A Conspiracy Unmasked
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Liquor baron Gurdeep 'Ponty' Chadha's rags-to-riches life story intrigued many over the years. His murder, and that of his brother, is unfolding in an equally intriguing way—a web of simmering family rivalry exploding into violence. PRAWESH LAMA and SHALINI NARAYAN piece together the story of what happened at Delhi's Chhattarpur farmhouse number 42 on November 17 and the chain of events that led to the killings.
Sounds of gunshots shattered the morning calm on November 17 in the quiet neighbourhood of Chhattarpur farms in southwest Delhi. At least 20 rounds were exchanged between two groups at farmhouse number 42 for nearly eight minutes. By the time the guns stopped blazing and an eerie silence descended, liquor baron Gurdeep 'Ponty' Chadha and his brother Hardeep were dead.
What appeared to be a shootout initiated by Hardeep in a fit of rage has, in the last three weeks, turned out to be a conspiracy—the result of a brewing rivalry between Hardeep and Ponty over property disputes.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Investigations have revealed that a day before the incident, the two brothers fought over the ownership of two farmhouses, in Chhattarpur and in Bijwasan in southwest Delhi. The night before the shootout, the two brothers were at farmhouse number 21 in Chhattarpur, where they lived together, and had quarreled over the two properties. Ponty's men informed the police about the quarrel, expressing apprehension that Hardeep's men might resort to violence at the farmhouse.
A senior police officer said, "Around 8 p.m., the police control room received a call about a fight at their house. The police intervened and family members advised them to sit for mediation the following day. A senior politician from Delhi was also asked to attend the discussion where the two brothers were to reach a compromise."
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