A 25-year-old auto-rickshaw driver who drove his vehicle onto a foot-over-bridge to avoid a traffic jam in south Delhi’s Hamdard Nagar last week was arrested and his vehicle seized, police said on Monday, acting on a widely-circulated video clip of the stunt.
“We identified the owner of the auto-rickshaw from the vehicle’s registration number as seen in the video. On the basis of that, we identified and arrested the driver, 25-year-old Munna (only single name shared by the police) and his relative, Amit,” said a police officer not authorised to speak to the media.
“The driver and his relative belong to Sangam Vihar. They have told us that they took to the foot-over-bridge on being told that Munna’s mother was unwell,” said the officer quoted above.
Chandan Chowdhary, deputy commissioner of police (south), said Munna was arrested for driving the auto-rickshaw on the overbridge for pedestrians; 22-year-old Amit helped him push the vehicle up the staircase.
“We have seized the auto-rickshaw under section 66 Delhi Police Act (power of police to take charge of unclaimed property) and they were arrested on Sunday under 107/152 CrPC (provisions empowering police to make preventive arrest),” the DCP said.
Another police officer said the incident took place on Wednesday but legal action against the two was taken on Sunday after the video went viral. In the short clip, an auto-rickshaw is seen struggling to negotiate the staircase of the FoB in Hamdard Nagar near Sangam Vihar before running up the flight of stairs non-stop. A second person, who appeared to be pushing the vehicle, hopped into it.
To be sure, it is not uncommon for bicycles and motorcycles to use the foot-over-bridges in the city but it was unusual for an auto-rickshaw to do the same. It was also unusual for the police to track down a vehicle for crossing a foot-over-bridge to prosecute the driver. An officer said action was taken against the vehicle and its driver because of the viral video.