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Amid India-Canada row, NIA crackdown on Khalistanis exposes transnational terror-gangster-drug smuggling network

NIA special court orders confiscation of Pakistan based Khalistani terrorist Lakhbir Singh Rode's property in Punjab

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday detained several suspects and arrested an accomplice of Khalistani terrorist Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dalla.

The accused identified as Jones, alias Jora was arrested from Ferozepur, Punjab. He is believed to be key aid of Dalla and managed his cross border narco terrorism .The raid was conducted as part of multi state raid on criminal syndicates who have links with Khalistani terrorists based in Pakistan and Canada.

The 7th raid this year was carried out in 53 locations across six states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. The anti-terror fedral agency detained many suspects along with several pistols, ammunition and large number of digital devices and incriminating material in this raid.

Besides Dalla, other gangsters under the NIA scanner in Wednesday’s raids were Lawrence Bishnoi, Sukha Duneke (deceased), Harry Maur, Narender alias Lali, Kala Jatheri and Deepak Tinu.

“The focus of today’s raids, aimed at dismantling the terror-gangster-drug smuggler nexus, was on weapon suppliers, financiers and logistics providers associated with various hardcore gangs and their operatives. These gangs are working with drug smugglers and terrorists based out of other countries, including Pakistan, UAE, Canada, Portugal,” said an official communication of NIA.

The agency further added that many criminals and gangsters shifted base from India and fled abroad in recent years and are now pursuing their terror and violence related activities from there.

“These criminals have been engaged in planning and commissioning serious crimes, including contract and revenge killings, in association with criminals lodged in jails across India. These groups have been carrying out targeted killings and raising funds for attacks and other nefarious activities through smuggling of drugs and weapons, hawala and extortions. These conspiracies were being hatched in the jails of different states and were being executed by an organised network of operatives based abroad. Notable among such conspiracies were the sensational killing of Maharashtra builder Sanjay Biyani, mining trader Mehal Singh and international Kabaddi player Sandeep Nangal Ambia in Punjab last year”, added the agency.

The NIA crackdown on the terrorist-gangster-drug smuggler nexus, connected with listed terrorist Arsh Dalla and many other dreaded gangsters came amid a raging diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey.

The NIA had earlier released details of 43 terrorists as part of its crackdown on terrorist-gangster nexus, some of them with Canada and Khalistan links. The agency also asked the public to share details of their properties and assets which can be taken over by the central government. NIA has registered five cases since August 2022 related to conspiracies of targeted killings, terror funding of pro-Khalistan outfits and extortion by the gangsters. Many of the accused are lodged in various jails or are operating from various foreign countries, including Pakistan, Canada, Malaysia, Portugal and Australia.

NIA had earlier conducted similar raids at over 370 locations, leading to seizure of 38 arms, including 4 lethal weapons, along with 1129 rounds of ammunition. NIA has so far frozen 87 banks accounts and attached 13 properties, besides seizing 331 digital devices, 418 documents and two vehicles. Two absconders have been declared as designated individual terrorists, and 15 accused declared as Proclaimed offenders and Red Corner Notices (RCNs) issued against 9 others.

Last week, in an unprecedented move, the NIA confiscated properties owned by designated Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in Chandigarh and Amritsar under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.