Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, an eyewitness to the November 17 shootout at a Delhi farmhouse in which liquor baron Ponty Chadha and brother Hardeep were killed, was sent to five days in police custody on Saturday.
Namdhari was sacked as chairman of the Uttarakhand Minority Commission after the shootout and was arrested from his farmhouse in Uttarakhand on Friday.
Delhi Police, seeking the custody of Namdhari, accused him of being the main conspirator in Ponty Chadha shootout case, saying that he fired at Hardeep Chadha. Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Garg, remanding Namdhari in Delhi Police custody till November 28, said the investigating agencies should be given an opportunity to recover the weapon used in the crime.
Police told the court that Namdhari had shot at Ponty Chadha's brother Hardeep and in his disclosure statement he admitted about firing at Hardeep with his pistol when Hardeep pointed a gun at him.
The investigating agency said Namdhari was the main culprit since in his FIR, he did not disclose about the firing and had also hidden his gun.
Seeking Namdhari's custody, the police told the court that Namdhari was the frontman of Ponty Chadha.
It accused him of vandalising the farmhouse and committing loot and attempt to murder.
The police say that on November 17, Namdhari along with 30-40 of Ponty’s associates went to the farmhouse to forcibly take over the property.
The group allegedly detained and thrashed Hardeep’s men and fired in the air. Namdhari, according to the police, would in the past help Ponty in landgrabbing. Namdhari went missing from New Delhi after lodging a first information report following the shootout at Chhattarpur.
He has more than three dozen cases against him, which include murder, attempt to murder and dacoity.
The probe has been transferred to the Crime Branch. Delhi’s south district police were investigating the case earlier.
“Seven people have been arrested in connection with the case. Further investigations will be conducted by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police,” a senior officer said.
Meanwhile, the police are planning on taking Namdhar to various locations in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to recover weapons used in the shootout and hunt down his associates involved in the vandalism and trespassing at the farmhouse.
(With agency inputs)