He had told his brother he was going out to grab a midnight snack. Hours later, the news of his near fatal confrontation with the police landed at his doorstep.
Puneet Sharma, 19, one of the two bikers whose vehicle came under police fire in New Delhi on Saturday night, has recently overcome his struggle against drug addiction.
"Puneet told me he would just go to the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara
and be back after a snack," rued his brother Umesh. "The police are lying about his involvement. In fact, his driver's licence had just arrived."
Having finished his intermediate studies from Agra and currently working part-time at a candle factory, Puneet has a history of drug addiction; he was undergoing rehabilitation at Alcohol Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous till recently.
Residents of south Delhi's Khirki Village near Malviya Nagar, Puneet and his friend Karan Sharma were among a group comprising three dozen bikers indulging in anarchy at several locations in New Delhi between midnight and 2.15am on Saturday. Karan, however, fell to the bullet fired by a police officer.
"I had no idea that Karan wasn't at home," claimed his mother Manju, who saw him last before going to bed around 11 pm. A class 11 drop out, Pandey stayed with his single mother after the latter divorced her husband nine years ago. In fact she claimed she had locked Karan in his room but he escaped out of the window.
"The police came to our house around 6.30am and told me that he had met with an accident and was admitted at the RML hospital. When we reached there, I was told he's already dead," said Manju.
The family's only source of income is rent from a house which they own in west Delhi's Uttam Nagar.