Probe into biker’s killing to look at stone-pelting claim,footage

Questions remain unanswered,Home Ministry asks Delhi govt to order inquiry as police stick to version

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Published:July 30, 2013 2:04 am

A day after police action on “stunt motorcyclists” left a 19-year-old man dead and another injured,the Home Ministry on Monday ordered Delhi government to conduct a magisterial inquiry into the incident .

As questions are being raised on what transpired the incident and the “stone-pelting” theory given by police to open fire in “self-defence”,highly placed sources in the Delhi government said the magisterial inquiry would “examine all aspects of the incident thoroughly”.

The inquiry would be conducted by District Magistrate of New Delhi district,whereas the sub-divisional magistrate of Chanakyapuri sub-division has already recorded the statement of the injured victim,Puneet Sharma.

Sharma is learnt to have said in his statement that he was walking on the road with a friend,and not riding pillion on one of the bikes as claimed by police. He is also learnt to have said there was no stone-pelting during the incident.

Delhi government officials on Monday said a thorough probe will be conducted in to all aspects of the incident. The magistrates would examine statements of all witnesses and passersby,the call records to the Police Control Room (PCR) and all messages on the wireless sets.

Officials said there were glaring gaps in the police’s “stone-pelting” theory,which will be closely examined as part of the inquiry. Sources said the CCTV footage of the incident provided by police appeared to be “selective”,and the probe will seek more footage.

Asked whether action has been taken against the officer who fired,Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said: “Action will be taken subsequent to the magisterial inquiry report.”

On Sunday,19-year-old Karan Pandey,was killed and Sharma injured when police reportedly opened fire in an attempt to stop a group of over a hundred motorcyclists from performing stunts in the high-security area near Janpath.

According to police,a PCR vehicle patrolling the area saw the group at 2.07 am performing stunts near the Gol Dak Khana on about 35-40 motorcycles. The police allegedly followed the motorcyclists till the Hotel Le Meridien roundabout.

Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat had said on Sunday that the PCR was informed of about 150 motorcyclists pelting stones at the police vehicle. The police made an announcement asking the motorcyclists to disperse,but the youths reportedly began pelting stones and damaged the PCR van. Inspector Rajnish Parmar reportedly made another announcement,and fired in the air with his service revolver.

“While some motorcyclists dispersed,the remaining,including Karan and Puneet,continued to perform stunts. The inspector fired a shot in an attempt to deflate the tyre of the motorcycle. But Puneet performed a wheelie (riding on one wheel) because of which Karan,the pillion rider,came in the range of the bullet that was fired. The bullet hit him in the back,and grazed Puneet’s waist on the left side,” Bhagat had said.

As the magisterial inquiry was underway in the incident on Monday,a second post-mortem examination was conducted on Karan’s body late on Monday evening at the Maulana Azad Medical College.

Police said a case under sections of obstructing a public servant in discharge of his duties and rioting has been registered against Karan,Puneet and others.

Meanwhile,questions are being raised on whether the action of opening fire at the motorcyclists was right and where the motorcyclists found the stones. Senior police officers claimed that the motorcyclists usually travel with stones and bricks,aware of the fact that they might be stopped by police. No senior police officer,however,came on record claim the same.

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