From Goldy Brar to Landa, Punjab’s most wanted hiding in Canada
With bilateral ties between New Delhi and Ottawa taking a nosedive, the spotlight has returned to the rise of anti-India extremist activities in Canada.
Mastermind of Moosewala’s murder still remains elusive
Four years ago, Satinderjeet Singh, alias Goldy Brar (29), who is the mastermind of Punjabi singer Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala and Dera Sacha Sauda follower Pardeep Singh’s murders, was just a college drop-out, who had a few brushes with the law while in Punjab.
After moving to Canada in 2019, Brar, who was only limited to local gang rivalries while in Punjab, swiftly climbed the crime ladder and from being Punjab Police’s most wanted man to now on the list of India and Canada’s most wanted lists.
He is now wanted for murder, criminal conspiracy, supply of illegal firearms, and attempt to murder charges in more than 20 cases in Punjab alone. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has also named him in two cases registered in connection with the terror gangster network. He sits on the 15th spot of Canada’s most wanted list of 25 fugitives.
A resident of Mukstar in the Malwa belt, Brar is the son of a former policeman. In 2012, when Brar was 18, he was first booked under Section 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in a case involving a clash between two groups.
Brar moved to Canada in 2019, ostensibly to study (he was on a student visa). He was acquitted in all four cases registered against him related to clashes between rival groups before 2019. But soon after moving abroad, Brar embraced the underworld and started running extortion rackets and taking up contract-killing assignments. Brar is an active member of the (Lawrence) Bishnoi gang, running all operations at the behest of jailed gangster. Brar’s first organised criminal activity was reported in February 2021 with the killing of the Faridkot Youth Congress leader, which he masterminded to avenge his cousin’s murder. Since then, he has increased his activities by masterminding heinous crimes, including the murder of Moose Wala.
He not only masterminded crimes but provided real-time assistance to his men by using his network in the form of finances, weapons, hideouts and vehicles used in criminal activities.
Presently, Brar is the brain of the Bishnoi gang, who brings a plan together and executes it. Even weapons and money are arranged by Brar, a police official said, on condition of anonymity.
An Interpol red corner notice was also issued against Brar last year. Despite Indian agencies on his back, Brar was last year reported to have moved to the US.
Brar shot into the national limelight after he claimed responsibility for the sensational May 29 killing of Moosewala in Mansa district. According to police, Brar was the mastermind behind the killing. Brar claimed that he got Moosewala killed to avenge the death of another student leader Vicky Middukhera. He and Bishnoi were convinced that one of Moosewala’s old associates had a role in Middukhera’s killing, cops said.
Brar’s family still lives in Adesh Nagar on Kotkapura-Muktsar Road. Fear of the gangster was evident as no one in the neighbourhood wanted to talk about him.
Lakhbir Singh alias Landa: Wanted in 2 RPG attacks in Punjab
Gangster-turned-terrorist Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias Landa, 34, is a resident of Harike Pattan town of border district Tarn Taran. According to Punjab Police, Landa, who fled to Canada in 2017, is a close aide of Pakistan-based gangster-turned-terrorist Harvinder Singh, alias Rinda, and had joined hands with a pro-Khalaistan terror organisation Babbar Khalsa International (BKI). Landa is wanted by Punjab Police in two rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) attack cases —including at Sarhali police station and Punjab Police’s intelligence headquarters in Mohali.
The first case was registered against Landa for a murder bid and under the Arms Act at Harike Pattan in July 2011. He is facing 18 criminal cases, including that of murder, attempt to murder and drug smuggling, in Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Moga and Ferozepur districts. Punjab Police had registered the last case against Landa under kidnapping charges in Moga in May 2016 before he fled to Canada.
Landa remained inactive from 2016 to 2020. His name prominently resurfaced in May 2021 in a high-profile Patti double-murder case. After a murder case in which an Akali leader and his aide were killed, the Tarn Taran police had also written to the central government for getting a red corner notice (RCN) issued against Landa.
Tarn Taran SSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan confirmed that RCN has already been issued against Landa. “Landa continues to involve more members in his gang to commit crime,” he added.
Landa’s father Naranjan Singh (75), an ex-serviceman, and mother Parminder Kaur (65), live in Harike town. The family owns a house situated on the Amritsar-Harike main road, a tractor, a luxurious car and 20 acres of land.
The couple had two sons — Tarsem Singh and Lakhbir Singh. Tarsem shifted to some undisclosed location owing to his brother’s criminal record.
Last month, NIA had frozen a part of the agricultural land belonging to Landa in Harike in a terror case registered in 2022.
Nobody in Harike speaks about Landa owing to his dreaded criminal record. In the last two months, Tarn Taran police registered several cases against Landa for ransom calls to the people.
“Landa has a good network and he knows mostly everyone in Harike. Last year, he threatened Punjab Police for conducting raids in his house. If a man can threaten cops, what we are?” said a farmer of Harike village, requesting anonymity.
Arsh Dalla: Close aide of slain KTF chief Nijjar is facing 35 FIRs
Arshdeep Singh Gill alias Arsh Dalla has been designated as an ‘individual terrorist’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by the Indian government in January. He is known for generating funds and providing logistical support to gangsters and terror outfits apart from carrying out criminal activities, including contract killings.
Dalla is associated with the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) and runs terror modules on behalf of the outfit’s slain chief Nijjar, police said. Police added ever since Nijjar was shot dead in June, Dalla has been attempting to re-establish control over the outfit.
Involved in heinous crimes such as murder, extortion and targeted killings, Dalla is facing 35 FIRs. He was facing six criminal cases in Punjab before he fled abroad. In 2017, an assistant sub-inspector made a false verification report of Dalla through which he got his passport. He flew to Canada in October 2018 on a visitor visa and later obtained a permanent residency based on this passport.
After moving abroad, he got involved in terror activities, and cross-border smuggling of drugs and weapons on a large scale. As many as 29 cases, including five murders, were registered against him in Punjab since he fled abroad, taking the total number of cases to 35, according to the police. He is also wanted in two cases registered by the NIA linked to terror-gangster network.
A lookout notice has been issued against him and an open-dated warrant has been issued in five cases, while a request for the RCN is pending.
Raman Judge: KTF recruiter wanted for dera follower murder
Ramandeep Singh alias Raman Judge, an alleged operative of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) is said to be involved in targeted killings and terror activities in Punjab.
Judge, who hails from Baba Ram Lal Nagar in Ferozepur, moved to Canada in 2017 on a visitor visa, while police claim he had no case registered against him at that time. He is the brother of jailed gangster Gagandeep Singh Judge of the Jaipal Bhullar gang, who is facing 14 criminal cases involving gang activities.
Judge has been declared a proclaimed offender by the special NIA court in a case related to the terror activities of KTF. As per police, Judge is believed to be residing in the British Columbia province of Canada. More than 10 criminal cases have been registered against him. The first case against him was lodged in 2017, including an attempt to murder charges.
An AGTF official, who didn’t wish to be named, said that Raman Judge is among the prominent members of KTF in Canada, who carries out radicalisation of youth and lures them to carry out targeted killings.
In November 2020, a Dera Sacha Sauda follower Manohar Lal, who was the father of an accused in a sacrilege case of Guru Granth Sahib, was shot dead at Bhagta Bhaika in Bathinda. Police had termed it the work of KTF and named Raman as co-accused along with Arsh Dala and slain KTF chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
He arranged finances and weapons for the murder of a dera follower and the attack on a priest in Phillaur in 2021. A lookout circular (LOC) was issued against him in April 2021, while a request for the red corner notice (RCN) is pending.
Satnam Singh Satta: Wanted in RPG attack on Sarhali police station
Amritsar Satnam Singh alias Satta, 26, a resident of Naushehra Pannuan village in Punjab’s border district of Tarn Taran, is a close associate of gangster-turned-terrorist Lakhbir Singh alias Landa.
Tarn Taran SSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan said as per reports, Satta moved to Canada from Portugal around two months ago.
As per the police record, Satta has been facing around 10 criminal cases, including murder and attempted murder. He is co-accused with Landa in some cases, including of the rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack at Sarhali police station. Satta and Landa are also wanted by police in a case which was registered under the UAPA and under the Explosives Act after an improvised explosive device (IED) was found under a sub-inspector’s car in Amritsar. According to SSP Chauhan, Satta left India in 2019. Satta’s brother Jagjit Singh, who is lodged in jail, has also a criminal past. Satta’s house is situated on the Naushehra Pannuan-Khabe link road, which has been lying closed for the last around three years, said the village’s sarpanch Tarsem Singh.
“Satta was a Kabaddi player. Around six years ago, his brother was booked in an assault case. According to his kin, Satta was falsely nominated in the case along with his brother. After the registration of the case, Satta entered the criminal world,” he said.
The village sarpanch said Satta’s father Jaswant Singh was a small farmer and has not been seen in the village for the last around three years. “Satta’s uncle lives in the village, but he has no link with him,” he added. Police sources said Satta first moved to Dubai where he came in contact with Landa. Satta and Landa’s villages are situated in Patti constituency. The SSP said the process to issue a red corner notice (RCN) against Satta through Interpol is underway.