Ponty killing gets murkier

Dehradun : Former chairman of the Uttarakhand Minorities Commission, Sukhdev Singh Namdhari has been sent on five days police remand in his alleged involvement of killing liquor baron of the north, Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep Singh at their Chattarpur farm house on Nov 17.

The police has recovered a pistol and a doube barreled rifle from the Bajpur house of Namdhari in Kumaon division of this small mountain state.

Ballistic reports will confirm whether it was from this pistol that Namdhari had fired some shots on the ill-fated day, though he denies doing so.

Incidentally, Sachin Tyagi, the official personal security officer attached with Namdhari, who had been held in detention, as it was being presumed that it was bullets from his weapon that had killed Hardeep Singh has been released, as police claims the bullets he fired hit the wall and not Hardeep.

But as the days have gone by, though the police claim to have made some progress in the investigations in what was initially believed to be an open and shut case, the mystery resolving the death of the Chadha brothers has only gone murkier, even as police claims that it was a planned conspiracy.

There are some probers, which the members of the family are keen in trying to get the answers of. The brothers apprehended danger and both wore bullet proof jackets. Why did the two did not wear the jackets on that fateful day?

Both brothers had heavy security and they had at least three personal security officers each provided by the Punjab Police. But on the fateful day, except for one PSO with Ponty Chadha, Hardeep had none at the time of the firing. Where had they gone?

Hardeep is said to have reached the farm house when he learnt that Ponty was taking possession of it.

Did he come alone, despite knowing that there were armed musclemen accompanying Ponty.

Knowing the rift over the farmhouse, would he have come alone only armed with two pistols to take upon Ponty and the men with him?

How come when Hardeep fired at Ponty in the Land Cruyiser that he was sitting in, despite the number of bullets being fired, not one came even close to Namdhari, who claims that he got out of the car and took cover on the side of the vehicle.

Who called Namdhari and why was he accompanied by a number of his musclemen some of them armed?

Had some conspiracy been planned by Ponty along with Namdhari to take forcible possession of the Chattarpur farm house, which was with his brother Hardeep?

It is said that a large portion of the Ponty business was on trust with a number of investments having been done on benami properties.

Who was to benefit the most by the killing of the two brothers, as it is now being feared that a large number of transactions may have to be written off?

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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