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Ponty-Hardeep murder: Namdhari admits to carrying gun

Nov 24, 2012 01:05 PM IST India India

New Delhi: Sacked Uttarakhand Minorities Commission chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, who was arrested on the charges of trespassing on Friday in connection with the double murder case of liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep on Friday, has reportedly admitted before Delhi Police that he too was carrying a gun when the shootout happened at the family farmhouse of the Chadha brothers. The police are now trying to find out from him whether he had used the gun or not.

Namdhari, who was a close aide of Ponty, is being seen as a key witness in the case as he was present at the Chadha brothers' farmhouse in Chhattapur where on November 17 the two brothers allegedly opened fire at each other. Namdhari was picked up by a Delhi Police team from his farmhouse at Bazpur in Udhamsinghnagar district in Uttarakhand on Friday and was brought to the national capital for further questioning. Sources had said that the police were bringing Namdhari to Delhi so that they could question him over the sequence of events that led to the death of the two brothers.

Meanwhile, Namdhari had refuted reports suggesting that he had gone into hiding after the incident. "I filed the FIR in connection with the shootout incident and have been always ready to cooperate with the police in its investigations," he had said. On his removal from the minority panel, he had said it was a political matter and he would not like to comment on it at the moment. Namdhari was removed from the panel after his name came under a cloud in the wake of reports about his presence at the farmhouse at the time of the shootout.

Ponty and Hardeep, the brothers who had dispute over properties, were killed when both sides opened fire at each other last Saturday in a farmhouse owned by their family. Police had on Thursday claimed that Namdhari's men could have aided Ponty in taking control of the disputed farmhouse hours before the killings.

Prior to the gunbattle at 12:30 pm on Saturday, which claimed the lives of the Chadha brothers, Ponty's men had allegedly entered the farmhouse at around 11 am, fired in air and snatched mobiles of Hardeep's staff before throwing them out. "Some people have given us statements that Namdhari's men were also part of the group (that trespassed into the Chhattarpur farmhouse). We are verifying that," Vivek Gogia, Joint Commissioner of Police (South-West), told reporters on Thursday. He, however, did not give a direct reply when asked about reports that Namdhari was absconding. There were reports that the police is on a lookout for Namdhari as his mobile phones are switched off and he is untraceable.

(With additional information from PTI)