Pankaj Sharma/ Zee Research Group
Motorcycle, the youth fashion statement, is fast emerging as the hot favourite of criminals in the national capital with police so far unable to arrest the trend.
According to the Home Ministry, there has been a jump in criminal cases registered against motorcyclists in the capital. The number of cases registered against bikers jumped from 1013 in 2008 to 1315 in 2010. During the current year, until end June 767 such cases had already been registered in Delhi’s police stations. There was a marginal dip in such cases during 2009 when the number slipped to 997.
As against Delhi, the number of biker crime cases is on the decline in adjoining Gurgaon in Haryana and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. The number of cases of crime involving motorcycles reported in Gurgaon was 192 in 2008 which slipped to 179 in 2009. During 2010 the number of biker crime cases further slipped to 157. In 2011 the figure so far stands at 94.
However, in Ghaziabad only 282 cases were registered against bikers who committed crime in the last three years. While the surge in bike borne cases has been consistent in Delhi, conviction and arrest of such individuals has been waning.
As per figures submitted by the MHA in Lok Sabha, during 2009 the arrest number of such criminals in Delhi slipped from 1072 in 2006 to 857 in 2009. The conviction also slipped from 25 in 2006 to 16 in 2009. These figures include cases reported for robbery, murder and snatching.
However, in Noida, the arrest of bike borne criminals had gone up from 45 in 2006 to 75 in 2009.
Delhi Police refused to specify any reason for the spurt in crimes involving bikers in the capital. Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran, in reply to a written question in Parliament, noted several measures to check biker crimes have been initiated by the government including special drives from time to time to intensify picket checking and verify the ownership of motorcycles.
Auto expert Murad Ali Baig, in response to a question on what made motorcycles the favorite for criminals, explained, “Criminals use motorcycle as they want to get away quickly.”
While spurt in motorcycle borne cases has become a headache for the society, companies are still disassociating it with the image of their brand. Bhartendu Kabi, spokesman, Hero MotoCorp, world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles, said, “Nobody should connect a crime incident with a product. No one wants to associate with criminals. A brand has nothing to do with crime.”
Baig too contended that there was no connection between biker crime incidents and a product or a brand. “To my mind the police have never named any particular brand when giving out crime figures,” he argued.