NEW DELHI (TIP): Emerging clarity on the role of Sukhdev Singh Namdhari in the Ponty Chadha shootout case has made investigators reassess their theory regarding the trigger for the fatal gunfight. While the south district police had termed it a clear case of revenge attack by Ponty’s brother Hardeep, the crime branch’s investigation into Namdhari’s activities suggests deep links with the crime world that may have had a bearing on the feud between the Chadha brothers. Ponty and Hardeep were killed in the November 17 shootout at their Chhatarpur farmhouse.
Sources claim Namdhari ran most of Ponty’s businesses in Uttarakhand – where he headed the state’s minorities commission – and some in UP, by proxy. He was recently tasked with managing Ponty’s fledging business in South Africa. Although Ponty relied on Namdhari for his mining and stone crushing industries, senior political leaders in Uttarakhand have informed police that Namdhari made use of Ponty’s name to grab several benami properties.
Some of his goons were reportedly present at the Chhatarpur farmhouse where the Chadha brothers died. The disappearance of Namdhari’s elder son and at least two maternal uncles after the shootout has also made police suspect that his family may be linked to the shootout in some way. Namdhari’s elder son manages the everyday affairs of his father in Bajpur, Uttarakhand.
Sources said Ponty had asked Namdhari to look after his family properties before leaving for South Africa a couple of months ago. On learning that Hardeep had taken over two family farmhouses, at Bijwasan and Chhatarpur, Ponty called him up, and Hardeep reportedly offered to give up his claim on all the other family properties if he was allowed to keep the farmhouses. Ponty did not agree, and Namdhari was aware of this.
Police have also learnt about Namdhari’s ties with two families that have political and business connections. “We are not saying that Namdhari planned the rift between the two brothers. However, it might not be a coincidence that Namdhari stood to gain from the family tussle,” said an officer. Delhi Police is coordinating with police from four other states to gather more information about Namdhari.