New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency Monday carried out raids at 50 places across three states and in the national capital to dismantle what an official called was an “emerging nexus” between terrorists, gangsters, and drug-smugglers.
Those covered under the raids also included gangsters involved in the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala.
The NIA registered a case on August 26 after it identified some of the “most desperate gang leaders and their associates based in India and abroad” who were spearheading and carrying out such terror and criminal activities.
The raids were conducted in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Delhi to dismantle and disrupt the “emerging nexus” between terrorists, gangsters, drug smugglers, and traffickers based in India and abroad, an official spokesperson said, adding these cases were taken over from the Delhi Police.
Searches were conducted this morning at the premises belonging to gangsters Goldy Brar, who is at present based in Canada, Lawrence Bishnoi, Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, Varinder Pratap alias Kala Rana, Kala Jathedi, Vikram Brar, Gaurav Patyal alias Lucky Patyal (who was earlier arrested in Armenia).
Other premises covered are associated with gangsters Neeraj Bawana, Koushal Chaudhary, Tillu Tajpuria, Amit Dagar, Deepak Kumar alias Tinu, Sandeep alias Bandar, Umesh alias Kala, Irfan alias Cheenu Pahalwan, Ashim alias Hashim Baba, Sachin Bhanja and their associates.
Goldy Brar and Bhagwanpuria are also involved in the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala who was shot dead in Punjab on May 29.
Six pistols, one revolver, and one shotgun were seized along with ammunition during the raids, the spokesperson said, adding drugs, cash, incriminating documents, digital devices, details of Benami property, and threat letters have also been seized.
The raids came after some recent sensational crimes and extortion calls by criminal syndicates and gangsters to businessmen, and professionals including doctors were reported. Officials said these gangs were using cyber-space to publicize these crimes to create terror among the public at large.
The NIA investigations also revealed that such criminal acts were not isolated local incidents but there was a deep-rooted conspiracy amongst terrorists, gangsters, and drug smuggling cartels and networks, who were operating from both within and outside the country, the spokesperson said.
Many gang leaders and members had fled from India and were now operating from foreign countries, including Pakistan, Canada, Malaysia, and Australia.
Ongoing probes in cases being investigated by the agency including the killing of Shaurya Chakra Awardee Comrade Balwinder Singh in Punjab also revealed that most of these conspiracies were being hatched from jails in different states and were being executed with the help of an organized network of operatives based in abroad.
Preliminary investigations have shown that these gangs were carrying out targeted killings, including those of prominent people, to terrorise the general public to extort money for running and promoting their criminal syndicates and activities.
These gangs were also raising funds through smuggling of drugs and weapons to carry out such criminal activities, the spokesperson said, adding the raids were part of efforts to dismantle these transnational terror and crime networks.
The 50 locations raided were in Fazilka, Fairdkot, Mukhtsar Sahab, Moga, Taran Taaran, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Mohali (all in Punjab); East Gurugram, Bhiwani, Yamuna Nagar, Sonepat and Jhajjar (all Haryana), Hanumangarh and Ganganagar districts of Rajasthan and Dwarka, Outer North, North West, North East and Shahdara Districts of Delhi-NCR.
Further investigations will continue to dismantle these terror networks as well as their funding and support infrastructure, the spokesperson said.