The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday seized several illegal arms and ammunition, along with incriminating documents, digital devices, and cash, in a massive multi-state crackdown in three cases relating to conspiracies and activities of the banned Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) outfit and the Lawrence Bishnoi crime syndicate, among others.
A total of 32 locations in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Chandigarh were raided by NIA teams as part of the mega operation that began early on Thursday morning. The seizures in the searches included 2 pistols, 2 magazines, and ammunition, along with cash amounting to Rs 4.60 lakh, besides documents and digital devices.
The three cases are connected to the terror activities being carried out by the BKI, a banned organisation, and the terrorist-gangster networks operating in the country. Such activities include smuggling and induction of terrorist hardware, such as arms and ammunition, explosives, IEDs, etc, from across the borders. The terror hardware is being used by operatives and members of terror outfits and organised criminal syndicates for carrying out explosions, targeted killings, extortions, funding of terror outfits, etc, in various parts of the country.
Thursday’s crackdown involved raids at 16 locations in the case (RC-21/2023/NIA/DLI) related to the activities of the chiefs and members of the BKI. The NIA, which had registered the case suo moto on July 10, has identified Harwinder Singh (alias Rinda) and Lakhbir Singh Sandhu (alias Landa) among the key conspirators involved in hatching terror conspiracies as well as smuggling of arms and ammunition into Punjab. They have also been sending funds to their associates through various Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) channels for carrying out terrorist acts, as per NIA investigations.
A total of seven locations were raided in the case (RC-39/2022/NIA/DLI registered by the NIA against the organised crime syndicate being run on the directions of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi and his associates, including Goldy Brar, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA. The syndicate has spread its mafia-style criminal networks in several states of the country, as well as abroad, in active conspiracy with Harwinder Singh (alias Rinda), a “designated Individual terrorist”. These networks have been involved in many sensational crimes, such as the murders of popular Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala as well as religious and social leaders like Pardeep Kumar, besides large-scale extortions from businessmen and professionals.
The third case (RC-22/2023/NIA/DLI) in which nine raids were conducted is connected to various proscribed terrorist organisations and criminal gangs based in India and abroad, which have been involved in hatching terror and criminal conspiracies in various parts of the country.
The searches were part of the NIA’s continuous crackdown on outfits and individuals engaged in carrying out criminal and terrorist activities in India, as well as their support networks.