Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, former chairman of the Uttarakhand Minorities Commission, has 14 criminal cases registered against him in different police stations of Udham Singh Nagar district.
“Some of them are of serious nature, including attempt to murder, rioting, land grabbin and dacoity,” MH Khan, secretary (minority affairs), Uttarkhand government.
The police are also finding out Namdhari’s criminal records in Rampur district of Uttar Pradesh. He has been acquitted in most incidents though two cases are still pending in court.It has been huge rise for Namdhari in the last three decades.
Hailing from a farmer’s family in Bajpur area of Uttarkhand, Namdhari became a transporter and later ventured into sand and stone crushing business.
Involved in Sikh politics in the early 90s, Namdhari’s name figured in the murder of Gurbachan Lal Sharma, a powerful leader in the Terai belt of then Nainital district (now Udham Singh Nagar district). Sharma was known for his stand against Sikh terrorism in the Terai belt in the 80’s.
Namdhari was acquitted in the Sharma murder case. Locals say in 97-98, Namdhari came in touch with Ponty Chadha. After joining hands with Ponty, Namdhari took control of sand and stone crushing business in Udham Singh Nagar district. It is claimed that he got the post at the minorities commission at the behest of Ponty
BJP in dilemma
The Uttarakhand Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in a dilemma on whether to expel Namdhari from the party.Arvind Pande, BJP MLA from Bajpur who was once a close friend of Namdhari, says that the latter is not trustworthy. “He should be expelled as he worked against the party in the assembly polls,” Pande said. The BJP is yet to take a call. State party president BS Chupal said the party will act if Namdhari found guilty.