Report indicts Namdhari for obtaining arms licence illegally

Former chairman of Uttarakhand Minorities Commission and aide of slain liquor baron Ponty Chaddha Sukhdev Singh Namdhari is in trouble again with the Punjab government on Monday recommending the registration of a criminal case against him for allegedly obtaining arms licenses and passport through documents with fake addresses.

Namdhari is booked for murder of Chaddha and his brother in the November 17 shootout in New Delhi. The government’s move came after an inquiry report prima facie indicted Namdhari for resorting to illegal means to obtain gun licenses in Punjab. It said he provided fake residence proof to obtain the arms licences and passport. He also got his gun license renewed twice without surrendering the original documents. The report indicated at his ulterior motive.

Principal Secretary (Home) D S Bains has recommended criminal case against Namdhari . The report says that the accused be brought on production remand for further investigation.  Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had ordered a comprehensive probe on November 28 into the issuance of armed licence and flaws in the verification of details required to obtain a passport. According to the report, Namdhari had applied for the license to district magistrate Roop Nagar on September 20, 1994. He submitted a ration card showing him as a resident of Kurali. The file moved to the DC office and then to the SSP office on the same day- a practice “quite uncommon,” the report said. The report added that the fast movement of file depicted the use of some influence to give priority to the applicant.  It points out irregularities in the police verification report which is mandatory before issuing of gun licence.

The role of an ASI who conducted the verification is being probed in this context. Four other persons, including Namdhari’s brother, were also issued arms licences. “A complete investigation of the licences issued to other four accomplices of Sukhdev Singh was required,” said the report. It is suspected that all the five persons who got arms licenses might not be the residents of Punjab.

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