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Mumbai: Trapped and caught racing on WEH, 82 face gambling charge

Updated on: 05 April,2023 07:46 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Diwakar Sharma |

The youngsters had come for bike race to win cash prize, say police; 10 minors among the arrested

Mumbai: Trapped and caught racing on WEH, 82 face gambling charge

The seized two-wheelers parked outside the Kherwadi police station in Bandra East, on Tuesday

In a major crackdown on late-night bike racing, 82  people, including 10 minors, have been arrested and 48 motorcycles and scooters seized, Kherwadi police said on Tuesday. Police have invoked the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, apparently for the first time, in the case.

“Recently, there was a post on Instagram where motorcyclists are encouraged to participate in bike racing to win a cash prize. Our investigations are underway,” said divisional Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kailash Avhad. On the Western Express Highway (WEH), motorcyclists choose selective areas near Bandra to perform stunts to win cash prizes.

The racers get their silencers either modified or removed, which causes ear-splitting noise in the night. “All this just for a thrilling experience and to win the race. Moreover, a few number plates of the confiscated motorcycles are either broken or have fancy plates which are illegal.”

Also Read: Mumbai: The police station that slows down life in Vasai-Virar

Some of the arrested youngsters at the police station. Pics/Shadab Khan
Some of the arrested youngsters at the police station. Pics/Shadab Khan

“There were a few complaints from auto-rickshaw drivers about bikers causing a nuisance past midnight. Some bikers had even slapped and abused the drivers. Many had even not paid for refuelling their bikes in the night,” said a police officer. ACP Avhad said they had been getting complaints about bike racing gangs on Twitter.

The op

Zonal Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Dikshit Gedam formed six teams and activated all the police stations of Zone 8 to put an end to it. They launched the operation on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. The police laid a trap on the WEH between Kherwadi junction and Milan Subway. “Once the racers entered the trap, the cops shut both the ends. A large number of policemen were deployed for the operation,” said a source.

ACP Avhad said, “The bike racers not only endanger their own lives, but of others too. This was the reason we arrested them and seized their motorcycles.” Senior inspector Rajendra Mulik, Kherwadi police station, said, “We are in the process of examining the documents of the seized vehicles to check whether they were stolen.”

“These bike racers had come from different locations of Mumbai,” said DCP Gedam, adding, “The Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act has been invoked in this case because they were gambling under the garb of racing their bikes on the silent stretch of WEH.”

They’re innocent: Kin

On Tuesday, the family members of the bikers arrived at the Kherwadi police station where all the confiscated vehicles are kept for further investigation. They told mid-day that their children are innocent. 

They had a tough time arranging the surety bond [Rs 10,000 per head] for the release of their children. “The police have arrested my son, who was riding pillion. This is unfair. Also, they were wearing helmets and carrying all the valid documents,” said mother.

No of two-wheelers seized

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