The NIA has launched a multi-state offensive against the nexus between criminal syndicates in India and Calistani separatists and terrorists based in countries such as Pakistan and Canada, who use these networks for terrorism-related activities. Early this morning, the agency raided more than 50 locations linked to gangs led by Lawrence Bishnoi and Arshdeep Dalla, whom Delhi Police this week linked to Pakistan-based terrorist group Laskar-e-Taiba and rumors of attacks on Hindu leaders in Punjab.
According to the NIA, fugitives like Dalla and Gaurav Patial are based abroad but remain in close contact with pro-Khalistan individuals to order targeted killings and acts of extortion.
The NIA raids were spread across Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the national capital region. In Punjab alone, the NIA raided 30 places. The raids are part of efforts to build a strong case against the syndicates, most of which now operate from Dubai. The raids are related to three cases registered by the NIA in August last year.
These are against Lakhbir Singh alias Landa, based in Canada; Pakistan-based Harvinder Singh Rinda and US-based Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, founder of the banned separatist group Sikhs for Justice. On Monday, agency sources revealed details of the dossier on Pannun, which says he “wants to create countries (by dividing) India.”
READ | Khalistani terrorist “wants to divide India and create many countries”: sources
Cases have also been filed against Bishnoi and mafia bosses Goldy Brar and Vikram Brar, as well as their rivals Bambiha, Kaushal Chaudhary, Neeraj Bawana, Dilpreet and Sukhpreet alias Budha.
There are also cases against Sunil alias Tillu Tajpuriya, who was murdered – as police watched – inside Delhi’s Tihar Jail in May, and Bambiha, who was shot dead in an encounter in Punjab in 2016.
Of the other chiefs, Bishnoi is in prison in Ahmedabad and Dalla in Canada.
Last week, the NIA also seized properties owned by Pannun in Chandigarh and Amritsar under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Pannun, wanted since 2019 on charges of promoting and committing terrorist acts, faces 22 criminal cases in Punjab alone, including three for sedition.
Two days earlier, the agency raided more than 1,000 places in Punjab and Haryana; these were linked to Goldy Brar, who allegedly planned the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala.
Goldy Brar is today among India’s “most wanted gangsters” and is also believed to be behind the murder of rival crime boss Sukha Dunike, who was shot dead in the Canadian city of Winnipeg.