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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Cops piece together jigsaw in Chadha shootout

Faizan Haider, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 19, 2012
First Published: 23:58 IST(19/11/2012) | Last Updated: 11:14 IST(20/11/2012)

In its bid to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of events that led to the shootout on Saturday in which liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep Singh Chadha were killed at a Chhatarpur farmhouse, the Delhi Police are facing a number of challenges.

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The presence of policemen belonging to two state police forces and several other people who had accompanied the Chadha brothers to the crime scene has complicated the task of re-creating the sequence of events as well as ascertain the origin of the huge number of bullets that were fired there.

On Monday, the police tried to recreate the sequence with the help of forensic experts and questioned over 100 people to establish what actually happened on that day and what led to the gunfight between Ponty and his brother.

Investigators and forensic experts spent the whole day at farmhouse number 42 at DLF Chattarpur farms, where the shootout took place.

Evidence from four vehicles
The forensic team lifted finger prints from four cars — Land Cruiser, Mercedes, Ford Figo and a Scorpio — that were present at the crime scene. This will help to ascertain who was sitting in which car as many of Ponty’s and his brother’s men are now denying that they were present at the time of the incident.

“As the shooting began, many ran away. We have managed to trace most of them, but a few are still untraceable. We want to be sure about the people who fired during the shootout,” said a senior police officer.

Confusion over arrest
So far the police has been able to zero-in on the possibility of only two men — Hardeep Singh and Sachin Tyagi, the PSO of the Uttarakhand minority commission chairman who went there along with Ponty Chadha — opening fire. The police are now investigating Tyagi’s role as Hardeep is already dead. A team of  Uttarakhand Police is in the Capital.

“Tyagi has claimed in his statement that he was posted to save his boss and he opened fire at Hardeep only when he tried to kill Sukhdev Singh, the minority commission chairman. We are seeking legal opinion over whether it would be appropriate to arrest Tyagi or not,” the officer added.

Role of Punjab cops
The Punjab Police have claimed that no Punjab Police officer fired a single shot. “Our six men were posted as PSO of Hardeep of which three were on leave, and one was with Ponty Chadha. None of them fired a single bullet,” said Punjab Police SSP Charanjit Singh.

All Punjab Police cops who were present on the scene were armed with AK-47 rifles. “Delhi Police are investigating the matter and we are just assisting them. No action has been taken against our men, neither by Delhi Police nor by us,” Singh added.

Meanwhile, the claim has left Delhi Police baffled as it is difficult to believe that so many bullets were fired but only two men fired them. “We are awaiting the ballistic reports and haven’t given clean chit to anyone,” the Delhi Police officer added.


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