In another major step towards demolishing the terrorist-gangster-drug smuggler nexus in the country, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at 32 locations in Delhi, Haryana, and Punjab on Thursday, officials said. The raids began early this morning and multiple teams of the anti-terror agency conducted searches in close coordination with state police forces.
Jhajjar and Sonipat in Haryana are among the other places being searched by the agency. Agency sleuths searched the premises of members linked to dreaded gangster Lawrence Bishnoi’s organised terror-crime syndicate. The raids were conducted days after the NIA on January 6 attached four properties owned by Lawrence Bishnoi. Of these properties, three were immovable, and one was movable. The properties were attached in a coordinated swoop by the NIA teams in Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967.
The NIA has said it found all these properties to be ‘proceeds of terrorism’, used for hatching terror conspiracies and executing serious crimes. The properties attached include Flat-77/4, Ashrey-1, Sulabh Awas Yojana, Sector-1, Gomti Nagar Extension, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, belonging to Vikas Singh, a harborer of the terror gang in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Two other properties attached were located in village Bhishanpura, Fazilka, Punjab, and were owned by accused Dalip Kumar, alias Bhola, alias Dalip Bishnoi. The two properties are Khewat No. 284, Ragba Tedadi (Pluralistic) 59-15 in 187/2390, Hissa (share) Baqadar, and Khewat No. 296, Ragba Tedadi (Pluralistic) 225-12 in 127/752, Hissa (share) Baqadar.
One Fortuner car registered in the name of Joginder Singh, resident of Yamunanagar in Haryana, was also seized. As per NIA investigations, Vikas Singh is an associate of Lawrence Bishnoi, who has harboured terrorists, including accused persons involved in a Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack on Punjab Police Headquarters.
Joginder Singh is the father of gangster Kala Rana, a close associate of Lawrence Bishnoi. Joginder Singh was facilitating gang members by allowing them to use his Fortuner car for the purpose of transporting arms and ammunition for promoting terrorist acts. The property belonging to accused Dalip Kumar was being used as a shelter and warehouse for storage and concealment of weapons, as well as for harbouring terrorist gang members. The NIA had registered a case against the organised crime syndicate of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi and his associates under UA(P)A in August 2022.
The agency’s investigations showed that the gang had spread its mafia-style criminal networks in several states of the country. These networks were involved in many sensational crimes, such as the murders of popular Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala as well as religious and social leaders like Pardeep Kumar, besides large-scale extortions from businessmen and professionals. NIA investigations have further revealed that many of these terror conspiracies were masterminded from abroad, including Pakistan and Canada, or by leaders of organised terror syndicates operating from prisons across India. As part of its efforts to disrupt and dismantle such terror and mafia networks and their support infrastructure, the NIA has adopted several targeted strategies in recent months, including attachment and seizure of their properties derived from ‘proceeds of terrorism’.