The police custody of sacked Uttarakhand minority panel chief Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, booked on charges of murder in slain liquor baron Ponty Chadha shootout case, was extended on Wednesday by a Delhi court till December 7.
Metropolitan Magistrate Rajinder Singh extended Namdhari’s police custody by two more days saying he is required to be interrogated for recovery of the alleged weapon and vehicle used in the crime.
“In the facts and circumstances of the case, the accused Namdhari is further remanded to two days of police custody.
“The accused be produced before this court or any other competent court upon the expiry of the police custody remand on December 7,” the court said.
Namdhari’s police custody was extended after Delhi police Crime Branch told the court that during the interrogation, the accused had disclosed the name of his associates and his custodial interrogation is required for their identification.
Namdhari’s counsel R S Malik, however, opposed the police plea for remand saying his client has already spent over 11 days in police custody and there was nothing else to be recovered from him as the police has already seized the alleged weapons used in the shootout.
During the hearing, the Crime Branch Investigating Officer (IO) Jitendar Singh told the court that investigation in the case and statement of a witness has established that Namdhari and his PSO Sachin Tyagi, who is already in police custody, had fired at Ponty’s brother Hardeep, who had also died in the shootout.
Ponty and Hardeep, who had an ongoing property dispute, were killed in a shootout at their Chattarpur farmhouse on November 17 afternoon, after which the police has arrested altogether 10 people including Namdhari and Tyagi in various criminal cases linked to the incident.
While seeking extension of Namdhari’s custody, the police told the court that after commission of the offence, Namdhari had removed his pistol and ammunition from the scene of crime.
They added on the day of shootout, Namdhari was accompanied by 32 people and it was a war-like situation.
The IO told the court that from the investigation, it has been established that Namdhari has played a vital role in the conspiracy with other co-accused, who acted on his orders.
The police said Namdhari himself had disclosed that the absconding co-accused are hiding in different places in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
“Accused Namdhari had managed arms license and weapons for the Khalsa Brigade from Amritsar, Punjab. The same weapons had been used for the commission of offence by his persons at the spot for trespass and assault,” the police said.
The IO told the court that during interrogation, Namdhari had disclosed names of 10 of his associates who are also his relatives and had “helped him in trespass of the farmhouse.”
“He can get them arrested from the hideouts...and get the weapons used in the crime recovered,” the police said.
The police had claimed before the court on Tuesday that Namdhari’s PSO Sachin Tyagi had allegedly conspired with him and Ponty Chadha to kill Hardeep.