Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, sacked Uttarakhand minorities commission chairman, fired at Hardeep Singh — Ponty Chadha’s brother —despite the fact that there was no threat to his life, police said.
Investigations into the Chhatarpur shootout have also revealed that Namdhari forced his PSO Sachin Tyagi to fire at Hardeep and the police are now probing if a bigger conspiracy was at hand that led to Hardeep’s murder.
During the recreation of sequence of events at the Chattarpur farmhouse on Tuesday, Namdhari was not able to explain his position to the satisfaction of the investigators.
He also could not explain the two missing bullets, of his 10 allotted bullets for the licenced revolver he has. Police sources said it was established that Hardeep was firing only at Ponty and there was no threat to Namdhari’s life.
A senior police officer said Namdhari has now been arrested in the murder case and circumstantial evidence was enough to press murder charges against him.
“It seems that he sensed the opportunity and decided to eliminate Hardeep too. The ballistic report will confirm whether any of the bullets fired by Namdhari hit Ponty but the circumstantial evidence has revealed that at least one of Namdhari’s bullets hit Hardeep,” said a senior police officer.
The post-mortem report and initial details from the ballistic report hinted at the possibility of one of Namdhari’s bullets hitting Hardeep. Also, no bullet marks were found near the car seat, where Namdhari was sitting.
Police also said that Namdhari was authorised to carry 10 bullets but only eight were recovered from him. Police also couldn’t find the casings of two bullets from the scene of crime. “The missing links hint at a bigger conspiracy and that Namdhari was instrumental in eliminating Hardeep and then wiping off the evidence,” he added.
The post-mortem report had revealed that Hardeep had faced two bullet injuries that could possibly be fired by two different weapons. “Namdhari had also ordered his PSO Tyagi to fire at Hardeep. We will have to verify which bullet was fired by Namdhari and which one by Tyagi,” the officer added.
Tyagi, who is with the police for the past 12 days, will also face action if it is confirmed that he fired under pressure. An officer said Hardeep and Namdhari never shared a good relationship. Hardeep used to think that it was because of Namdhari that Ponty has turned against him.
“Initial investigation had revealed that it was Namdhari who had provoked Ponty to take over the possession of the Chhatarpur farmhouse,” he added.