On one side were two 19-year-old men seemingly interested in a heady romp around town. On the other were hundreds of policemen already having witnessed biker anarchy over two successive weekends. Neither had an inkling of how an encounter between them would turn out.
The episode began unfolding around midnight when bikers in small packs started paying staccato visits to the India Gate. Soon, they were chased off by the police.
“There were several of these biker groups, riding both motorcycles and scooters, which kept doing the rounds of the area,” said a police officer who was among 200-odd specially-deployed personnel instructed to rein in the swarms of helmet-less riders.
“We would make them stop, penalise some of them before another call of stunt riding in yet another part of the district would crackle on the wireless set,” the officer said. An edgy police force — which had first seen such ‘biker anarchy’ two weeks ago before a repeat last Monday — had flashed the same message across the central control room: Make them stop or at least drive them away at any cost.
So, when a PCR van in hot pursuit of one such pack relayed their location to its counterpart on Ashoka Road, Rajnish Parmar, the inspector in-charge, was waiting.
“The pack zoomed past the PCR van and was directed to halt. Two shots were fired in the air but the bikers hurled stones at the van,” said the officer.
“The personnel manning the van were completely outnumbered so, Parmar took out his service revolver and aimed it at the pack. The two men who got accidentally victimised were riding somewhat at the rear and were hit by what otherwise could have been a blind shot.”
The shot would have hit the wheel had Puneet Sharma, who was riding the bike, allegedly not titled it between 75 to 80 degrees while performing a ‘wheelie’ and putting the pillion rider Karan Pandey’s back in direct line of fire.While Pandey slunk off the seat and fell to the ground, the impact thrust Pandey off above and beyond the bike’s front. “Both of them were rushed to the RML Hospital where Pandey was declared dead and Sharma was admitted with injuries in his head and torso,” said the officer.