaged event. “Gates crashed. Families were harassed,” Salman Muhammad, whose near and dear were present when the mishap happened, shared with The Express Tribune.

“Young Stunners refused to perform and everything was called off. The management just wrapped everything up. The security was equal to none.” He concluded, “It’s unfortunate, we have become uncivilised ghosts.”

Eyewitnesses share ordeal

Similar accounts of the night surfaced on Twitter as well. A user shared, “Made it out thank god.” The female attendee went on to add, “There were men outside the venue trying to get in to harass women. The police were trying to control them, and suddenly the lights went out and they were all hooting like crazy. Had to climb out of a broken wall to get safely to my car.”

One more attendee shared, “Stags broke the gates and forcefully entered Karachi Eat today. People are saying that they literally had to leave through spaces between walls and jump off them to get out of the chaos. Please ban such events in the city if security can’t be managed.

The user further elaborated, “Women in the family section were harassed. Tents were dismantled and to deal with it the management switched off all the lights which made the situation worse.”

One tweep shared how the barricades were breached and many men entered the women and family enclosures. “There was almost a major stampede yesterday night at Karachi Eat. Barricades were broken. Women were harassed. Stuff was thrown at the performing artists. A ‘family only’ event turned into an ‘All Men’ event. Women were told to leave using the emergency exits for their safety.”  The statement concluded, “The idea of reclaiming our public spaces is what this event was about. This is why we started this. If we are now forced to do events in barren lands because we do not have the self-discipline or the responsibility to conduct ourselves in a manner that allows everyone to enjoy without feeling harassed then that is a sad statement on what we are as a society.”

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