One person died and another was left critical on the crowded Vadodara railway platform, teeming with fans of actor Shah Rukh Khan, who arrived on board the August Kranti Express on Monday to promote his upcoming film Raees. While the actor did not step down from the train, choosing to wave at the crowds and urged them to watch the film on a loudspeaker, fans in Vadodara swarmed the railway platforms since several hours before the scheduled arrival of the train.
Farid Khan Sherani, in his late forties, had arrived at the railway platform with his wife and daughter as the family was an avid follower of the actor. However, shortly after the train left, the crowds rushed towards the exit, causing much chaos and a near-stampede, in which several persons, including Sherani, collapsed. Sherani and one other man were rushed to nearby hospitals, while other suffocated people were helped by police personnel and passersby.
Sherani, who was rushed to a private hospital in Vadodara, was declared dead on arrival. Sherani was a known figure in the old city area of Vadodara and affiliated to the Samajwadi Party. He had also contested the civic elections in 2005 on a SP ticket, sources said. Among other businesses, Sherani ran a dormitory near the railway station.
Shah Rukh Khan’s visit to Vadodara was much publicised to gather the crowd as the actor announced on social media sites about his travel plans from Mumbai to New Delhi on board the August Kranti Express. The train, which arrives in Vadodara shortly after 10:15 pm every day, was running late by a couple of minutes. While fans could barely catch a glimpse of the actor, cricketers Irrfan and Yusuf Pathan got a special opportunity to meet the actor, as the film’s promotional team escorted the cricketers into the compartment to meet the actor, later sharing pictures of the two embracing the Raees star.
Two constables of the Railway police also collapsed during the chaos that ensued after SRK’s visit. The constables are undergoing treatment at SSG hospital and are said to be out of danger.
Several other persons were wounded and left bleeding during the near-stampede.