The police cracked down on an illegal bike race on the eastern express highway (EEH) early on Sunday and arrested as many as 24 bikers aged 18 to 21.
Investigations revealed that the bikers used a popular mobile messenger application to discuss and decide upon the date and time of the race. “A nakabandi was imposed from 2am to 5am at Kamraj Nagar on EEH after we received complaints of young men indulging in bike racing,” said a high-ranking police officer privy to the investigation. Though the police signalled to the bikers and asked them to stop, some tried to flee, while others started driving on the wrong side of the road to avoid being detained.
An officer said the accused stay in south Mumbai, central Mumbai, the western suburbs and in Thane.
The police informed the bikers’ parents of their arrest to ensure that such incidents are not repeated. Officers said the event could have taken a fatal turn if the high-speed vehicles had crashed.
Illegal races, inspired by movies and video games, take place in several parts of the city after midnight.
“The bikers try to imitate the races depicted in popular movies centered on illegal street racing. Some were using high-end bikes,” added the officer.
Investigations revealed that such groups prefer the wee hours as the roads are devoid of traffic. Police said they will crack down on bikers who endanger the lives of other motorists.
“We will impose checks at strategic locations in the future to deter illegal bike races,” said the officer.
The accused were booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Motor Vehicle act for rash and negligent driving.