Almost five months after liquor baron Ponty Chadha was killed in a shootout at a Delhi farmhouse, local authorities have initiated the process to cancel the arms licence of Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, at present behind bars regarding the case.
The district administration has issued a final notice for the verification of licences of 41 persons, including Namdhari.
Namdhari's firearm licence issued from SAS Nagar expired on March 1 this year. Despite recommendation by the Punjab home department to cancel the licence, the district administration is yet to take action.
“Though we issued notices to 41 people, including Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, regarding fake addresses furnished for getting the arm licences, we did not receive their replies. On April 16, we will issue them a final public notice and give them one month to reply, failing which their licences will be cancelled,” SAS Nagar deputy commissioner Varun Roojam told Hindustan Times.
On December 10 last year, Punjab principal secretary (home) DS Bains, in his inquiry report to home department, had said that Namdhari, sacked as chairman of Uttarakhand Minorities Commission after Ponty Chadha's murder, had obtained arms licences on the basis of documents with alleged fake addresses of Kurali in SAS Nagar district.
On the same licence valid till March 1, 2013, Namdhari, a native of Bazpur in Uttaranchal, had purchased one .315 bore rifle, one DBBL gun and a pistol over the years.
Namdhari's licence was cancelled for alleged misuse of .315 bore rifle in 2005 for seizing disputed property in Udham Singh Nagar (Uttaranchal). The weapon was impounded and deposited in Kashipur police station in Uttaranchal. However, Namdhari succeeded in getting a duplicate licence from SAS Nagar district in 2007.
Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep were killed in a shootout at a Chhattarpur farmhouse in south Delhi on November 17, 2012, due to a property dispute. Twenty-two people, including Namdhari, have been named in the charge sheet. Namdhari and his PSO Sachin Tyagi face charges of murder, attempt to murder and other offences under the IPC besides cases under the Arms Act. Ponty has also been named as an accused in the charge sheet.