Hours of head-banging bliss in the Metallica concert held in Palace Grounds on Sunday evening soon turned into hours of frustration as several fans found that their bags, deposited outside the venue, had been stolen.

Bags were not allowed at the venue and many fans, both from city and outstation, who went to retrieve them, found them soiled and trampled upon. While some were emptied of their contents, others were missing.

Software engineer Nikhil John estimated that around 1,000 bags were stacked haphazardly in an open tent near the entrance. Among other things, he lost his music player, sunglasses and debit cards.

Anuj Katiyan, a Hyderabad student, said: “I lost a bag that contained a laptop, an external hard drive and a mobile phone, cumulatively worth around Rs. 50,000. I even lost my four months' research notes. There were even those from Croatia, China and Malaysia who lost their passports and flight tickets.”

Many came with luggage as they had planned to catch flights and trains after the concert. “We were told by the organisers that a security guard would be posted to ensure our bags' safety,” said Sreejith V.U. from Kerala.

Those who spoke to The Hindu said they had spotted two men, who worked in a marriage hall on Palace Grounds, making away with the bags. Parvathy Varma, who lost her debit card, said: “We saw them and when we asked the police to take action or to let us search the marriage hall, they refused.”

When their clamour increased, the police responded with their batons. “They pushed us about and beat us with lathis,” said Ms. Varma, who was struck on her back.

Fans said High Grounds police refused to register complaints. The police said there were only reports of some bags stolen.

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