The Cherry Blossom Festival’s second day was plagued by chaos and violence when visitors, enraged at not being allowed inside the festival arena, clashed with police forcing them to fire tear gas shells to disperse the enraged mob.
A group of people reportedly got angry after they were not allowed entry into the JN Sports Complex in Polo for the evening’s programmes which had several performances lined up.
Reportedly, trouble began after the authorities denied entry to the public after 7 pm. A magistrate also tried to talk it out with the frustrated mobs who were arguing for the entry.
Following this, the angry crowd went on a rampage, tearing down festival signage and even trying to break through the gates. Bottles were also hurled at police, who resorted to tear gas firing.
Police detained a few individuals but many more took shelter in the darkness surrounding the entrance, from where stray bottles rained in on the authorities.
The festival coincides with the blooming of pink cherry blossom flowers that cover the Meghalaya capital and across the state at this time of the year. The popular event was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic last year.