Sukhdev Namdhari shot at Ponty Chandha's brother Hardeep: police

Sukhdev Singh Namdhari
Sacked Uttarakhand Minority Commission Chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari was today remanded in police custody for five days by a Delhi court with the police accusing him to be the main conspirator in Ponty Chadha shoot out case and saying that he fired at Hardeep Chadha.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Garg sent Namdhari to five days' police custody saying "the investigating agencies should be given an opportunity for their endeavour to recover the weapon used in the crime."

"In view of the same, accused is remanded in police custody for five days till November 28," the judge said.

During the hearing, the police accused Namdhari of having shot at liquor baron Ponty Chadha's brother Hardeep Chadha at the shoot-out at a Chattarpur farm house in South Delhi last Saturday.

The police said Namdhari in his disclosure statement had admitted that he had fired at Hardeep with his pistol when Hardeep pointed his gun at him.

It also accused Namdhari of being the main conspirator of the shoot out as he was involved in vandalising the farmhouse, besides in the loot, robbery and attempt to murder there.

The investigating agency said he is the main culprit as he in his FIR earlier had not disclosed about the firing and had also hidden his gun.

"I don't want to talk more on this case. I just want to say that it was just an accident and the FIR was lodged by me in this case. I called police myself," Namdhari told reporters while going out of the court premises after he was remanded in police custody.

"It is wrong to say that he fired. It is a matter of investigation," he added.

While seeking his custody, the police told the court that Namdhari is the front man of Ponty Chadha and accused him of vandalising the farmhouse and committing loot and attempt to murder.

"Many other persons are also involved in this case and there is a deep-rooted conspiracy in the present crime. In this case, persons having assets of over Rs 1,000 crores is likely to be involved, in this conspiracy," Public Prosecutor Manoj Choudhary said.

"Custodial interrogation at length is required to unearth the entire conspiracy in the crime," he said.

The police told the court that they had to trace out his accomplices who had accompanied him to the crime spot but "vanished later."

"Other associates also, who are hiding in Uttarakhand or Uttar Pradesh, are to be arrested," the prosecutor said.

It also told the court that one of the accused arrested earlier too has disclosed Namdhari's involvement in the shootout.

Namdhari, who was with liquor baron Ponty at the time of his killing, was produced in court today after his arrest yesterday by a Delhi Police team from his residence at Bajpur in Udhamsinghnagar district of Uttarakhand.

Ponty and Hardeep, who had a ongoing property dispute, were killed when both sides opened fire at each other last Saturday at their family farmhouse here.

While seeking Namdhari's custody, the police told the court that a total of 26 criminal cases have been lodged against him in Uttarakhand between 1993 and 2009 and that eight of them are murder cases.

It said he has been accused of threatening people and the police had received several requests to cancel his firearms license.

Opposing the five-day remand sought by the police, Namdhari's counsel R S Mallik said the accused himself lodged the FIR in the present case and had also rushed Ponty Chadha to the hospital, where he was declared "brought dead."

He said, "How can he be a conspirator considering that the other FIR lodged in the case by Hardeep's driver Nand Lal does not show his involvement."

The counsel further said Namdhari was illegally arrested as there was no ground for the same.

Mallik also said there is no independent evidence pointing towards Namdhari's involvement.

He said Namdhari was only accompanying Ponty to his farmhouse, where his younger brother had opened fire at him and the slain liquor baron and his PSOs had fired back at Hardeep in their defence.

Mallik also said Nand Lal, in his FIR, had not mentioned anything about the shootout and even about Namdhari's presence at the time of alleged criminal trespassing. He had only identified three persons, who are already in police custody.

Namdhari has been falsely implicated, said the counsel.

Earlier, the liquor baron's four guards – Bhupender, Rajpal, Uday and Anand – were remanded to police custody till November 25 for allegedly entering the disputed farmhouse in South Delhi and thrashing Hardeep's men there.

Two others, Vijay Kumar and Madan Rana, who were working as caretakers at Chadhas' another farmhouse in Bijwasan, were arrested by the police on November 18 for allegedly restraining the farmhouse occupants and threatening them.

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