Frenzy, revelry grip Bengaluru as New Year dawns

Bengaluru, Jan 1  Braving wintry chill, thousands of Bengalurueans celebrated the dawn of New Year in the early hours of Monday amid tight security and surveillance of drones, cameras and floodlights.

At the stroke of midnight, as 2018 began, frenzy and revelry gripped the tech hub, as hundreds of young men and women thronged the city’s downtown, greeting, cheering and screaming ‘Happy New Year’ while stern police watched them from a distance.

Undeterred by the heavy presence of about 2,000 baton-wielding cops, including 750 women constables and patrolling vehicles, the upscale M.G. Road, Brigade Road, Church Street and Residency Road were packed with the youth.

Pubs, bars, restaurants, eateries, star hotels and clubs across the city were crowded with revellers, drinking, dancing, partying and merrymaking in the final hours of 2017 and early hours of 2018.

Malls across the city centre and multiplexes in upscale Indiranagar, Koramangala, Jayanagar and Majestic were decorated with festoons, buntings and lights for the occasion.

Though vehicular movement and parking were banned on several roads in the central business district and upscale shopping areas to prevent grid locks and allow revellers to throng their favourite haunts for ushering in the New Year.

Barricades were placed on M.G. Road and Brigade Road for men and women to walk and avoid jostling or stampeding.

About 200 police men and women in plain clothes were also deployed at cross roads, in malls, shopping areas, pubs and bars to ensure women’s safety and prevent revellers misbehaving with others.

After the alleged molestation of some women on the New Year’s Eve a year ago around the upscale MG Road and Brigade Road, stringent measures were put into place to ensure public safety, Bengaluru Police Commissioner T.Suneel Kumar had said earlier on Sunday.

The police had also operated drones throughout the night to track the movement of vehicles and revellers, with bomb and dog squads across the city to maintain law and order during the night-long bash.

A total of about 15,000 police personnel were deployed in the city on Sunday evening to maintain law and order.