|Born||Gurdeep Singh Chadha
22 October 1958
Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Died||17 November 2012
|Occupation||former managing director of Wave Cinemas.|
Gurdeep Singh "Ponty" Chadha (22 October 1958 – 17 November 2012) was a liquor baron from Uttar Pradesh, India. Chadha gained popularity and expanded his liquor business to 20 billion (US$330 million) in three states of North India including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and New Delhi. He co-owned the company Wave Inc. with his brothers Hardeep and Rajinder. He was killed in a violent shoot out at his own farm in Chhattarpur area in New Delhi in 2012.
Chadha's family migrated from Pakistan to Moradabad during the partition. He used to sell snacks with his father in front of a country-made liquor shop in his hometown. They made a significant profit once his father Kulwant Singh Chadha managed to get a license to run a liquor shop. Various sources indicate that Chadha's hands were disabled due to an electric shock as a child.
Apart from liquor, he was also involved in food processing, paper manufacturing, sugar mills, distilleries, power manufacturing, bottling plants, real estate as well as film distribution. The Chadha family managed the Chadha Group which operated under the Wave brand. Their flagship companies include Wave Industries, Wave Infratech and Wave Distilleries and Breweries. He had allegedly been favoured by former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati and former Chief Minister of Punjab, Amarinder Singh.
Liquor license monopoly
Just before the 2009 General Elections, due to a change in Uttar Pradesh government policy to control the trafficking of spurious liquor, the system of multiple wholesale dealers was abolished. This led to the monopoly of Chadha group who acquired the license to sell wholesale alcohol single handedly in the whole state. The monopoly not only deprived other people to sell liquor in these states but it also gave an opportunity to Ponty Chaddha to allegedly exploit the masses by charging exorbitant prices which were way above the MRP.
Multiplexes and income tax criminal investigation raid
The Wave brand operates Multiplexes under the brand name 'Wave Cinemas' in New Delhi, Noida, Kaushambi, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Moradabad and Haridwar. Wave Cinemas operates 28 screens with a capacity of 8107 seats. One of the Wave multiplexes situated in Centrestage mall in Noida was raided by Directorate of Income Tax Intelligence and Criminal Investigation officials over alleged tax evasion in February 2012. After the raid, the Income Tax department had said that it had seized Rs 110 million in cash, jewellery and fixed deposits and had sealed 13 bank lockers.Three months after the raids, an Income Tax official said that Ponty had disclosed an unrecorded income of Rs 1.75 billion.
Wave Infratech is the real estate arm of the Chadha Group. Wave Infratech has undertaken construction of commercial and residential projects and malls in Noida. Chadha group also enjoyed a monopoly over the mining business in Bundelkhand and Sonbhadra regions of Uttar Pradesh.
On 17 November 2012 it is said that Ponty and his brother had allegedly killed each other in a crossfire over an argument regarding some property that Hardeep controlled. However, as various sources including Taranjit Singh, a relative of Chadha claimed, he was handicapped in both hands and could not have fired to provoke his brother. Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, sec chairman of Uttarakhand's minority commission was also present at the farmhouse during the incident. During the investigation initiated by Delhi Police, an intervention was sought from the Home Ministry as to why Punjab Police did not intimate their Delhi counterparts that their PSO (Personal Security Officers) were armed and accompanying the Chadha brothers beyond their jurisdiction. On 21 November 4 arrests were made under the charges of kidnapping, trespassing and assault. The accused include Chadha's protocol manager, his PSOs and a driver. On 23 November, Namdhari was arrested for shooting at Ponty Chadha's brother Hardeep Chadha.
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- "Wave Cinemas". Company Website. Wave. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
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- "Ponty Chadha, brother Hardeep killed in family feud". Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Shekhar, Raj (17 November 2012). "Ponty Chadha, brother killed in shooting at farmhouse in south Delhi". Times of India. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- PTI (19 November 2012). "Ponty Chadha murder: Uttarakhand Chief Minister hints at Sukhdev Namdhari's removal". NDTV. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Jain, Bharti (21 November 2012). "Ponty Chadha shootout: Home ministry's intervention sought". Economic Times. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- Shekhar, Raj (21 November 2012). malik "4 arrested in Ponty Chadha shootout case". Times of India. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "Namdhari fired at Ponty Chadha's brother Hardeep: Police". Retrieved 24 November 2012.