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AR Rahman concert row: Annamalai claims women sexually harassed, questions govt’s ‘inaction’

Chennai (Tamil Nadu): Amid the row over the alleged mismanagement during celebrated music composer AR Rahman's concert in Chennai a few days ago, the BJP's Tamil Nadu chief K Annamalai on Tuesday alleged that some women in the crowd were sexually harassed, adding that the DMK government took no action in the matter.

Many fans of the Oscar-winning music composer took to social media to vent their outrage over the alleged mismanagement during the concert.

It was alleged that there were no parking facilities provided for by the organisers of Rahman's concert in Chennai's Panaiyur on Sunday evening.

The soiree, titled 'Marakkuma Nenjam', saw overcrowding and resulted in severe traffic congestion on the East Coast Road, which connects Puducherry, leaving the fans of the composer miffed. Several ticket holders, including those with Platinum and Diamond tickets which cost over Rs 25,000, claimed they couldn't reach the venue on time owing to traffic congestion on ECR, on September 10.

The BJP's state unit alleged that women's safety was compromised at the concert. "Music composer AR Rahman's concert was held in Chennai, a day before yesterday. I came to know that the concert has caused a lot of trouble to the public due to various defects in the program arrangement," Annamalai said in a statement. 

He said that the public faced issues arising out of inadequate seating, overcrowding, and no parking arrangements. "Due to the total failure of the event organizers, the public has suffered. More than all this, the news of women being sexually harassed in the crowd is shocking and saddening. What action has this government taken against event organizers who do not ensure women's safety?" the statement read. 

Annamalai said he was surprised that the Tamil Nadu government was yet to act despite the large number of complaints, including those of sexual harassment, lodged. In the face of a severe backlash, the event managers involved with the concert issued an apology saying they were taking full responsibility for the inconvenience. 
ACTC Events, an event organiser involved with the soiree, took to X to post, "Grateful to Chennai and the legendary @arrahman Sir! The incredible response, the overwhelming crowd made our show a massive success. Those who couldn't attend because of overcrowding, Our sincere apologies. We take full responsibility and accountable. We are with you. #MarakkumaNenjam (sic)."

Rahman, too, promised a refund to fans to bought tickets to the concert but couldn't reach the venue because of the crowding and traffic issues.

"Dearest Chennai Makkale, those of you who purchased tickets and weren’t able to enter owing to unfortunate circumstances, please do share a copy of your ticket purchase to [email protected] along with your grievances. Our team will respond asap. @BToSproductions @actcevents," he wrote on X. 

In a separate post, Rahman wrote, "Some people call me G.O.A.T …………let me be the sacrificial goat this time for all of us to wake up ..let Chennai’s live art flourish with a world class infrastructure, increase in tourism, efficient crowd management, traffic management, refining audiences to follow rules ..creating a safe and surreal experience for children and women ..Triggering a cultural renaissance at Chennai celebrating our deserving, illuminated local and international talent." (ANI)

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