Chennai riders stripped to underpants in police station: The full story

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On 14 June 2015, the riders from the Madras Riders Club, a biker group from Chennai were apprehended by the Mahabalipuram Police. According to the police, the riders were stopped for overspeeding, for which the former lacked any conclusive evidence. Despite that, the riders were charged Rs. 300 as fine for allegedly overspeeding. When confronted for proof about their allegations, the cops supposedly threatened the young riders of dire consequences if they asked more questions, and subsequently took them to a nearby police station.

Madras Riders Club police strip case (2)

Motoroids spoke to one of the riders and he quoted, “We were asked to pay the overspeeding fine at the scene and then the police took us to the station. Once there, the cops asked us questions regarding the colour of our clothes, shoes, underpants etc. We were then asked to remove our clothes to show them the colour of our underpants.”

Chennai riders stripped by police (1)

According to some key individuals involved with the incident, a couple of crashes involving bikers in the recent past on the East Coast Road (ECR) in Chennai, triggered an order from the Deputy Commissioner of Police to stop all biking activities on that piece of tarmac. Though the DCP likely meant well, the police started applying the directive as a blanket rule for any and everyone on a motorcycle, especially those of the faster variety, or superbikes.

Madras Riders Club track days

A key source told us that the Club organises track days for its members.

The police say that they were only following the Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC), though Human rights activists state that the CRPC does not mention anything about checking the colour of a person’s underpants. One of the activists went on to say, “The police have to note down moles and scars that are visible. But there is no need to make a person strip.” One of the riders we spoke to, told us that they were asked to strip within full view of those present in and around the police station. Though the cops have the right to detain those who venture onto the wrong side of law, the law itself does not grant them the right to strip anyone. The police were tasked to stop any/all biking activity on the ECR, but there was no mention of detaining bikers from riding their motorcycle and none demanding pressing of unproven (as yet) charges against them.

Madras Riders Club

According to one of the riders we contacted, they weren’t even allowed basic necessities such as food or water during the nine hours they spent there. In the meantime, some of the riders were accused with more invalidated charges on counts of rash driving and then some. Later, one of the parents of a rider arrived at the police station with a lawyer in tow. After much talk, the riders were let go. However, before letting them off, a few of them had to pay Rs. 1,200 as fine at the station itself, whilst some others went to the Court to pay the same.

Chennai riders stripped by police (2)

Though we understand that the police have the right to apprehend motorists against whom they have factual evidence. It is rather unfortunate that sometimes, the law gets misused by the very ones who are supposed to uphold it. In this case, the Mahabalipuram Police seems to have decided to not just play judge, but also legislators by creating their own law and meting out a unique punishment to the offenders.

After this unfortunate incident, certain members of the Madras Riders Club, in conjunction with other biking groups in Chennai, are thinking of forming an association. Once formed, the members would then decide on how to take this matter further.

Anyway, what do you think of this whole situation and do you think what the police did was justified? Let us know your opinions through comments.

Images via Madras Riders Club

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  • We will be glad to publish such an article.

  • Narayanan says:

    Can an article be published in Motoroids about the rights of the motorcyclist/driver under these harassment situations? This can explain what the cops can do and cannot do and what rights drivers have and do not? Such an article will educate non-lawyer drivers who still want to abide the law but can save themselves from these kind of situations.

  • Qwerty says:

    My suggestion would be try recording the entire ride through the city. I would suggest a go pro camera if affordable or a Möbius camera which is very good. Place it on the fuel tank and record the speedometer with a good vision of the road. When stopped by police, we have all proof. I have used a Möbius camera which is very good.

  • Pavit says:

    I have read a lot of comments. Yes, Bikers cause accidents and are reckless lot generally but so are a lot of cars, trucks and buses too. Check out the speed at which Volvos ply on highways hitting speeds of 140 to 160 Kmph and when they take someone down, they take them in dime a dozen. Its only the poorer/weaker section that gets targeted and harassed. Could you imagine police doing the same to a minister or some bigwigs son. A lot of them get away scot free after running over and killing people let alone smaller fines, purely because Cops don’t have what it takes to bring them down and our legal system itself is so weak.

    Nothing gives the right to cops to stop someone and charge them without proof. If you have proof, be strict as hell, fine them, for repeat offenders license to be suspended, bikes to seized but at no point can they hold someone without proof and make them to strip etc. This is not justice, this is harassment. After all we all live in the Jungle Raj. In the jungle it’s the survival of the fittest. Here it’s the survival of the richest/powerful. The poorer section always gets run over.

  • Santhosh says:

    I agree to form a bikers association and definitely we need to fight our bikers who obey rules and respect the law. I too faced this kind of issue “While riding at speed of 45km/hr , i was charged a fine of Rs.1500 for Rash driving which they had no proof and seized my bike, took me to station since i did not have money on the spot and spoiled my entire day”

    Solution to this kind of problems – Take out your smart phone and start recording everything once you are stopped by a cop, warn them if they are going against the law , they will face severe consequences .