The .30 bore 7.62 mm pistol used in the crossfire at Chhattarpur farmhouse on November 17 allegedly by sacked chairman of Uttarakhand Minorities Commission, Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, was recovered on Monday. Liquor baron Gurdeep Singh Chadha alias Ponty and his brother Hardeep were killed in the shootout.
A Crime Branch team took Namdhari, who was arrested on Friday, to his hometown in Bazpur, Uttarakhand, on Sunday morning. Sources said on Namdhari’s instance, the pistol was recovered from his farmhouse in Bazpur. A double barrel gun was also found at his residence in Uddham Singh Nagar district.
Investigating officers said Namdhari claims he fired three shots in self-defence, but had not killed Hardeep. He told police that Hardeep was shot by his personal security officer (PSO) Sachin Tyagi, in self-defence.
Sources in the Crime Branch said police are looking for one Hardayal alias Mamaji, known to be a close aide of Namdhari.
The Crime Branch team and Namdhari will stay on in Uttarakhand. Police want to trace some of Namdhari’s key associates. According to police, Namdhari was instrumental in evicting Hardeep’s men from the Chhattarpur farmhouse on November 17. Ponty, police said, wanted to wrest control of the farmhouse before starting any mediation talks with Hardeep.
“Namdhari’s close associates were involved in grabbing the farmhouse from Hardeep. Many of them fled the city after the incident. Mamaji is one of them and was at the spot on the day of the incident. His role in the firing will be probed once we trace him,” a senior police officer said.
Namdhari’s PSO Tyagi has been released from the Mehrauli police station and asked to join investigations. Crime Branch officers said Tyagi is in touch with them and has been asked to come for questioning whenever required. He has been asked to stay close to Sector-18 in Rohini where Crime Branch special team’s office is located.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) S B S Tyagi said: “ We have sent a notice to Sachin Tyagi, asking him to join investigations.”
Tyagi has not been given a clean chit yet.
The Crime Branch is still awaiting the ballistic report, which will provide information on what bullets caused the deaths of Ponty and Hardeep. The report on recreation of the crime scene, filed by doctors along with police, will also ascertain if any shots were fired near Sukhdev and Ponty.