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“Ponty” Chadha: A life in pictures

How Gurdeep Ponty Chadha took his family's local l... more

On Saturday 17 November, liquor baron Gurdeep “Ponty” Singh Chadha was killed, alongside his brother Hardeep, in a gun-fight at a family property in South Delhi. HT
1/13On Saturday 17 November, liquor baron Gurdeep “Ponty” Singh Chadha was killed, alongside his brother Hardeep, in a gun-fight at a family property in South Delhi. HT
The farmhouse at 42, DLF Farms, Chattarpur, had been left to the brothers by their father Kulwant Singh, who died last year. They had been fighting in court over its possession. Pradeep Gaur/Mint.
2/13The farmhouse at 42, DLF Farms, Chattarpur, had been left to the brothers by their father Kulwant Singh, who died last year. They had been fighting in court over its possession. Pradeep Gaur/Mint.
The shooting took place outside the gates of the farmhouse, and involved both brothers and their security personnel, who, police say, fired multiple rounds, hitting walls and the gates. Pradeep Gaur/Mint.
3/13The shooting took place outside the gates of the farmhouse, and involved both brothers and their security personnel, who, police say, fired multiple rounds, hitting walls and the gates. Pradeep Gaur/Mint.
The Chadha family were refugees from Pakistan and moved to this house in Moradabad after partition. They started a business selling pakoras outside a local liquor store in the early 1960s, say neighbours. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
4/13The Chadha family were refugees from Pakistan and moved to this house in Moradabad after partition. They started a business selling pakoras outside a local liquor store in the early 1960s, say neighbours. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
The family soon went into the liquor trade. Today, the Chadha family “Model Wine Shops” are everywhere in Uttar Pradesh. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
5/13The family soon went into the liquor trade. Today, the Chadha family “Model Wine Shops” are everywhere in Uttar Pradesh. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
According to a local person, the family also ran a sugar cane crusher unit in Gajraula in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. This was later converted into a rubber unit that was shut down in 2009. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
6/13According to a local person, the family also ran a sugar cane crusher unit in Gajraula in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. This was later converted into a rubber unit that was shut down in 2009. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
During the Emergency (1975-1977), the family moved into the sugar trade, setting up several factories in the area. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
7/13During the Emergency (1975-1977), the family moved into the sugar trade, setting up several factories in the area. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
Once the family business started to thrive, the Chadhas moved into a spacious white mansion in the Civil Lines area of Moradabad, where Ponty’s uncle, Narinder “Sweety” Singh, still lives. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
8/13Once the family business started to thrive, the Chadhas moved into a spacious white mansion in the Civil Lines area of Moradabad, where Ponty’s uncle, Narinder “Sweety” Singh, still lives. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
Ponty’s father, Kulwant Singh, was the eldest of six brothers. In the beginning, say local people, he and his brother, Harbhajan, were the face of the business. Ponty joined the family enterprise around 1980. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
9/13Ponty’s father, Kulwant Singh, was the eldest of six brothers. In the beginning, say local people, he and his brother, Harbhajan, were the face of the business. Ponty joined the family enterprise around 1980. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
Within a short span of time, the Chadhas controlled most of the liquor licences in UP. In some areas, say local people, when liquor was sold at rates above market price, the margin was known as “Ponty Tax”. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
10/13Within a short span of time, the Chadhas controlled most of the liquor licences in UP. In some areas, say local people, when liquor was sold at rates above market price, the margin was known as “Ponty Tax”. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
The Chadha family opened a cinema in Moradabad which still exists. Son of Sardar was playing to almost a full house earlier this month. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
11/13The Chadha family opened a cinema in Moradabad which still exists. Son of Sardar was playing to almost a full house earlier this month. Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
After the creation of the Wave Group, the Chadhas extended their reach into real estate, education, paper, malls and multiplexes and film distribution, including this cinema complex in Noida. Pradeep Gaur/Mint.
12/13After the creation of the Wave Group, the Chadhas extended their reach into real estate, education, paper, malls and multiplexes and film distribution, including this cinema complex in Noida. Pradeep Gaur/Mint.
Though there is no definitive account of what happened, police have taken several men into custody including Uttarakhand politician Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, who, they now claim, fired shots that killed Hardeep. Pradeep Gaur/Mint.
13/13Though there is no definitive account of what happened, police have taken several men into custody including Uttarakhand politician Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, who, they now claim, fired shots that killed Hardeep. Pradeep Gaur/Mint.
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