Staff Reporter

DYFI workers allege that the joint is a haunt of teenaged law-breakers.

Thiruvananthapuram: Around 50 Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activists staged a protest near a cafeteria in front of Manmohan Bungalow on Thursday night alleging that the joint was a haunt of teenaged law-breakers whose preferred past time was speeding recklessly on the Vellayambalam-Kawdiar road on motorbikes and cars.

An accident involving a speedster driving a car and two motorcycle riders on the stretch late on Wednesday triggered the protest.

The police stopped the protestors from storming the cafeteria. A series of similar accidents involving speedsters had spurred left wing activists to vandalise the cafeteria early this year. The activists said they would be forced to resort to vigilante action if the police failed in curbing the “speed fiends”.

Local residents said that racing motorbikes had become a recurrent event on the stretch after dark.

The racers had scant respect for zebra lines or traffic signals. They were inadvertently posing a threat to the safety of pedestrians and motorists using the arterial road.

Last week, a group of revellers travelling in a van mowed down the flower bed on a median in front of the Salvation Army’s complex at night.

A local trader said consumption of alcohol in vehicles and drunken brawls were an almost daily occurrence in the locality.

Local residents said that young revellers frequenting the cafeteria took to the road in fast cars equipped with extra lights and powerful sound systems. Some of the cars had colourful lights under the floorboard and illuminated registration number plates, accessories not sanctioned by law.

The cars also had powerful sub-woofers that substantially increased the audio output. The thump of the heavy bass music was often heard well before the speeding car was sighted, an unnerving experience for pedestrians and families travelling late night on two-wheelers.

The police vehicle checking on the road has been mostly at predictable timings. Motorists who commit traffic offences while on the move, such as overtaking through the left side and zigzagging through dense traffic on motorcycles, are rarely booked.

Assistant Commissioner, Cantonment, K.S. Gopakumar said the police would intensely monitor the area in the coming days.

He said over 20 persons were booked on Thursday evening on the charge of speeding.