Two cities, same tragedy: Youth, stunts, motorcycles and death

Written by Johnson T A | Bangalore | Updated: Jul 31 2013, 03:19am hrs
The killing of 19-year-old Karan Pandey last weekend on the streets of Delhi has brought back memories of a similiar tragedy that occurred here on a Saturday night in December 2008.

Like Pandey, Mukkaram Pasha was young, loved motorcycles and was part of a group of boys performing stunts when his end came again in a manner quite similar. The 20-year-old was shot dead on the night of December 27, 2008, trying to escape policemen who were after him for performing biking stunts on the streets.

Pasha and a group friends had set out to roam the streets of Bangalore, racing and performing stunts like they had done regularly on Saturdays. Although his truck driver father and housewife mother strongly disapproved, he had found an excuse every Saturday night to slip away in a leather jacket and jeans, to flirt with danger on the streets.

But this time, he ran into trouble. As they raced around central Bangalore, Pasha and a friend were taken by surprise by a police barricade and crashed into it. To escape the approaching police, Pasha ran and jumped into the residence of a Brigadier and hid on the terrace.

An Army guard, Havaldar Umashankar Sharma, asked him to surrender, Pasha made another dash. He had scaled the compound wall when a shot rang out. He managed to reach the waiting car of a friend, who had arrived on the scene but died by the time his friends got him to a hospital.

He could perform amazing stunts on a motorcycle ride on a single wheel for three to four km. There are video clips of him performing these stunts, Pasha father Mushtaq Ahmed Khan said, referring to the clips on YouTube. He was a small boy not a criminal, they could have caught him.

One of the last phone calls Pasha made was a frantic one around 1.20 am to his mother, as he hid on the roof of the residence of Brigadier P S Ravindranath.

He told his mother he was being chased by the police while riding a friends bike and that he fell down and was hiding in the Army property. He asked her to send help, said Arshad Khan, a first cousin who was asked to help him out by Pashas mother.

Congress MLA Roshan Baig recently petitioned Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar to crack down on stunt bikers on Bangalores streets who pose a danger to other citizens on account of their stunts. However, he said opening fire should be avoided. There is no need to open fire. It is a problem that the police have to handle in a different way, he said.