They flout norms, harm themselves and others, turn roads into virtual race tracks and even assault policemen at times. Posing all sorts of problems to smooth traffic movement and instilling fear in the hearts of those who dare to come in their way are gangs of bikers performing stunts in various parts of the Capital with New Delhi district being their most preferred zone.
Since June 24, when hundreds of bikers created chaos on streets leading to India Gate, the district police launched a drive in which the number of vehicles that were checked, challaned and impounded at night went up but there is a long way to go if a lasting solution to the problem is to be reached. Such incidents repeatedly take place. In the early hours of Sunday despite over 40 pickets and close to 500 policemen guarding them, the bikers managed to perform stunts which led to the death of a 19-year-old after he was hit by a police bullet. “Since the groups are more active during weekends, we deploy more people and pickets then. Most of them assemble near Gole Dak Khana and then go on roads like Ashoka Road, Parliament Street, Rafi Marg and others. Despite the heavy deployment, it becomes a cat and mouse chase game,” said a senior police officer.
Between the nights of July 5 and July 7, a total of 1,347 vehicles were stopped for checking. Of this, 118 drivers were challaned for dangerous driving, over speeding and not having proper documents while eight vehicles were impounded. In the next weekend (July 12 to 14), the numbers rose to 2,258 checked, 315 challaned and 51 impounded vehicles.
The trend was almost similar on the nights of July 19 to 21. It was during this period that a group of bikers broke away from a religious procession and performed stunts.
It is not just the menace on roads, some bikers don’t even shy away from harming others, including policemen. Since July 5, four cases under various sections including rioting have been registered, the most recent one being the one on Sunday.
In one such case reported on July 5, Jagdish, a constable posted at the Tilak Marg police station, was injured after being allegedly run over by the bikers when he tried to stop them. Jagdish has been bed-ridden since then and would not be able to join duty before six months.
Another case was registered on July 14 in connection with which three men were arrested. A third case was registered on July 21 which was also the night of Guru Purnima. A group of bikers allegedly pelted stones in Connaught Place after being stopped from performing stunts.