On May 17, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at more than 100 locations in six States of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh in terror-narcotics smugglers-gangsters nexus cases.
The anti-terror agency, in close coordination with State police forces, conducted these raids since early on May 17 at the premises and other places linked to suspects. The raids are still going on. The raids are being conducted in connection with three separate cases lodged by the NIA last year– RC 37, 38, 39/2022/NIA/DLI.
The agency, on January 25 this year, arrested one Deepak Ranga, the main shooter in the RPG attack on Punjab Police Intelligence Headquarters in Mohali in May 2022 in its case RC-37/2022/NIA/DLI, from Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur as he was a close associate of Canada based gangster-turned-terrorist Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias Landa and Pakistan based gangster-turned-terrorist Harvinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda.
Apart from his involvement in the May RPG attack, Deepak has been involved in a number of other violent terrorist and criminal offences, including violent killings. He has been actively receiving terror funds and logistical support from Rinda and Landa.
The NIA had registered the case suo moto on September 20, 2022, after it emerged that terrorist outfits and terror elements based abroad were operating in tandem with leaders and members of organised criminal gangs operating in northern states of the country to commit targeted killings and violent criminal acts. It had also emerged that the terror-gangster-drug smuggler network was also engaged in smuggling terrorist hardware, such as arms, ammunition explosives, IEDs etc., across borders through a widespread inter-state network of gun runners, illegal arms and ammunition manufacturers and suppliers and explosive traffickers.
Since the registration of three criminal cases against the above terror-gangster-drug smuggler network, NIA has already arrested 19 leaders and members of various Organised criminal gangs, two Arms suppliers and one big financier connected with the network under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Canada-based Arsh Dalla was designated as an ‘individual terrorist’ by the Ministry of Home Affairs on January 9 this year.
(With inputs from ANI)