Even as a fifth person was arrested for allegedly being part of the attempt to evict employees of Ponty Chadha’s brother Hardeep from a farmhouse in Chhatarpur here on November 17, the police on Thursday were trying ascertain if persons having links with sacked Uttarakhand Minorities Commission chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari were also involved.
In a statement to the police, Mr. Namdhari admitted that he was with Ponty Chadha since 9.30 a.m. on the fateful day. Investigations have revealed that the business tycoon’s men allegedly attacked the farmhouse in question, beat up Hardeep’s men and drove them away after snatching their mobile phones. The assailants had allegedly also fired in the air. Since some contradictions reportedly emerged in Mr. Namdhari’s version of the sequence of events leading up to the murders of Ponty Chadha and Hardeep, the police are now closely examining his role in the chain of events. Some witnesses have alleged that while Ponty Chadha’s men had barged into the farmhouse around 11 a.m., the two siblings were killed about an hour later in a shoot-out.
Stating that none had been given a “clean chit”, Joint Commissioner of Police Vivek Gogia said the police would question Mr. Namdhari as and when necessary and that they were in touch with him. “He is not with us, but we will talk to him whenever needed,” he said, adding that another person named Mathura Singh Mehra (30), a domestic help of the Chadhas, was arrested .
“The accused was working for Ponty Chadha for the past seven years. He assisted Ponty’s men and was also aware of the incidents at Chhatarpur and Bijwasan. He supplied the weapons to them,” Mr. Gogia said.
While the police probe is under way, families and relatives of Ponty Chadha and Hardeep came together at a prayer meeting held at Rakab Ganj Gurdwara on Thursday.
The prayer meeting was attended by several politicians, industrialists and filmmakers. Among the visitors were former cricketer and current MP Mohammad Azharuddin, Congress MLA from Delhi Tarwinder Singh Marwah, former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and senior Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav.
Film producers Boney Kapoor and Pooja Bhatt, and actor Randeep Hooda alsp attended the prayer meeting.