Namdhari charged with murder of Ponty brother


Former Uttarakhand minorities panel chief Sukhdev Singh Namdhari "intentionally killed Hardeep Singh", brother of liquor baron Ponty Chadha, during a shootout at a south Delhi farmhouse on November 17, Delhi Police told a court on Thursday.

The Crime Branch has added charges of murder and rioting against Namdhari, who had earlier been booked for attempt to murder and trespass.

The investigating officer told Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Rao that "the statements of witnesses and re-creation of evidences established that Namdhari had intentionally killed Hardeep Singh by firing shots on him".

The police, who sought Namdhari's custody for five more days, told the court that the weapon used in the murder and five live bullets had been recovered from Namdhari's house, but two bullets remained unaccounted for. They argued that Namdhari's custodial interrogation was necessary to unravel the conspiracy and locate co-accused who had acted at his behest.

The judge extended Namdhari's custody by three days, saying, "I am satisfied that to unearth the entire sequence of events, three-day custody will be sufficient." Namdhari will be in police custody until Sunday.

Counsel for Namdhari R S Malik argued that his client was a "respectable man who was being intentionally defamed". On the police plea about the missing bullets, Malik said, "I (Namdhari) have been in police custody for the past five days. How will I have hidden any bullets anywhere?"

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