‘Hardeep, Ponty argued before bullets flew’

Hardeep Chadha rushed to the Chhattarpur farmhouse on hearing of trespassers, and argued with his brother Ponty Chadha before bullets flew, police said on Friday.

Hardeep, police said, had first come to 42 Central Drive at 9.30 am on November 17. "He met his staff and briefed them before going to Noida. After receiving a call about the trespass, he returned. Before the shootout, there was a verbal altercation between the two brothers," DCP (South) Chhaya Sharma said.

Police confirmed Hardeep had been shot in the back, but said they were waiting for reports of the reconstruction of the scene by police and forensic experts before drawing conclusions. DCP Sharma said two pistols allegedly used by Hardeep were found next to his body.

Hardeep was shot by Sachin Tyagi, PSO to former Uttarakhand Minorities Commission chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, allegedly after Hardeep fired at Ponty.

Tyagi has told police he fired to protect Namdhari. But police said there were no bullet marks near Namdhari's seat in Ponty's Land Cruiser SUV that suggested he had been fired at. Ponty and Namdhari were in the vehicle along with Ponty's driver and Tyagi.

Police said it appeared Hardeep's Punjab Police PSOs were at a distance in another car, and could not reach the spot on time. Ponty's Punjab Police PSO was at 21 Central Drive, the farmhouse where Ponty's family lives. The Punjab policemen's roles were being investigated, police said.

Teams of investigators have been sent to Tajpur, Kashipur, Pilibhit, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Hastinapur, police said.

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