Enforcing new MVC regulations, traffic policemen randomly stopped the motorcyclist identified as Rakesh after they saw him riding without a mandatory helmet.
They asked him to take a breathalyser test and found that he was intoxicated. He registered as having a 0.20 percent (g/dL) blood alcohol content. The permissible limit is .03 percent.
Staring at the possibility of his motorcycle being impounded, Rakesh decided instead to set it on fire, prompting the police to arrest him. Later a case was registered against him, they added.
The incident went viral on social media, with netizens taking screenshots and joking about the incident.
Setting bike on fire 🔥 doesn’t mean he can escape fine for offense like drunk driving. May be he was still highly drunk when set bike in fire, when he come to his senses he will realize what has he done with added offense.— Ashish Shrivastava (@iAshishS) September 6, 2019
15K bike fined 23K. This is simple calculation that why he should pay 23K fine and get 15K bike back to home instead of going with this option he chooses to set his bike on fire and minimizes 8K loss that is 34.78% in total bike valuation.— FrustratedEngineer (@shivraj_chopade) September 6, 2019
One poetic Twitter user was even inspired to describe the incident in verse.
Did he set the bike on fire with his alcohol fumes? https://t.co/7fhxKkyGae— Anil Dharker (@anildharker) September 6, 2019
We're such a lawless country. This needs to change . How dare he set his bike on fire and endanger others. https://t.co/W2APzRwWvH— Seema🇮🇳 (@SeemaSi80252530) September 6, 2019
Rakesh claimed he had bought the bike for $209 and felt that a fine of $153 for not wearing a helmet and being drunk while driving was too steep.
According to the police, Rakesh was agreeable initially to having his vehicle impounded, but when informed about the new MVC laws, he became agitated and set it on fire to prevent it from being impounded.
Under the new rules, penalties have increased by up to ten times for some common traffic violations, like driving without a license and driving with a revoked license.
Since the introduction of the amended Motor Vehicles Act on 1 September, several Indian states have aggressively begun levying the fines for various traffic violations. One such incident involved an auto-rickshaw driver in the Indian state of Odisha. He was fined 47,500 Rupees (About $ 662) for flouting traffic rules.
In another incident, a resident of Delhi was fined 23,000 Rupees (about $321) by police in the Indian state of Haryana for a similar offence.