Ponty Chadha murder: Cops hunt for Sukhdev Singh Namdhari son, man held for tampering gun

Police are on the lookout for the son of sacked Uttarakhand minorities commission chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari who they believe can shed more light on the killing of liquor baron Gurdeep 'Ponty' Chadha and his brother Hardeep at a Chhattarpur farmhouse on November 17.

A team of the police Crime Branch is camping in Uttarakhand and has been searching locations where they suspect Namdhari's son and associates may be present.

Namdhari was also taken to Rampur district and houses of his acquaintances were raided.

Police sources said they believe Namdhari's son was also present in Delhi on the day of the farmhouse gunfight, that it was he who left with the pistol Namdhari allegedly used. The son's mobile phone has been switched off ever since the arrest of Namdhari on Friday.

Police said the make and the serial number of his pistol had been tampered with and an Uttarakhand arms dealer had been detained for questioning.

A Crime Branch officer said that eyewitness accounts so far have not given a clear picture of what really happened at the farmhouse. "Hardeep and Ponty are not alive, Ponty's aide Narender is in hospital. So the only people at the spot were Namdhari, his PSO Sachin Tyagi and Ponty's driver. Not one claims to have witnessed the entire shootout. Sukhdev claims he ducked inside the car for a few minutes during the firing."

A scene recreation report by the police and AIIMS forensic experts suggests that Hardeep did not actually mean to shoot at his brother. According to police, Hardeep was in a comfortable position to shoot at Narender, who was trying to get inside the farmhouse. But the medico-legal report of Narender stated he was shot in the leg.

"Had Hardeep intended to kill, he would have easily shot Narender in any other part of the body. Also eyewitness accounts say there was a verbal altercation between Hardeep and Ponty and this made Ponty kick his brother. Things will become clear once the ballistic report is in," an officer said.

Inputs from ENS, Lucknow.

BJP expels Namdhari

Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, sacked as Uttarakhand Minorities Commission chairman after police said he was present at the Delhi farmhouse gunfight which led to the killing of Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep, was expelled from the BJP on Monday afternoon.

"We have expelled him from the primary membership of the party in view of the Delhi police probe into his alleged role in the case," BJP's Uttarakhand president Bishan Singh Chuphal said. He said all senior leaders were consulted before taking the decision to expel Namdhari.

Namdhari was appointed chairman of the Minorities Commission in March 2010 by the then BJP government of Ramesh Pokhriyal.

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