Cops recover pistol 'used' in Ponty murder

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 25, 2012 19:21 hrs

Delhi police sleuths on Sunday recovered a pistol allegedly used by the sacked Uttarakhand Minority Commission chairman, Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, in the November 17 shootout at a farmhouse in Chattarpur in New Delhi, which left liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother, Hardeep, dead.

Initial investigations had revealed, that Namdhari was the main conspirator in the case, say police. In its third visit to Bajpur this morning, an investigating team of the Delhi Police landed at the residence of Namdhari and recovered an Indian-made 7.62 mm pistol along with one magazine and five cartridges, top police officials here said.

“After a rigorous search operation, Delhi Police sleuths, who were accompanied by Namdhari, picked up some vital clues and recovered the weapon at his Bajpur residence,” a top police official said. “The weapon was recovered at the behest of Namdhari only,” Satyavrat Bansal, state police chief, told Business Standard.

A double-barrelled gun of Namdhari has also been deposited at the Bajpur police station, Bansal said, adding that the Uttarakhand police is providing all assistance to its Delhi counterpart in the murder case. Namdhari was arrested by the Delhi Police from his Bajpur residence on Friday.

According to initial investigations, Namdhari allegedly fired a couple of shots at Hardeep in the midst of the shootout at the Chattarpur farmhouse that also killed Ponty. Police believe that as a part of the conspiracy, Hardeep was allegedly killed by Namdhari so that he could gain control over some properties and liquor businesses. Namdhari did not disclose this angle during the investigations and, later, allegedly hid the weapon at his residence.

Namdhari was earlier dismissed as Uttarakhand Minorities Commission chairman after his proximity to Ponty Chadha came to light following the shootout where he was present.

Police had told a magisterial court in Delhi yesterday that Namdhari had confessed to having shot Hardeep in the Chattarpur farmhouse in South Delhi with his pistol when Hardeep pointed his gun at him.

Later, Sandeep Garg, metropolitan magistrate, sent Namdhari to five days police custody, giving time to Delhi Police to recover the weapon used in the crime.

Namdhari, who had earlier faced 14 criminal cases including that of murder, had used his political clout to come clean in most of the cases. “In most of the 14 criminal cases, Namdhari has either been set free by the court or police filed closure reports within one or two years of the crime,” said R S Meena, Inspector General (Law and Order).

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