In a classical mafia-style shootout, liquor-to-real estate boss Gurdeep Singh 'Ponty' Chadha and his younger brother Hardeep killed each other on Saturday afternoon over the ownership of a three-acre farmhouse at DLF Chhatarpur Farms area in south Delhi's Mehrauli.
Saturday morning started peacefully for Hardeep - who recently got possession of the farmhouse after a two-month-long court battle - till 59-year-old big brother Ponty stormed into the house around 11.30am with his toughs in tow to regain control of the property.
A police officer investigating the case said, "Having gained access to the property in minutes, Ponty drove off to fetch one of his friends, an Uttarakhand government official, to act as a mediator. But an agitated Hardeep rushed to the spot and called his lawyer for advice."
The brothers, each accompanied by a dozen Punjab Police guards, finally came face-to-face outside the farmhouse around 12.15pm. Arguments turned ugly and Hardeep reportedly drew first blood, shooting his elder brother in the chest.
But he got shot later in a pitched gun-battle between his and Ponty's guards. Who was Ponty Chadha?
At least 40 rounds were fired from three different kinds of licensed weapons, including an AK 47. Initial medical examination of both brothers revealed that Ponty took 15 bullets - six of them in the chest - while Hardeep was shot four times.
Vivek Gogia, joint commissioner of Delhi Police (south-western range), said, "We are in the process of identifying the security personnel accompanying the two brothers." Sources close to Ponty, however, claimed that it was the guard of the Uttarakhand official who pulled the trigger on Hardeep, and not Ponty's guards.
According to police, Ponty was rushed to the Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj around 1:05pm where he was declared brought dead. His brother's body was wheeled in minutes later.
Liquor baron Ponty Chadha's farmhouse in Chhattarpur, New Delhi. (HT/Sonu Mehta)
One of Ponty's guard-cum-aides, Narender, was also injured in the crossfire and rushed to the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon. His condition is stated to be stable.
The invisible man - so called because a very few pictures of him are available despite his proximity to power centres in at least three states - Ponty hit headlines earlier this year when the I-T department conducted searches at 13 of his premises in Delhi and in six in Noida, Moradabad and Lucknow.
Cane, paper, liquor ...malls and movies
The Chadhas' Rs 6,000-crore empire, Wave Inc, encompasses distilleries, multiplexes, sugar and paper mills, real estate and films. He was producer of the Sunny Deol-starrer 'Jo Bole So Nihaal'.
Considered close to Uttar Pradesh politicians, Ponty is one of the prominent names in liquor business in the state and was granted the sole distributorship for liquor.
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