New Delhi: The judicial custody of sacked Uttarakhand minority panel chief S S Namdhari and nine others, arrested for their alleged role in the murder of liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother, was extended on Friday till January 24 by a Delhi court. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mukesh Kumar remanded Namdhari, his PSO Sachin Tyagi and eight others in 14 days judicial custody, after they appeared before the court in person on expiry of their one day remand.
On Thursday, their judicial custody was extended for a day only as the investigating officer (IO) could not reach the court in time. The court allowed the IO plea to produce all the 10 accused on the next day of hearing on January 24 thorough video conferencing, but has directed the agency to produce them in person on February 7.
The court extended the judicial custody of accused Bhupender Singh, Uday Raj Singh, Rajpal Singh, Anand Singh Bisht, Mathura Singh Mehra and Satnam Singh, who are Ponty's aides. It also extended the judicial custody for Namdhari's men Simranjeet Singh and Jagbir Singh.
The Crime Branch of Delhi Police had booked Namdhari for allegedly killing Ponty Chadha's younger brother Hardeep. Tyagi, a constable with Uttarakhand Police since 2005 and deployed as Namdhari's PSO since January 2012, was also arrested for his alleged role in the crime.
Ponty and Hardeep, who had an ongoing property dispute, were killed in a shootout at their Chattarpur farmhouse here on November 17 afternoon, after which the police arrested 10 persons including Tyagi and Namdhari in various criminal cases linked to the incident.
All the 10 accused have been booked for allegedly committing offences of hatching criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder, dacoity, assault, Arms Act, destruction of evidence, trespass, illegal confinement and kidnapping. The police, however, has booked Namdhari on charges of murder.
The police had told the court that from the probe, 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 had also told the court that during the probe, Tyagi had disclosed about his involvement in the conspiracy of trespass and that he along with Namdhari, had shot at Hardeep as per a plan hatched earlier among him, Namdhari and Ponty.
It had said Namdhari had brought with him a number of associates armed with weapons, hockey sticks and baseball bats to facilitate forcible possession of the Chattarpur farmhouse. Namdhari's associates help him run his various businesses in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab.
In this regard, police registered two criminal cases, one of forcible dispossession of the farm house in which Hardeep was murdered and the other of murder of Ponty. Earlier, the court had also issued non bailable warrants against eight men, all belonging to Bareilly, for January 28 after the Crime Branch had submitted that they were still on run and were wanted for their alleged roles in killings of Ponty and Hardeep.
The eight against whom the NBWs were issued are Hardayal Singh, Satnam Singh, Baj Singh, Balkar Singh, Pargat Singh, Kulbir Singh, Bakshish Singh and Dharmender.