Police to ask for extension of Namdhari’s custody

Chhattarpur shootout z Son still on the run, second gun untraced, doubts over Namdhari statement.

The Crime Branch plans to request the court to extend the police custody of sacked chairman of Uttarakhand Minorities Commission Sukhdev Singh Namdhari as they are still trying to trace his son.

Police will approach the court on Thursday. They said Namdhari's son and two other associates could shed more light on the Chhattarpur shootout, in which Gurdeep Singh Chadha alias Ponty and his brother Hardeep were killed on November 17.

Namdhari and his personal security officer (PSO) Sachin Tyagi were questioned together, police said.

They were confronted with details of the case, since police have reportedly found several loopholes in Namdhari's statement, including what he said about the direction from which shots were fired.

"Namdhari was seated on the left of the middle seat in the SUV. If he had fired at Hardeep, there would be bullet marks in the wall behind. We might even consider one more reconstruction of the crime scene, along with Namdhari," a police officer said.

Police have also found that the pistol used by Namdhari had been tampered with. Probe so far has revealed that Namdhari's son had got the pistol's serial number replaced with that of another gun of the same make. Police are also looking for this second gun.

Namdhari has reportedly confessed that he was at the spot to help Ponty reclaim the farmhouse, which was in Hardeep's possession.

"Namdhari's men, who were with him on the day of the shootout, are on the run. Two of his associates, who are also related to him, were directly involved in thrashing Hardeep men's on the morning of the shootout. Namdhari was the brain behind Ponty usurping the farmhouse from his brother," a police officer said.

Police have not arrested anyone in the shootout case yet, though arrests have been made for attempt to grab the Chhattarpur famhouse and another one in Bijwasan.

Tyagi, who has claimed to have fired at Hardeep, is yet to be given a clean chit.

Police sources said it was unclear if Namdhari's shot hit Hardeep. Scene recreation by police indicated that Hardeep might have been shot by Namdhari's gun.

Namdhari has also told police that one of Hardeep's pistols got stuck after he fired the first two shots. Hardeep then took out a second pistol and fired at Ponty.

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