Stunt biking stuns uptown; Biker groups own parts of airport road, endanger residents

Stunt biking stuns uptown; Biker groups own parts of airport road, endanger residents

Sajad Bhat

SRINAGAR: Residents of Parraypora and adjoining neighbourhoods are up in arms against the traffic department for failing to check stunt biking by teenagers. Acrobatic maneuvering on motorcycles, where teenagers risk their lives, also put other drivers and passerby in danger.
Parraypora, Baghat and Hyderpora neighbourhoods of Srinagar fall on the two-way road that leads to the Srinagar airport. The neighbourhoods are home to dozens of private tuition centres and two reputed schools, where thousands of young boys and girls come for instruction. Many of them ride bikes to their classes.
“Right from early morning, we have to face immense inconvenience due to the rowdy bikers,” said Atif Shah, a resident of Parraypora. “They create so many ruckus at times that it becomes unbearable to concentrate on studies.”
According to Afnan Mir, another Parraypora resident, the locality witnesses frequent accidents due to stunt biking. “Only last month there was a serious biking accident near one of the coaching centers when the boys were trying to show-off their skills,” she said. Mir believes that one of the driving factors for stunt biking is to “impress girls”.
Last year, said Mushtaq Wani, a biker from Nowgam Srinagar was killed while practicing a stunt. Wani says he was friends with the biker.
Parents report that youngsters start demanding motorbikes soon after they pass high school. “If their demands are not met, they throw tantrums and refuse to listen,” said Shakeela from Barzulla. She said her son studies in one of the coaching institutes in Baghat and rides a bike. “I am always worried when he is out on his bike. The things that we hear about youngsters’ stunt biking is makes me fear for my son’s life.”
“Parents have no choice but to give in to the demands of their children after they refuse to eat and sulk at home,” said Farooq Ahmad, a parent. Stunt biking, however, is not limited to Parraypora, though it is more visible in the area because of the number of students that come here every day. Boulevard road, besides other places, witnesses these phenomena too.
“There are exclusive stunt biking groups and pages on social networking sites where boys post their stunt videos,” said Nadeem, a former stunt biker from Srinagar.
He, however, rejected the assertion that boys resort to stunt biking in order to “impress girls”. “It is all about an adrenaline rush and passion for biking,” Nadeem said. “Maybe some do it just to look cool.”
He said stunt bikers modify their motorcycles to adapt them to stunts. They add equipment like frame sliders, crash cages, front upper stay, 12 o’clock bar, sub-cages, and round bar.
SSP Traffic Police Srinagar, Sargun Shukla, said that her department takes tough measures to stop the menace. “We take tough action against stunt bikers and confiscate their bikes whenever we catch them. However, it is their parents who bail them out.”
She said their department will soon start counseling these boys so that stunt-biking can be stopped.

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