The Delhi Police detained close to 250 stunt bikers and seized 269 vehicles in New Delhi in a crackdown that started late on Saturday night and continued till the early hours of Sunday. The police said the detained bikers, some of whom were minors, were let off after counselling, but not before 482 challans were issued.
Most of them were in the age group of 15 to 25. According to the police, some of them paid the fine on the spot while others were taken to police stations in New Delhi area and later let off.
Citing video evidence, some bikers alleged they were injured on being chased. The police, on the contrary, said they were injured as they tried to take U-turns on seeing pickets or were victims of their own rash driving.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) S.B.S. Tyagi said that apart from putting about 50 pickets in New Delhi district from 1 a.m. to 5-30 a.m., the police also chased some of the riders. Many tried to escape by taking U-turns against the traffic flow and crashed into other vehicles or fell on the road, which explains the injuries sustained. “Some of them were caught while some abandoned their motorcycles and fled,” he said.
On how stunt biking made a comeback on roads even though the police managed to control it in the past few months, Mr. Tyagi said it was because a lot of boys were free after their board exams or in a festive mood during Navrati. The pleasant weather following the harsh winter months also served as a catalyst, the police said.
Some of the bikers alleged that the police beat them up with lathis. “We did carry lathis to scare them but did not use them. Though there could be one or two persons who were mildly hit,” said Mr. Tyagi.
The police said they sought help from the parents of these bikers as well as some religious leaders for counselling them and raising awareness against such dangerous acts.