In the wee hours on Sunday morning (5th November), Mumbai cops arrested 22 bikers, all of them aged between 25 and 28 years, and seized 11 motorcycles. The bikers were allegedly racing illegally on the Western Express Highway. The bikers have been charged with multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and have been taken into judicial custody. The bikers were later released by a magisterial court after posting bail of Rs. 20,000 each. This is the first time that the Mumbai police has arrested bikers under the rash-driving section for ‘illegal racing’.
Deputy commissioner of police, zone 9, Paramjit Singh Dahiya, had this to say about the police action,
We received a tip-off about the bikers. Following this, a team from Bandra nabbed them.
It unfolded somewhat like this. The police control room receives a complaint about a gang of bikers riding fast across Kalanagar junction, and forwards it to a patrol car. The cops in the patrol car approach the bikers, who flee with the patrol car in hot pursuit. A kilometer ahead, cops waiting for the bikers barricade the Western Express Highway, trapping and nabbing the bikers.
Another police officer from the Bandra police station added,
There were 26 accused, who were heading from Kalanagar in Bandra (East) to Bandra-Worli Sea Link from the WEH. A team of 20 men and officers were waiting for them ahead of the bridge near the Bandra traffic police chowky. We nabbed 22 bikers, but four saw us approaching and escaped. We seized 11 bikes.
Four bikers are said to have resisted the arrest, allegedly manhandling cops. They have been charged under more stringent sections of the IPC. Currently, 18 of the 22 bikers have been charged with Section 279 (rash driving) of the IPC and Section 184 (driving dangerously) of the Motor Vehicles Act.
The four bikers who allegedly resisted arrest have been charged under an additional section – 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the IPC. These are serious charges and the bikers could face jail time if they are convicted.
The Mumbai police is cracking down on street racing in a big way, and the cops claim to have reduced such races to a large extent through such drives. They also plan to continue such drives in order to completely make Mumbai free of street racers. A senior inspector from the Bandra police station, Pandit Thakare said,
Last month, we arrested 12 racers and seized six bikes. Following that, racing events in the city had come to a standstill. We will continue to crack down on racing bikers to ensure that no serious accidents occur.