A 19-year-old youth,Karan Pandey,was killed and another 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 in the early hours of Sunday. The injured has been identified as Puneet Sharma.
According to the police,at 2:07 am,a police control room (PCR) vehicle patrolling the area saw the group,on about 35-40 motorcycles,performing stunts near the Gole Dak Khana. The police followed the motorcyclists till the Hotel Le Meridien roundabout.
The night checking officer of the PCR unit was reportedly passing through the area. The officer,Inspector Rajnish Parmar,was with his gunner,Sudarshan Singh,and driver,Amar Singh.
The police said Parmar made an announcement asking the motorcyclists to disperse. But the youths reportedly began pelting stones and damaged the PCR van. Parmar then reportedly made another announcement,and also fired in the air with his service revolver. While some motorcyclists dispersed,the remaining continued to perform stunts,said the police.
The police control room was informed that about 150-odd motorcyclists had begun pelting stones at the police vehicle. 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 past Puneets waist on the left side, said Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat.
According to the police,even after being shot,Puneet continued riding his motorcycle. The police chased him and intercepted the motorcycle at the Gole Dak Khana roundabout. The two were rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital,where Karan succumbed to his injuries.
The whole incident leading to the death of the youth will be subject to a magisterial inquiry. We have informed the NHRC and if they wish to conduct an inquiry,they can do so, said Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar.
Karan,an only child and a Class XI dropout,lived with his mother,Manju,in Khirki Extension,Malviya Nagar. His parents are divorced,and his mother depends on house rent for her monthly income.
Puneet,who completed his Class XII from Agra,works in a candle-making unit. The motorcycle,a Bajaj Discover,is registered in the name of his father H P Sharma. Puneet got his driving licence last month.
Puneet later tested positive for alcohol in his blood during a medical examination, said DCP (New Delhi) S B S Tyagi.
Ram Niwas,a driver who lives in the area,said: This (motorcyclists performing stunts) happens almost on a daily basis. Last night,I saw the police chasing the motorcyclists. The motorcyclists started pelting stones,and the police chased them. A large crowd had gathered by then. I did not hear the gunshots as I left soon after.
Police sources said a passer-by had made a PCR call at 1:56 am,informing that motorcyclists were performing stunts in the area.
The police had set up about 42 pickets in the entire New Delhi district area last night after a special drive to crack down on motorcyclists performing stunts. Police said some motorcyclists were stopped,but they all happened to have their documents in place.