Liquor and real estate baron Ponty Chadha, who hit the headlines for his political clout and extravagant lifestyle, and his younger brother Hardeep Chadha were shot dead in a half-hour gunbattle over family property in a Mehrauli farmhouse in south Delhi Saturday, police said.
"The cross-firing between the two groups led by the two brothers continued for about half an hour and around 40 rounds were used," a police officer told IANS.
According to police sources, the clash took place Saturday morning 11 a.m. when Gurpreet Singh Chadha alias Ponty Chadha along with security men and other people allegedly barged into the farm house at 42, Central Lane, DLF, Chattarpur farms, Mali village in Mehrauli, and started beating servants and security staff who were present in the house.
Though police initially said Hardeep had invited his brother Ponty to the farm house to talk over property dispute, the investigators later said the property belonged to their father Kulwant Singh Chadha and both were claiming its ownership.
"Hardeep was in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, at that time and was informed about Ponty's entry into the farmhouse by one of his (Hardeep) aides on phone. Ponty was in the house when Hardeep reached with his security personnel," a police source said.
As Hardeep tried to enter the premises, firing started between the two groups, police said.
"In the cross-firing, Ponty received 12 bullet injuries while Hardeep four. One more person, Ponty's employee identified as Narender, was injured and was taken to hospital in Gurgaon for treatment. He received one bullet injury," said a police officer.
The farm house where the bloody gunbattle took place belonged to Kulwant Singh Chadha, father of the two brothers. The younger brother, Hardeep, was allegedly claiming ownership over the house while Ponty was opposing it, he said.
A few months back, Hardeep had deployed some security personnel at the farmhouse.
According to police sources, the two brothers and their guards used pistols and rifles in the bloody battle. "Two pistols and an AK-47 rifle and several used shells were recovered from the spot," police officer said.
"The incident is the outcome of a property dispute. We are investigating the case and identifying the security personnel accompanying the two brothers," Joint Commissioner of Police Vivek Gogia told IANS.
"Ponty Chadha and Hardeep Chadha were brought dead to Fortis Hospital in Delhi's Vasant Kunj and later both the bodies were taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for post-mortem examination," a police official said.
"Their post-mortem would be conducted tomorrow (Sunday)," Deputy Commissioner of police Chhaya Sharma told reporters.
Ponty Chadha's business empire encompassed distilleries, multiplexes, sugar and paper mills, real estate, poultry and films.
Earlier Oct 5, an incident of shooting had taken place inside Ponty Chadha's ancestral home in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh.