The post-mortem report of Hardeep Singh, brother of liquor baron Ponty Chadha, proved instrumental in tightening the noose around Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, sacked Uttarakhand minorities commission chairman.
The Chadha brothers were killed in a shootout at the gate of farmhouse number 42 in Chattarpur on November 17.
Investigation has revealed that Namdhari had also fired at Hardeep, though police are not sure about who fired first. However, Namdhari has emerged as the main conspirator and the police said Namdhari provoked Ponty to take over the possession of the farmhouse forcefully.
Police sources said Namdhari has a criminal past, with over a dozen cases pending against him.
“Initially, he was being treated as the complainant, but as the investigation progressed, Namdhari has emerged as the main conspirator. His role in trespassing is clear but we are verifying under what circumstances he and his PSO Sachin Tyagi fire at Hardeep,” a senior police officer said.
Sources said doctors, who performed autopsy on Hardeep’s body, had raised doubts that Hardeep was shot at by two different weapons. “Hardeep had faced two bullets. Earlier, the eyewitnesses had claimed that Tyagi fired at him in self-defence. But there are discrepancies in Namdhari’s statements, he needs to be cross-examined with others,” the officer added.
Namdhari had claimed that he fired three bullets from his .30 bore pistol but there is a possibility that none of them hit Hardeep. “It looks like that Hardeep was killed by Tyagi and the bullets fired by Namdhari hit the wall. The ballistic report will clear everything. We are yet to recover Namdhari’s gun,” he said.
Namdhari is currently in police custody in connection with charges of trespassing but will be charged with attempt to murder if ballistic reports confirm that the bullets that hit Hardeep were fired by him, police said.