Liquor baron Ponty Chadha killed in gun duel with brother

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 18 2012, 07:51am hrs
Controversial liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his estranged brother Hardeep Chadha were killed on Saturday when they and their guards traded gunfire after an argument during a meeting called to resolve their property dispute, at a farmhouse in south Delhi.

Ponty, 55, and his brother Hardeep were shot at in their chests during the meeting at the former's farmhouse in Chhattarpur at around 1 pm on Saturday. Both the brothers were taken to hospitals, where they were declared brought dead. Their bodies were shifted to AIIMS for post mortem.

The three Chadha brothers Ponty, Hardeep and Rajinder were jointly managing the R6,000-crore Wave, formerly Chadha Group, which has diverse business interests in fields ranging from distilleries, multiplexes, sugar to paper mills, real estate, poultry and films.

Chadha was also producer of the Sunny Deol starrer, Jo Bole So Nihaal. Considered close to UP politicians, Chadha was one of the prominent names in the liquor business in Uttar Pradesh. He was apparently close to the Samajwadi Party, but switched to the BSP when Mayawati had assumed power, and became the sole distributor of liquor in Uttar Pradesh.

Ponty, whose real name is Gurdeep Chadha, had hit the headlines earlier this year when the I-T department conducted searches on his premises in February, covering 13 locations in Delhi, including posh Sainik Farms, Lajpat Nagar, New Friends Colony, and in six locations in Noida, Moradabad and Lucknow.

The group's recent focus has been on real estate and film distribution businesses.

The Centre Stage Mall in Noida's Sector 18 was the first shopping mall in the National Capital Region. The group's malls in Kaushambi, Lucknow, Moradabad and Ludhiana had become a brand in themselves.

The Wave's properties include residential properties in Mohali, Moradabad, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and upcoming Wave City Centre in Noida. They also owned Wave Industries (Dhanaura), AB Sugars (Dasuya), AB Grain (Gurudaspur), Chadha Papers (Bilaspur), Manorama Papers (UP) and Wave Beverages (Amritsar), among others.

Wave's film distribution arm distributed films like Kahani, Murder 2 and No Entry in Delhi and UP.

The group also ran a bottling plant for an international soft drink major, besides three distilleries in Punjab and UP.

Sources said Hardeep, along with his men, had gone to the farmhouse following a call from Ponty for a meeting to discuss the dispute over ownership of a property. It started on a peaceful note, but soon turned ugly, following which Hardeep allegedly opened fire at his brother, sources said.

This enraged the guards of Ponty, who returned the fire in which Hardeep was killed, they said. Around 30-40 rounds were fired. Ponty is believed to have taken six bullets on his body.