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Real estate business tycoon and liquor baron, Ponty Chadha, owner of Wave multiplexes, was killed in a bloody shootout at his farmhouse in South Delhi, India on Saturday, 17 November 2012. His brother, Hardeep Chadha, fired the fatal round of bullets. Both brothers died in the horrific shootout, spanning an hour and a half, and involving a posse of supporters and guards who were all armed with high-tech, sophisticated weaponry, including an AK-47 rifle.
According to the police, both brothers were deeply embroiled in a feud over the 20,000-crore Wave empire founded by their father, Kulwant Singh Chadha. Since their father’s death last year, the feud had intensified to the point of non-reconciliation. Both sides had planned to “settle scores” on that fateful day.
Allegedly the bone of contention between the brothers was the fact that Hardeep, Ponty’s brother, had demanded a bigger chunk of all future investments in the Wave Empire. Hardeep had become greedy and wanted a bigger share of the profits from the real estate business. The tension was thick in the air when the brothers faced off against each other on Saturday.
On Saturday morning, when Ponty arrived at his farmhouse No. 42 with more than 30 of his men, he had come with the sole intent of taking full possession of the farmhouse. At that moment, Hardeep arrived on the scene after being informed by his guards. A bitter argument ensued and Hardeep opened fire at Ponty’s Land Cruiser. Chairman of the Uttrakhand Minorities Commission, Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, who was accompanying Ponty, fired in retaliation.
Police are now piecing together the crime that seems to have been triggered by the property and wealth dispute within the family. Many questions remain unanswered. How many rounds of bullets were really fired? According to preliminary claims, nearly 40 rounds of bullets were fired but only three people were killed. How many guards and police personnel were involved in the shootout? Investigations are also leading officials to ask the grave question – Was the shootout planned in advance? Police also state that the shootout could have been avoided if the brothers had not reached the farmhouse at the same time.
Punjab Police SSP Charanjit Singh said, “Our six men were posted as PSO of Hardeep of which three were on leave, and one was with Ponty Chadha. None of them fired a single bullet. Delhi Police are investigating the matter and we are just assisting them. No action has been taken against our men, neither by Delhi Police nor by us.” Three days after the shootout, police continue to solve this jigsaw puzzle and reconstruct the events of that day.