MUMBAI: A man working as chief manager with a leading national newspaper ruptured his eardrum after he was hit on the right ear by a biker in a case of road rage in Andheri (E) recently. The biker who was behind the victim, T M A Tungekar (41), was angry with Tungekar for riding his own bike slowly.
The assailant also hit Tungekar with the victim’s own helmet and broke his spectacles. And when Tungekar noted down his bike’s registration number, the attacker said no one could do anything to him.
Andheri police, who initially registered a non-cognizable offence, on Tuesday registered a First Information Report (FIR) against an unknown person based on Tungekar’s medical report that showed he had lost 50 percent of his hearing.
The incident occurred at around 7.30 pm near Andheri subway on Netaji Palkar Chowk when Tungekar, a Jogeshwari (W) resident, was maneuvering his bike through traffic. The biker behind Tungekar, who according to the victim could be in the age-group of 25-30 years, asked him whether he didn’t know how to ride a bike and didn’t have a driving licence.
“I thought it was a casual comment the biker made because I was riding carefully and slowly on the narrow subway route. The rider got annoyed when I did not take the risk of overtaking an MUV through the narrow route in order to avoid injury,” Tungekar said. When Tungekar reacted on a light note as the biker was crossing him that he had just learned to ride a bike and was waiting to get a licence, the rider kicked his bike and asked Tungekar to stop. He then charged at Tungekar. “Before I could say anything, he slapped and hit me with my own helmet and broke my spectacles. There were many onlookers who remained mute spectators. Meanwhile, I did not hit back at all as the matter would have got worse. Doctors told me the ruptured eardrum will take some time to heal,” he said.
A police officer said, “When Tungekar noted down the bike’s number (MH-02-DX-3033), the accused said no one could do anything to him. We have sought details of the biker from the Regional Transport Office to take necessary action.” At Andheri police station, Tungekar tried to check CCTV grabs of the spot but realized CCTVs there were not functional.
The unknown attacker has been booked under Sections 323 (causing hurt), 325 (causing grievous hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage), and 504 (insult) of the Indian Penal Code.
DCP (zone X) Maheshwar Reddy said that different factors lead to road rage incidents. “A majority of cases are the result of not following traffic rules, no lane discipline, traffic jams, bad roads and impatience on roads,” he said.
Former police commissioner and former state DG D Sivanandhan said stress was the root cause behind such incidents. But former Sion hospital dean Dr Suleman Merchant said it was not just impatience or stress. “There are people who think they are always right and commit an offence. They do not feel they have done anything wrong and stay firm in their act,” he said.
Former IPS officer-turned-lawyer YP Singh said that road rage incidents occur essentially because of a sudden outburst of anger. Since such incidents have become a rule on the roads, he said, the matter has assumed serious proportions. “As, during such incidents, the perpetrators take the law into their own hands, very strict action is necessary to curb this practice,” he said.