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Namdhari key conspirator of Ponty-Hardeep shootout: Cops to Court

New Delhi, Nov 24, 2012, (PTI): 18:28 IST
Udhamsingh Nagar : A Delhi police team arresting sacked Uttarakhand Minorities Commission Chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari from his residence at Bajpur in Udhamsingh Nagar district on Friday in connection with the killing of liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep. PTI Photo
Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, the sacked Uttarakhand Minority Commission chairman, was today accused by the police of being the main conspirator in the last Saturday shootout that killed liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep, who was allegedly shot by him.

Police told a magisterial court that Namdhari has confessed to having shot Hardeep Chadha in the Chattarpur farm house in South Delhi last Saturday with his pistol when Hardeep pointed his gun at him.

When the defence counsel contested the police theory after arguments from both the sides, Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Garg sent Namdhari to five days' police custody saying "the investigating agencies should be given an opportunity for their endeavour to recover the weapon used in the crime."

"In view of the same, accused is remanded in police custody for five days till November 28," the judge said.

Police also accused Namdhari of being involved in vandalising the farmhouse, besides committing loot, robbery and attempt to murder.

The investigating agency said he is the main culprit and he, in his FIR earlier, had not disclosed about the firing and had also hidden his gun.

While coming out of the court premises Namdhari told media persons that he did not fire at Hardeep.

"I don't want to talk more on this case. I just want to say that it was just an accident and the FIR was lodged by me in this case. I called police myself," said Namdhari.
"It is wrong to say that I fired. It is a matter of investigation," he added.

While seeking his custody, the police told the court that Namdhari is Ponty Chadha's front man.

"Many other persons are also involved in this case and there is a deep-rooted conspiracy in the present crime. In this case, persons having assets of over Rs 1,000 crores is likely to be involved, in this conspiracy," Public Prosecutor Manoj Choudhary said.

"Custodial interrogation at length is required to unearth the entire conspiracy in the crime," he said.

The police told the court that they had to trace out his accomplices who had accompanied him to the crime spot but "vanished later."

"Other associates also, who are hiding in Uttarakhand or Uttar Pradesh, are to be arrested," the prosecutor said.

It also told the court that one of the accused arrested earlier too has disclosed Namdhari's involvement in the shootout.

Namdhari, who was with liquor baron Ponty at the time of his killing, was produced in court today after his arrest yesterday by a Delhi Police team from his residence at Bajpur in Udhamsinghnagar district of Uttarakhand.

Ponty and Hardeep, who had a ongoing property dispute, were killed when both sides opened fire at each other last Saturday at their family farmhouse here.

While seeking Namdhari's custody, the police told the court that a total of 26 criminal cases have been lodged against him in Uttarakhand between 1993 and 2009 and that eight of them are murder cases.

Opposing police plea for remand Namdhari's counsel R S Malik said the accused himself lodged the FIR in the present case and had also rushed Ponty Chadha to the hospital, where he was declared "brought dead."

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