Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) designated Canada-based gangster Lakhbir Singh Landa as a terrorist. The move comes amid the continuing strain in diplomatic ties between New Delhi and Ottawa over PM Justin Trudeau’s claim earlier of Indian involvement in the killing of wanted Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil.
According to an official release by the MHA, 34-year-old Landa, son of Niranjan Singh and Parminder Kaur, has a permanent residence at VP0 Harike in the Tarn Taran district of Punjab, bordering Pakistan.
Under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act Mt. 1967 (37 of 1967), “Clause (a) of sub-section (1) and sub-section (2) of section 35 of the said Act empowers the central government to add the name of an individual in the Fourth Schedule to the said Act if it believes that he is involved in terrorism”, the MHA said in a statement on Friday.
Landa currently resides in Edmonton, the capital of Alberta in Canada, and is a member of Babbar Khalsa International. According to the MHA, Babbar Khalsa International is listed as a terrorist organisation as per “number I of the First Schedule to the said Act.”
Landa was backed by the cross-border agency and was involved in the terror attack through a shoulder-mounted rocket-propelled grenade on the building of Punjab’s State Intelligence Headquarters at Mohali, the MHA added. He was also “involved in the supply of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), arms, sophisticated weapons, and explosives from across the border to various modules for carrying out terrorist activities in the State of Punjab, India”, according to the MHA release.
Landa was also involved in various criminal cases related to the raising of terror modules, extortion, and killings. planting IEDs, smuggling weapons and narcotics and using funds or proceeds thereof for terrorist acts in the Punjab and other parts of the country, it added.
Landa and his associates have also been conspiring to disrupt peace and law and order in Punjab by carrying out targeted killings, extortions and other anti-national activities in different parts of the country, the MHA added. “An open-ended warrant has been issued against Lakhbir Singh Landa and he is a subject of Look Out Circular No. 2144306 dated 09.06.2021,” the statement added.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Central Government hereby makes the following amendment in the Fourth Schedule to the said Act,” the MHA stated.
The gangster-turned-terrorist, who has been living in Canada since 2017, is the mastermind in several cases of terrorism, including the 2022 RPG attacks on the Punjab Police Intelligence Headquarters and the Sarhali police station in Punjab, among other cases of terror attacks in India, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) stated earlier.
In August this year, the Special Court of the NIA ordered the confiscation of the property of the absconding pro-Khalistan terrorist at Kirian village in the Tarn Taran district. As per the order of the NIA court under Section 33 (5) of the UA (P) Act, 1967, Landa’s property in his native village was confiscated by the State.
He was earlier declared a Proclaimed Offender on July 27, 2023. nitially involved in criminal and gangster-related activities, Landa has been continuing his anti-India activities from Canada, according to officials.
(with inputs from ANI)