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Ponty Shootout: '22 of the Accused Were Part of Conspiracy'

Delhi Police has claimed before a court here that sacked Uttarakhand minorities panel chief S S Namdhari and 21 others, arrested in connection with killing of liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep, were part of a "conspiracy to kill".

Namdhari and others have refuted all the allegations of the investigating agency before Additional Sessions Judge Vimal Kumar Yadav and claimed that they are "innocent" and have been "falsely implicated" in the case.

On conclusion of arguments on framing of charges by the Delhi Police and the 22 accused, the court has directed their counsel to file "written submissions" by tomorrow.

"Arguments are taken and concluded with the liberty to file written submissions. List...For appearance of the accused persons and clarifications, if any," the judge said.

During the course of arguments, Namdhari's counsel R S Malik said there is no legal evidence against his client and the accused has no connection with the bullets recovered from the spot or from the bodies of the deceased brothers.

Malik also told the court that none of the co-accused in their statements have named Namdhari or referred about his involvement in the commission of the offence.

Ponty and Hardeep, who allegedly had a property dispute, were killed in a shootout at a Chhattarpur farmhouse on November 17 last year.

During the course of arguments, the prosecution informed the court that the two brothers were not on talking terms as there was property dispute between them.

"The dispute had not resolved on November 16, 2012 night, so the planning was to take away the property by any means, in which the two brothers were killed," the prosecution said.

The prosecution narrated the sequence of events leading to the final act of murder and said Ponty, Namdhari along with 21 of their men had conspired to take over the farmhouse from Hardeep's possession.

It said Hardeep had arrived at the scene and when Ponty's men were opening the gate of the disputed property, Hardeep fired at them and also at Ponty, and in return Namdhari and his PSO Sachin Tyagi shot him (Hardeep).

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