New Delhi: As the investigation into the killing of liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his younger brother Hardeep Chadha at the former’s farmhouse in Delhi continues, the focus of the probe has shifted on former Uttarakhand Minority Commission chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari.
Namdhari is a key witness to the gun battle leading to the death of Ponty and his brother.
Namdhari, a close associate of Ponty Chadha, was on Wednesday reported to have gone missing but police sources told NDTV that they have access to him. Police had questioned Namdhari on November 18, a day after Ponty and his brother were killed in shooting at the former’s Chhatarpur farmhouse.
Namdhari was questioned when he had approached South Delhi's Mehrauli Police Station to lodge an First Information Report (FIR) against Hardeep.
Police believe that Namdhari did not reveal the whole story behind the shooting. In his complaint, Namdhari only mentioned that Hardeep fired first, said the officer.
He added that Namdhari did not say anything about the forceful entry by Ponty Chadha and his men at the disputed farm on the fateful day. Namdhari is needful by Delhi Police to clarify whether Hardeep fired at Namdhari before targeting Ponty Chadha, said the officer.
Another source said that Namdhari had been intervening in the property dispute between the two brothers and Hardeep was not happy over his interference.
The Uttarakhand government removed Namdhari as chairman of Uttarakhand Minority Commission following his involvement in the shootout. A special team of Delhi Police had been sent to Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab to nab Namdhari and those who were present during the shootout, another police officer said.
Police have identified around 12 people -- including Namdhari, Ponty Chadha's two personal security officers (PSO), Ponty Chadha's driver, his security manager, four PSOs of Hardeep and his driver -- as witnesses to the shooting spree.
Ponty Chadha's two PSOs Uday Raj Singh, 44, and Rajpal, 36, his driver Anand Singh Bist, 31, and protocol manager Bhupinder Singh Bist, 60, are in police custody.
Namdhari was also Ponty Chadha's business partner. Namdhari, who is facing over three dozen criminal cases of murder, land grabbing and cheating in Uttarakhand, was involved in several property deals by Ponty Chadha in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, added the officer.
"Whenever Ponty would go for any business deal, Namdhari would accompany him," police said. Namdhari, who had played a crucial role in expanding Ponty Chadha's business in Uttarakhand, came into the limelight after he was appointed chairman of the Uttarakhand Minority Commission in 2010.
Seven luxurious vehicles used for the gun battle have been seized, police said. Six people associated with Ponty Chadha have been arrested so far. There were scuffles at two farmhouses in Bijwasan and Chhattarpur. No one was injured at the Bijwasan farmhouse but the shootout at the Chhattarpur farmhouse left the two Chadha brothers dead.
Around 21 teams of Delhi Police are investigating the case from all angles.
(With IANS inputs)
First Published: Thursday, November 22, 2012, 09:56