Shot in Hardeep back likely from Namdhari gun, not PSO’s: Cops

Officers investigating the November 17 gunfight at a Chhattarpur farmhouse that killed liquor baron Gurdeep 'Ponty' Chadha and his brother Hardeep believe sacked Uttarakhand minorities commission chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari shot Hardeep in the back and his PSO Sachin Tyagi later fired in self-defence.

If the ballistic report proves the police theory, drawn up after recreation of the crime scene, Tyagi might be given a clean chit in the case.

Namdhari and Tyagi were with Ponty at the farmhouse and the two allegedly opened fire after Hardeep began to shoot.

Namdhari has already been booked for the murder of Hardeep under IPC Section 302.

The ballistic report is still awaited and police recreated the crime scene on Tuesday with the help of Tyagi and Ponty's driver.

Police sources said after Hardeep shot Ponty and his manager Narender, he also threatened to shoot Namdhari. But Hardeep did not carry out his threat and chose to flee. Police claimed while Hardeep was leaving, Namdhari shot him in the back. No shot was fired by Hardeep towards Namdhari, police said.

According to police, after Hardeep was shot in the back, he turned around and fired two shots — one hit Ponty's Land Cruiser and the second missed the SUV.

"Hardeep's shot hit the bonnet of the Land Cruiser and the second one missed the car. At this point, Sachin Tyagi was hiding near the front door of the car. He sensed that Hardeep's next shot could hit him. He, therefore, shot at Hardeep with his carbine," a police officer said.

But Tyagi told police he is not sure if he actually hit Hardeep.

Two bullets were retrieved from Hardeep's body during the autopsy.

Police said they are waiting for the ballistic report to corroborate what they have found so far. The report is expected in a fortnight.

Namdhari is in police custody and is being questioned to ascertain the location of his associates who had forced their way into the farmhouse hours before the shootout.

Police are still looking for Namdhari's son and two cousins who allegedly tampered with his weapon.

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