This Sunday, the Indian motorsports community was taken by storm when riders participating in the MRF Mogrip FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2016, were arrested by the police. The arrested riders included female competitors, as well.
The 15-km rally trail, or route was in the Narayanpur police limits. Due to some technical issues, they had to take a 2km detour into the area under Manchal police limits, where authorities were allegedly not notified.
The Manchal police immediately arrested all the riders and confiscated bikes, on the assumption that it was an illegal road race. There also was a confrontation between the riders and the villagers, which further escalated the situation.
The 36 riders were released only after the organiser, Mazdayar K, arrived and was interrogated. He was also slapped by a police inspector, apparently for arguing with the cops. Some reports also suggested that the organiser had not intimated the authorities, in spite of knowing that the detour had to be taken.
What went wrong here? Why did the police have to go to such lengths? Why use of force, when there was none necessary?
Here’s what the organiser, Mazdayar K, said, ” We shifted the venue to Rachakonda in Nalgonda, where we had taken permission from police and other officials concerned to conduct the rally. During the second part of the championship rally, we had to take a road that was under Manchal police station. We were not aware that this stretch was under Manchal police station. Police were not ready to listen to us despite we showing the documents”
And here’s what the officer on duty, Inspector Gangadhar said, ” We got complaints from villagers about high-speed chase and noisy bikes. There was also an altercation between bikers and villagers. We had to step in and take the bikers to the police station and book a case.”
“All the bikers were riding bikes at speeds more than 150kmph and the frightened villagers tried to stop them. But without giving them a damn, the bikers threatened them and proceeded towards Tallapally. Some villagers alerted the police. The Manchal police sent a team to the spot but they refused to stop the race,”said LB Nagar DCP Tasfeer Iqbal.
(Below: The charge against the riders)
Here’s what no one has told you
- The rally was organised by the FMSCI, with a 50-year history as being India’s apex body governing motorsports. Think BBCI and cricket.
- The villagers stoned the riders as they were passing by the route decided upon by the organisers, team managers, riders and the officials. Last we checked it was illegal to hurl anything at anyone, especially on bikes.
- The riders were in police custody till 7:30 pm, whereas the official limit is 6 pm.
- 5 lady riders were also amongst those taken in. No woman constable was on duty.
- FMSCI released the calendar for 2016 in late 2015, so there can be no question of the authorities not knowing about it.
- The regulations form is posted on many sites for people to view and download. Check out this link for a previous event- http://www.indmotorsport.com/2016/2wsx/MRF%20MOGRIP%20FMSCI%20NSXC%202016%20Rd%202%20Coimbatore.pdf
- The organiser was assaulted, and there is video footage proving it.
Why do we feel sad? Because these riders are trying their best to keep India’s motorsports community alive. Do you think the fan following will keep growing if all this keeps happening?
Opinions- Our own.