Brothers had Punjab policemen as cover

Liquor baron Gurdeep alias Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep, who were killed in a gunfight over a property dispute at a Delhi farmhouse on Saturday, had both been assigned Punjab Armed Police (PAP) personnel for their security.

Police sources said the armed police cover was provided to the brothers seven years ago. With business interests across Punjab, they had cited threats to obtain the security cover.

Ponty Chadha had been assigned one policeman from the 82 Battalion of the PAP stationed in Chandigarh while Hardeep had six armed men from the PAP 9 Battalion in Jalandhar.

Police sources claimed that at the time of the incident on Saturday, the PAP personnel were in Delhi. The six policemen protecting Hardeep worked in shifts. At the time of the shooting, three of the six men were said to have been with him at the farmhouse.

In Delhi, police sources said two men from Hardeep's security detail were missing. Police were questioning 15 people who were reportedly present at the farmhouse when the gunfight broke out.

The sources said the Punjab security personnel were likely to be disarmed and questioned on the sequence of events that led to the exchange of gunfire.

Late tonight, a person claiming to be a close relative of Ponty Chadha ruled out the possibility of the liquor baron also being involved in the firing, pointing out that he had a disability problem in his hands, reports PTI.

In a statement, the person, who identified himself as Taranjit Singh, said: "It was his PSO (provided by Punjab Police) who retaliated after his brother (Hardeep) fired more than ten bullets at him."

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