Punjab Police raids at 297 locations of associates of terrorist Lakhbir Landa (Photo for representation)
Days after a special NIA court ordered attachment of Punjab based properties of Khalistani terrorist Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias Landa, Punjab police launched a state wide crackdown on his associates.
The gangster-turned-terrorist Landa is believed to be hiding in in Canada since 2017 and is the mastermind in several cases of terrorism latest being 2022 Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) attacks on the Punjab Police Intelligence Headquarters in Mohali and the Sarhali police station in Punjab.
The police launched a special cordon and search operation (CASO) at suspected hideouts of around 297 people linked directly or indirectly to Landa’s Indian network. The simultaneous raids were conducted from 6 am to 10 am in all the 28 police districts in the state.
Special DGP, Law and Order, Arpit Shukla said that all the CPs/SSPs were directed to depute strong police parties led by an Inspector or Sub-Inspector to make this operation successful. Police teams were also asked to round up suspicious persons during the operation.
“As many as 150 parties of Punjab Police, involving at least 1200 cops carried out these raids across the state. The CASO was planned after the questioning of several persons in the recently busted modules backed by Lakhbir Landa. After the raids many have been detained for further verification and incriminating material has been seized from their possession, which is being further examined. During the operation, the police teams conducted thorough searches at the houses and other premises linked with these criminals and also collected the data from electronic devices, which will be sent for forensic examination,” said Shukla.
Police teams have also checked arms licenses and questioned people about the sourcing of ammunition, besides, gathering travel details of foreign-based family members, bank transactions from abroad, and Western Union and property details for further examination.
A resident of Tarn Taran in Punjab, Sandhu, believed to be residing in Edmonton in Alberta in Canada, has been an absconder and is wanted by the NIA in a case related to the grenade attack on the Punjab Police intelligence headquarters in Mohali in 2022. NIA has announced a cash reward of Rs 15 lakh for any information leading to arrest of Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias ‘Landa’.
Landa has been continuing his anti-India activities from Canada. He has been working for Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and its Pakistan based gangster-turned terrorist operative Harwinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda.
Landa and other foreign-based Khalistani terrorists have been found to be engaged in smuggling of terrorist hardware, including arms, ammunition, explosives, and custom-made ready-to-use IEDs, along with other types of contraband, including drugs, from across the border.