Even as the Delhi Police are busy finding their way through the maze of evidence, statements and witnesses in the Chhatarpur shootout case, another claim by prime suspect Sukhdev Singh Namdhari has added to the confusion.
What makes it even more difficult for the police is the fact that Namdhari had all along been trying to mislead them with contradictory statements and by concealing facts.
In his latest claim, the sacked Uttarakhand official allegedly told interrogators that he had informed some police personnel that his men would be going to the Chhatarpur farmhouse on November 17. It was here that liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his younger brother Hardeep were killed in a shootout.
Crime branch officers are investigating the case are puzzled. “We cannot trust Namdhari but he has certainly hinted that some policemen were informed in advance and were told ‘not to act’,” a senior police officer said.
However, DCP (Crime) SBS Tyagi rejected that Namdhari had made any such claim. “Namdhari has not told us he had informed anyone before leaving for the farmhouse,” Tyagi said.
So far, questions on the role of the police were raised only when it was revealed that Hardeep had alerted the control room about the ruckus at the farmhouse. A PCR van did reach there but returned without verifying the details and allegedly ignoring the fact that shots were fired when Ponty Chadha’s men were trying to take over the possession from Hardeep’s men.
“Why the local police did not act is something that needs attention of senior officers,” the officer added.
The PCR van had gone to the spot nearly an hour before the shootout but the police personnel returned, marking the call “untraceable”.
Sources said Hardeep’s family members had also raised doubts over the local police’s role.
Although no internal enquiry has been ordered into the role of local police and PCR personnel, the officers associated with the investigations have several unanswered questions in their mind.
“Why were the ‘hand wash’ samples of Namdhari not taken and if the local police took them, why they allowed him to leave the city before they got the report,” asked a senior officer. “If there is a failure on the police’s part, it must be investigated,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police detained two persons from Pilibhit in UP, who could be involved in tampering with Namdhari’s gun from which he fired at Hardeep.