'Hardeep's firing triggered bloodshed'

Ponty Chadhas friend says younger brother first abused, fired at him unprovoked

A close friend of the liquor baron and real estate businessman Gurdeep Singh Chadha alias Ponty Chadha alleges that Saturday’s crossfiring at a farmhouse in south Delhi’s Chattarpur began after Ponty was abused and shot at by his own younger brother, Hardeep.

The attack enraged Ponty’s personal security officers who returned fire in which Hardeep got killed. Ponty, who suffered 12 gunshot wounds, was later declared brought dead at Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj.

A police case has been lodged over the statement of Ponty’s friend, identified as Rashtriya Sikh Sangat’s Uttarakhand president and Uttarakhand Minority Commission chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari. The charges are framed under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and 25 of the Arms Act.

The brothers were locked in a property dispute — ownership of the three-acre 42 DLF Central Drive farmhouse — which escalated after their father Kulwant’s death in 2011.
Sukhdev told police he met Ponty at 55-year-old’s 21 DLF Oak Drive farmhouse in Chattarpur at around 9.30 am on Saturday.

“At around noon, we went to Ponty’s 42 DLF Central Drive farmhouse in his Toyota Land Cruiser car. Ponty’s secretary Narender was following us in another car,” Sukhdev said in his statement.

He claims that farmhouse’s main gate was found locked from outside after which Narender asked the staff present inside to get the key. “Narender was just opening the gate, when Hardeep arrived there with his personal security officers and several armed men in cars,” Sukhdev added.

Sukhdev alleged that Hardeep immediately shot at Narender without saying a word and came towards Ponty’s car. Hardeep allegedly started abusing Ponty when they came face-to-face. “Hardeep went on to open fire at Ponty after a heated argument. He also shot at me twice, but I managed to escape unhurt,” Sukhdev said.

Seeing this, the personal security officers of Ponty, Hardeep and Sukhdev exchanged fire with licensed weapons, including AK-47s.

Sukhdev said while Hardeep went inside the farmhouse when the crossfire began, he and Ponty’s driver rushed him to Fortis Hospital. “Gurdeep Singh Chadha was brought dead to the hospital at 1.05 pm on Saturday,” a Fortis Hospital spokesperson said.
Injured Narender was taken to Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon, where his treatment is underway.

Sukhdev’s personal security officer Sanjay Tyagi also suffered gunshot wounds. Initial probe has revealed that 40-50 gunshots were fired in the 30-minute incident that began at around 12.30 pm.

Locals informed police about the incident after hearing gunshots in the area.
Police have also recorded the statement of Hardeep’s manager, who claims that the incident began after Ponty came to the farmhouse along with armed men to take control of the property.

It is alleged that they beat up security guards and staff present at the farmhouse and locked up several rooms.

A separate case has also been lodged of house trespass, dacoity and kidnapping.
Sources also said Ponty and Hardeep had scheduled a meeting on Saturday to resolve the dispute. “It started on a peaceful note, but soon turned ugly,” a source said.
Ponty, who is considered close to Uttar Pradesh politicians, headed Wave Group, which controls the wholesale liquor trade and around 4,000 retail liquor shops in the state.
Industry officials say Ponty’s liquor business was worth over Rs 5,000 crore.

Cremations take place after delay

Cremation of Ponty and Hardeep Chadha was delayed on Sunday after Delhi Police asked AIIMS authorities to conduct a second post-mortem of the liquor baron after being informed that the doctors had not removed three bullets during the initial post-mortem, reports DHNS from New Delhi. The bodies were handed over to their family after another post-mortem of Ponty was conducted on Sunday.

They were cremated at south Delhi’s Lodhi Crematorium late on Sunday evening. “Initially Ponty’s post-mortem was conducted and body was handed over to his family, but later doctors told investigators that three bullets were still lodged inside his body. So, we could not have permitted the cremation,” an official said. Cops took both the bodies back to AIIMS for another post-mortem.

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