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Wheels turn for night-riders, hurt stunt biker may be held

Delhi police is likely to arrest injured stunt biker Punit Sharma (20), who was wounded after falling off from his bike, when police officials fired to stop him and other members of his group in front of the Le Meridien hotel, Janpath, in the wee hours of Sunday.  Karan Pandey (18), who had been riding pillion on Sharma’s bike, had died in the police firing.
Sharma who had also been rushed to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, was discharged on Monday evening.

‘Twenty-year-old Puneet Sharma, who has been named in the first information report (FIR), might be arrested,’ said a police official. The official added that they were waiting for the post-mortem examination report of Karan Pandey.

Trouble broke out, when police cracked down on night-time stunt biking in the capital. Stunt biking is a popular youth pass-time,  and involves riders speeding down the streets and carrying out other stunts at night. The sport is dangerous not just for the bikers, but also puts pedestrians and others on the streets at great risk.

According to police, most stunt bikers in Delhi are in their early twenties. Some of them have been accused of assaulting policemen and harassing women. Police have claimed that Karan was killed when an official fired at the tyre of the bike to puncture it and stop the stunt biker, but it accidentally hit Karan on the back.

‘The group of about 150 bikers turned violent when they were asked to stop their stunts and started pelting stones at the police, injuring some of the officials. Police officials initially fired in the air to stop the bikers, but when it failed to stop them, one of them tried to puncture the tyre of Sharma’s bike.

Meanwhile, Karan's mother Manju Pandey has accused the police of high-handedness and demanded death penalty for the guilty personnel.

After being informed of her son’s death on Sunday, Manju had also claimed that her son didn't even know how to ride a bike and demanded a post-mortem be done by a team of doctors.
'My son didn’t know how to ride a bike. We didn’t even have a bike at home. He also didn't indulge in drugs.
If he was involved in hooliganism or had misbehaved with the officials, they could have lathi-charged or arrested him, but they shouldn't have fired at him. He was my only son,' she had said on Sunday.
Karan’s parents got divorced nine years back and Karan used to live and run a business with his mother.

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