KARACHI – Karachi Eat 2023, the annual food festival that brings residents of the country’s largest city to try new eateries, turned ugly as females reported sexual harassment while concertgoers threw a bottle at singing sensation Kaifi Khalil.
As people of the city of lights experienced rare dishes at Karachi Eat, something grim hampered the shine of the leading food festival.
Days after the festival, social media users started sharing harrowing accounts of harassment and groping as scores of female workers posted the horror tales on the microblogging platforms.
Groups of miscreants barged into the premises without tickets, crashing the main gate and harassing families. The hooliganism also prompted strong responses from artists who refused to perform there.
Here’s how families were meted out at the flagship food event:
Stags broke the gates and forcefully entered #KarachiEat 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.
— Armash (@armashshahab) January 8, 2023
This is extremely disgusting how a family event turned into an all-men event. These men are worse than monsters. And most people are definitely going to say that as these women went outside, it’s their fault if they faced harassment. #KarachiEat2023 pic.twitter.com/H3JWkx7Ths
— Aqsa Younas Rana (@AqsaYounasRana) January 9, 2023
There was almost a major stampede yesterday night at #KarachiEat. 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. pic.twitter.com/Rc4uFQyMB2
— l (@laylaaff) January 9, 2023
Kaifi Khalil attacked in the middle of the concert with a water bottle.
Pakistan’s singing sensation Kaifi Khalil was among those who faced the wrath of some miscreants. First, a verified account on the microblogging platform revealed that Kahani Suno singer suffered injuries.
Later, Kaifi cleared the air, announcing that he wasn’t injured but condemned the harassment incident.
In a detailed note on Twitter, he said, “I would just like to clarify the fake news circulating about me getting injured during my performance at the Karachi Eat event yesterday, which isn’t true.”
He added, “I will say that I am a little disappointed and upset because of what happened yesterday. Ladies that came to enjoy the evening with their family and friends were harassed and treated inappropriately by a group of individuals who lacked decency and common sense.”
Hello everyone thank you for your pure love and support. kindly Read this and share. pic.twitter.com/QWLseK2EbN
— Kaifi Khalil (@kaifi_khalil) January 9, 2023
“The event was cancelled mid-performance because I couldn’t continue with what was going on, and it became a concern for people in the audience as well. I request the organisers to please consider the safety of everyone attending,” it further reads.
Kaifi mentioned that this wasn’t the first time he faced such violent behaviour from unknown culprits “It’s disgusting and unacceptable. I am unsure why this keeps occurring, but it must stop. How can I perform when this happens? I request everyone to be mindful of each other and treat everyone with respect,” he added.
Taha G also condemned the incident.
In a social media post, he said, “Sorry to everyone who came through today, things got out of hand due to trespassing and overcrowding, so performances had to be cancelled,” he shared on Instagram Story. “I was extremely excited, the best I have ever sounded. I am extremely sorry once again. Stay safe.”
The singer said, “The management ended the concert immediately. Whoever you were, I hope this comes back at you whatever the way.”