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CIMA Gallary

Witness arrested in Ponty case

New Delhi, Nov. 23: Former Uttarakhand minorities panel chief Sukhdev Singh Namdhari was arrested today from his Bajpur home in connection with the Ponty Chadha shootout.

“We have arrested him on the charges of trespassing,” said Chhaya Sharma, the deputy commissioner of police.

According to Delhi police, Namdhari, a key witness in the case, had gone into hiding a day after the November 17 incident. He had accompanied the liquor baron to his brother Hardeep’s south Delhi farmhouse on the night of the shootout, they added.

“We are questioning him on the sequence of events that led to the shootout (between the two Chadha brothers). He had gone to the farmhouse with Ponty to evict Hardeep,” an officer said.

He added there were inconsistencies in Namdhari’s statements. “Namdhari claimed that two shots were fired at him by Hardeep, but no bullet was found around his (Namdhari’s) car seat,” he added.

The police have not given “clean chit” to anybody. “As of now, everybody is suspect,” Sharma said.

The police suspect Hardeep was chased and then shot as his body was found in the guard’s room but there were no blood stains around..

“We are also not ruling out the role of a third party. There are several unanswered questions that only Namdhari can explain,” a police officer said.

The police had earlier said some of Namdhari’s aides were in the Chattarpur farmhouse along with Ponty’s men a couple of hours before the shootout and might have taken part in it.