After interrogating Sukhdev Singh Namdhari for six days and recreating the sequence of events several times, the police believe the sacked minorities commission chairman of Uttarakhand intentionally killed Hardeep Singh Chadha, the younger brother of Ponty Chadha.
Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, accused in Ponty Chadda murder case, being taken away in an auto-rickshaw after he was produced in Saket district court in New Delhi. PTI Photo
"With Hardeep killing Ponty, Namdhari realised it was best to kill the younger brother," a police officer said.
The huge unaccounted money and property at stake, the police believe, was the motive behind the murder. They also believe Hardeep started firing and Namdhari ended it.
"Hardeep fired the first bullet at Ponty's manager. Later, he turned the gun at Ponty. In the crossfire, Namdhari quickly grabbed the opportunity and killed Hardeep so that he remained the only claimant of the unaccounted money and property the three of them knew about," a senior police officer said.
For the police, the sequence and motive is more or less clear and they are only waiting for the ballistic report to seal their theory. Officials said, Namdhari hatched the conspiracy to grab Hardeep's property in February.
"There is meticulous planning involved. It was on Namdhari's provocation that Ponty kicked Hardeep and in return, he fired at him," a senior crime branch official said.
"Now, no one knows the amount of unaccounted money that has been invested in various projects," he added.
Terming Namdhari a 'smart' criminal, a senior police officer said he never made eye contact with the cops during interrogation and never showed any emotion. "He is giving vague answers and is tightlipped on money. Namdhari had helped Ponty in grabbing over a dozen properties in Uttarakhand," he said.
Monty Chadha's PSO Satnam, who was arrested on Thursday, said Namdhari was pressuring Ponty to act against his brother.
"Namdhari has admitted the fact that he wanted to be the main player rather than being called Ponty's man. However, it is unlikely that he fired at Ponty too but we are not ruling any possibility," he further said.
Meanwhile, the investigators took Namdhari again to Uttarakhand to recover two of his 10 allotted bullets that were missing from his residence. Police sources said it has been established that Hardeep fired at Ponty and there was no threat to Namdhari's life.
"He was standing across the land cruiser, so the claim of firing in self defence does not hold. As far as the number of bullets is concerned, two are still missing," the officer said.