Even as police are contemplating arresting Puneet Sharma, the 19-year-old who was injured in Sunday morning’s shooting incident in which his friend, Karan Pandey died, the victim’s family as well as experts have picked holes in the police’s justification of the incident.
The police have maintained that the stunt bikers - more than 50 in number – were a rowdy lot and had turned violent. They also claimed that ample warning was given before opening fire and the police officer was aiming at the bike’s tyre.
However, questions regarding the quantum of force used by the police for a relatively small offence are on everyone’s lips.
Pandey’s neighbours have raised doubts about the sobriety of the police officer who shot at the teenager.
“We have a feeling that the officer on duty was drunk and shot at the boys without realizing what he was doing,” said BK Singh, a neighbour.
Sources said, “The medical examination of the inspector was not done so it is very difficult to ascertain if he was drunk or not.”
Kusumlata Sharma, the mother of Puneet Sharma, who was riding the bike and was injured, also believes that the police used excessive force.
“They were just children. Even if they were doing something wrong, was it justified to shoot at them?” she said.
Lawyers and former policemen agree.
“The police had a number of options but shooting at the children was not one of them. The bikers were not armed. The police could have called in for additional force and for tear gas shells. The police are also making contradicting claims. On the one hand they are saying that the bikers were performing stunts and on the other they claim that they were pelting stones. It is not a very convincing claim,” said eminent civil rights lawyer ND Pancholi.
Former Delhi Police Commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma agrees.
“Police cannot kill people for such acts. They could have overpowered the bikers with less force. Shooting will go against the police and they will have to face an FIR. The quantum of force required needs to be established,” he said.