Ponty killing witness Namdhari arrested in Uttarakhand

Namdhari taken into custody

Delhi Police Friday arrested the former chairman of Uttarakhand Minorities Commission Sukhdev Singh Namdhari from his home in Bajpur in Uttarakhand's Udham Singh Nagar district.

Namdhari was at 42, Central Drive in Chhattarpur in south Delhi where liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his younger brother Hardeep were killed in a gunbattle on November 17. He has been booked for trespass and dacoity at the farmhouse.

"We have arrested Namdhari from Uttarakhand. We had sent a team there on Thursday following a tip-off," Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Chhaya Sharma said Friday.

Police said they would question Namdhari and crosscheck his version of the events with those given by others. They would ask him why had accompanied Ponty to the Chhattarpur farmhouse, and whether he had had a role to play in the incidents there, police said.

Police had on Thursday said that based on eyewitness accounts, it appeared that Namdhari's men might have aided Ponty's men in their bid to take over the disputed farmhouse. Asked if Namdhari was a suspect in the case, a senior police officer said on Friday, "As of now, everybody is a suspect. We are not giving a clean chit to anybody. That is the job of the court."

Following the incident, three FIRs were registered at Mehrauli police station: one of trespass and another of murder at the farmhouse where the shootout and killings took place; and a third FIR of tresspass at another farmhouse in Bijwasan in southwest Delhi where supporters of the two Chadha brothers clashed around the same time as the Chhattarpur shootout on November 17.

Namdhari witnessed the Chhattarpur shootout, and the second FIR was registered on his statement. Sources said he was not in touch with police after his initial statement was recorded. On November 20, the Uttarakhand government removed him from his post of minorities panel chief.

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