Gangster-terror nexus probe: NIA names Goldy Brar, Lawrence Bishnoi in charge sheet
NIA on Friday filed a charge sheet against gangsters Satinder Singh alias Goldy Brar and Lawrence Bishnoi, who conspired to assassinate Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala on May 29 last year, and 12 others in connection with its probe into a nexus of north India-based gangsters, Pakistan-backed Khalistani terror groups, and drugs and arms smugglers.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a charge sheet against gangsters Satinder Singh alias Goldy Brar and Lawrence Bishnoi, who conspired to assassinate Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala on May 29 last year, and 12 others in connection with its probe into a nexus of north India-based gangsters, Pakistan-backed Khalistani terror groups, and drugs and arms smugglers.
Brar, against whom Interpol has issued a red corner notice, is hiding in Canada, while Bishnoi is in a prison in Punjab. The NIA probe has revealed they are linked with Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and several other pro-Khalistani groups. The NIA charge sheet filed on Friday was not related to Moosewala murder.
This is the second charge sheet in the probe on the terrorist-gangster network. The first charge sheet was filed on Tuesday, naming another Canada-based gangster Arshdeep Singh Gill alias Arsh Dala, and 11 others. It alleged that an ecosystem like the Mumbai underworld had emerged with links between the music industry, singers, kabbadi players and lawyers to eliminate and terrorise certain leaders, singers and businessmen, extort money from them and create unrest in the country.
Bishnoi, in custody since 2015, has been operating his terror-crime syndicate from jails in different states, along with Brar, who is an accused in the killing of Pradeep Kumar, a Dera Sacha Sauda follower, in Faridkot in November 2022, a NIA spokesperson said on Friday.
“The Lawrence Bishnoi terror-crime-extortion syndicate was also responsible for providing killers for the RPG attack case on Punjab State Intelligence HQs at Mohali (May 9, 2022), which was carried out on directions of Harwinder Singh alias Rinda, a Pakistan-based BKI terrorist,” the spokesperson added.
Brar has direct links with Lakhbir Singh alias Landa, another BKI operative working closely with Rinda, investigations have revealed. Linda is also wanted in December 2022 RPG attack at Sirhali police station in Tarn Taran, Punjab.
“All the 14 accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy to unleash a wave of terror and carry out targeted killings of well-known social and religious leaders, movie stars, singers and businessmen. Besides having links with conspirators in Pakistan, the accused were also in contact with pro-Khalistani elements based in Canada, Nepal and other countries,” the NIA said.
On December 2 last year, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann declared that Brar had been detained by US authorities in California, but the information was not confirmed by Indian or American agencies.
In this particular case, the NIA has seized nine sophisticated weapons, 14 magazines, 298 rounds of ammunition and 183 digital devices and other incriminating material in raids across 74 locations in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chandigarh and Delhi in the past six months. At least 70 members of different organized crime support networks have been examined and seven look out circulars have been issued against suspects, besides attaching seven immovable properties and freezing 62 bank accounts.
The agency has so far charge sheeted 26 accused in its larger probe.