One dead, several hurt as bikers go berserk - Times Of India
One dead, several hurt as bikers go berserk
Jun 26, 2013, 02.33AM IST TNN
NEW DELHI: There was chaos on city streets late Monday night as around 2,000 bikers in festive mood zipped dangerously through traffic and showed off stunts, resulting in the death of one rider and injuries to several others, including two policemen who were targeted with stones.
Traffic came to a halt at several places as hundreds of commuters returning home late were caught in a frenzy with the bikers pulling wheelies, weaving in and out of lanes and even stopping cars. Some reportedly jumped on bonnets of cars and banged on the windows.
The 'wild' celebrations again exposed the poor preparedness of police who had reason to expect chaos because of Shab-e-Barat festivities, which on previous years has seen dangerous driving late at night.
The worst hit areas were India Gate, Connaught Place, ITO crossing, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Delhi Gate, Pragati Maidan and Sunder Nagar. The mayhem spilled over to the BRT around Oberoi flyover as the cops tightened vigil at India Gate and ITO areas.
Police said a biker lost his life when he, along with two other bikes, jumped a red light and collided with a car coming from the opposite direction. Two policemen sustained injuries in stone pelting by a mob while several bikers hurt themselves while performing stunts on roads, cops said.
Police claimed they took strict action and detained 11 men, seized 90 bikes and registered two criminal cases at Tilak Marg and Mandir Marg police stations under sections of rioting, causing hurt to a public servant and obstructing a public servant.
Some of the seized bikes are suspected to be stolen, police said. Four men were arrested and others detained under the Delhi Police Act. The traffic police said 234 challans were issued through the night - 93 of them in the southern range, 97 in central , 28 in western, 13 eastern and three in the northern range. All challans pertained to dangerous driving, triple riding and driving without helmet.
Cops said 40 pickets had been set up and around 100 traffic personnel were posted there along with local police and PCR.
On Monday, police had said they had made adequate arrangements by distributing pamphlets in colonies asking youths to refrain from such activities and roped in elderly people through community policing so that the youths are convinced. However, the efforts clearly went in vein.
The tone for the night set in around 9pm when bikers began to assemble in different areas. The situation remained under control in the first two hours due to the heavy police presence. However, all hell broke lose after midnight when police presence decreased. People could see three or even four men riding on one bike.
Commuters returning home late at night had harrowing stories to tell. Utkarsh Anand, an engineering student, was travelling back with his mother after having dinner at Connaught Place. "I started at 11.30pm in my car and reached home at 1.15am and thanked my stars. I was scared and my mother began to cry seeing the mob go crazy. When I signalled two bikers to move from the way, they began to bang on my window panes. There were policemen on the side of the road who were doing just nothing," he said.
Many women TOI spoke to said they had the worse time of their lives reaching home. Many women driving alone could be seen in tears. Families were shocked after the mob stopped autos and even began to do summersaults on their car's bonnets.
With bikers weaving through lanes, motorists had to brake often. Many cars had minor collisions. "Why were the police so helpless?" asked Rekha, a housewife who was returning home with her husband after watching a movie at Connaught Place.
Even commuters coming from other parts of the city were caught in the frenzy as they crossed India Gate, which had been virtually turned into a fortress.
The bikers went on the rampage after police began to seize their vehicles and detain them around midnight.