Shab-e-Barat revellers perform dangerous stunts on motorcycles, assault cops and flout all traffic rules.
Chaos prevailed on the streets of Lutyens’ Delhi all through Monday night with hundreds of young Shab-e-Barat revellers zooming around on motorcycles, performing dangerous stunts, assaulting policemen and flouting all traffic rules and prohibitory orders. While one such motorcyclist was killed in a road accident, the police have arrested four persons and confiscated 65 vehicles.
Merrymaking on the Capital’s roads began late on Monday evening when young men and even minors emerged riding motorcycles in groups. Anticipating trouble, the police had made prior arrangements and put up barricades on all major stretches. However, heavy police presence could not prevent the revellers from throwing the traffic out of gear at places like India Gate.
Showing utter disregard for traffic rules, almost all the motorcyclists drove without helmets. “Three to four persons could be seen riding one motorcycle. They were encouraging each other to perform stunts on the road,” said Ravi, a resident of Laxmi Nagar.
Sandip Kumar, a resident of South Extension, said: “A group of young men, some of who appeared to be minors, were riding motorcycles at a very high speed. Some of them came from the wrong carriageway on Rafi Marg, passing nasty remarks at the bystanders waiting for public transport at a bus shelter. A little later I boarded a cab, which drove towards Zakir Hussain Marg, where again I saw a bunch of bikers without helmets zipping and policemen struggling to contain them. They managed to stop them from going towards India Gate. It led to a snarl in which my cab was also stranded.”
When the police attempted to disperse the motorcyclists, some of them retaliated. Sandip said he saw an unruly group instigating others to stage protest against the police action and block traffic. “Around 2-15 a.m. when we tried to clear the road around India Gate, a large section of revellers attacked us. They pelted stones at the policemen deployed there. We received over two dozen calls of stone-pelting and motorcycle stunts during the night,” said a police officer.
Similar scenes of reckless and dangerous driving were witnessed in different parts of the city, forcing the police to put up barricades and divert traffic away from some stretches. “Three young men riding a motorcycle met with an accident after they jumped the traffic signal in South Delhi. They were hit by another vehicle. One of the three riders later succumbed to his injuries,” said the officer.
The Traffic Police have challaned 250 motorcyclists and confiscated 65 two-wheelers. “We have impounded 80 abandoned motorcycles. A case has also been registered against those who obstructed and assaulted policemen on duty, indulged in rioting and unlawful assembly. Four persons have been arrested in the case so far… inexplicably Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has sought a report from us in the matter,” the officer added.