Toyota Fortuner SUVs take joyride on sand dunes in Ladakh, police files FIR

  • In June 2022, a couple from Rajasthan were fined 50,000 for performing similar stunt on the sand dunes of Hunder with their Toyota Fortuner SUV.
Toyota Fortuner Ladakh sand dunes
Two Toyota Fortuner SUVs were recently seen being driven on the sand dunes in Hunder valley near Nubra in Ladakh. The video of the two SUVs taken for a joyride has gone viral on social media.
Toyota Fortuner Ladakh sand dunes
Two Toyota Fortuner SUVs were recently seen being driven on the sand dunes in Hunder valley near Nubra in Ladakh. The video of the two SUVs taken for a joyride has gone viral on social media.

Violating traffic rules and performing dangerous stunts are on the increase as social media users look to gain more popularity. However, their actions are also increasingly dealt with by the authorities to deter such misadventures. In the most recent case, drivers of two Toyota Fortuner SUVs which were used for a joyride on the sand dunes in Hunder near Nubra valley in Ladakh have been booked by the police administration in the Union Territory. The video of the Fortuner SUVs being driven on the eco-sensitive sand dunes in Ladakh has gone viral on social media.

The video shows the two Fortuner SUVs being driven on sand in Hunder, a popular tourist destination known for its dunes and camel rides, by two of the tourists. One of the SUVs bore registration number of Gurugram, Haryana. Taking vehicles into the ecologically sensitive zones like sand dunes and rivers in Ladakh attracts hefty fine. The District Police of Leh took cognisance of the video shared on social media and swung into action.

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The Police has since filed an FIR against both the drivers of the Fortuner SUVs for driving over the sand dunes in Hunder. The Police issued a statement saying, “Following a viral video showing negligent driving on Hunder sand dunes, District Police has registered FIR under sections 290, 336 of the IPC against a Toyota Fortuner (HR26DR-0077) and another unknown vehicle and their drivers." Both sections refer to rash or negligent behaviour which could endanger human life or safety of others around. It is a punishable offense where violators can even face jail term.

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Driving through eco-sensitive zones in Ladakh: Previous instances

In June 2022, a couple from Rajasthan were fined 50,000 for performing similar stunt on the sand dunes of Hunder with their Toyota Fortuner SUV. The vehicle got stuck on sand due to the stunt. In the same year, an Audi Q5 SUV bearing registration of Haryana was seen being driven on the Pangong Lake, another popular tourist destination near Nubra Valley. Several such cases are reported on social media every year, especially during the tourist season that kicks off around June.

The police in Ladakh still does not have a strict rule to deter tourists from disturbing the eco-sensitive zones with such actions. However, it keeps issuing advisories for tourists to behave responsibly, requesting not to ply their vehicles on sand dunes or riverks and lakes as it damages the natural landscape.

First Published Date: 27 Jun 2024, 11:38 AM IST
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