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“They were not criminals, cops shouldn’t have fired at them”

Staff Reporter
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Injured Punits’ cousin Umesh and father H. P. Sharma inNew Delhi on Sunday.Photo: Sandeep Saxena
Injured Punits’ cousin Umesh and father H. P. Sharma inNew Delhi on Sunday.Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Questioning the police’s action in opening fire at Punit and his friend Karan on Saturday night, which led to the death of the latter, the former’s cousin Umesh said there was no need for the police to shoot them as the two were not wanted criminals and could have been easily caught by putting barricades and cordoning off the area.

“It was absolutely unwarranted. Punit and Karan have no previous criminal record nor are they part of any gang of motorcyclists who perform stunts on Delhi’s roads. They were returning home after having ‘bread pakoras’ and ‘paranthas’ in Connaught Place and happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Punit was lucky to have survived, but we feel sorry for Karan and his family who lost their child for no fault of his. If the two had violated any rule, the police could have fined them or arrested them. Even if the police’s version is believed, they have no right to kill innocent people for just performing stunts,” said Umesh, speaking to mediapersons at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where Punit is undergoing treatment.

Punit’s father H.P. Sharma claimed that his son was returning home along with Karan on his motorcycle when half-a-dozen bikers sped past them from behind on both sides performing stunts. After travelling a little distance, Punit felt an excruciating pain in his back. “Soon after the bikers had sped away, Punit felt as if he could not breathe and had severe pain in the back. He then felt Karan also falling on him and so applied brakes, somehow managing to balance the motorcycle with one hand and holding onto his friend with another. The two then fell down on the road and were taken to hospital in police vehicle,” said Mr. Sharma, saying that the bullet hit Punit near backbone.

According to Punit’s family, he called them up around 10-30 p.m. on Saturday saying that he was going to Connaught Place to have ‘bread-pakoras’ with his friend Karan. “He would often go to Connaught Place to have food late at night with his friends, but was not part of any gang. Punit is a teetotaller and was not under the influence of alcohol as being claimed by the police. No one in our family consumes alcohol,” said Mr. Sharma, a resident of Malviya Nagar.

Umesh argued that Punit was riding a 125 cc bike which was not usually preferred for performing stunts. On the word, “killer”, inscribed on the visor of the motorcycle which Punit was riding, Umesh said that the youngsters get all kinds of slogans and words written on the motorcycles and it did not mean they were criminals.

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