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Ponty Chadha murder: Namdhari's pistol recovered, house searched

Sunday, 25 November 2012 - 11:00am IST Updated: Sunday, 25 November 2012 - 9:46pm IST | Place: Dehra Dun | Agency: PTI

While seeking Namdhari's custody, the Delhi Police accused him of being the main conspirator in shootout case, even as they claimed that Namdhari fired at Hardeep Chadha.

A pistol allegedly used by Sukhdev Singh Namdhari during the shootout at Ponty Chadha's farmhouse in South Delhi has been recovered by investigators from his residence in Uttarakhand, two days after his arrest in the high-profile case.

The Delhi police had alleged that Namdhari, the sacked Uttarakhand Minorities Commission chairman, had opened fire at Ponty's brother Hardeep during the shootout at Chattarpur on November 17 in which both the brothers were killed. However, Namdhari had said that he did not fire at Hardeep.

After procuring a remand for five days yesterday, police today took Namdhari to his Bajpur residence from where he was arrested on Friday and recovered a 7.62 pistol, which investigators suspect was the firearm that he used during the shootout.

Namdhari was also taken to areas around Bajpur and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the personal security officer of Namdhari, who was initially picked up for questioning, was released last night. Namdhari had told the police that his PSO Sachin Tyagi had shot at Hardeep in self-defence.

Investigators said Tyagi will continue to be a part of the investigation in the case.

Police sources said they had recovered 122 cartridges in Hardeep's Mercedes and that it was Ponty's PSO, Bhupender Singh Bhist, who spilled the beans on Namdhari.

They also said forensic reports suggested that Hardeep aimed at Namdhari after which shots were fired at him.

The police is also checking call records of several mobile phones left behind by Ponty's men at the spot.

Namdhari was sacked as Uttarakhand Minorities Commission Chairman after his proximity to Ponty Chadha came to light following the incident during which he was present.

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

Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Garg had sent Namdhari to five-day police custody, saying the police should be given an opportunity to recover the weapon used in the crime.

The Delhi Police alleged that Namdhari is the main culprit and that he, in his FIR earlier, had not disclosed about the firing and had also hidden his gun.

It had on Friday claimed that Namdhari's men could have aided the liquor baron in taking control of the disputed farmhouse hours before the incident.

The sources said Hardeep had a meeting with his staff at the farmhouse before he went to Noida. He returned to Chattarpur after hearing about Ponty taking over the farmhouse. "He was very angry," the sources said.

Hardeep was found dead in the guard room and there was no blood traces outside, the sources said, adding that this raised suspicion that Hardeep was chased and shot.

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