Who is Lakhbir Singh Landa, Khalistani terrorist on NIA radar?

Sep 21, 2023 09:16 AM IST

The NIA on Wednesday announced a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias 'Landa'.

Intensifying its crackdown on Khalistani terrorists, the National Investigation Agency or NIA on Wednesday announced a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) operative Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias 'Landa'. The rewards were also announced for information about four other BKI operatives Harwinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda', Parminder Singh Kaira alias 'Pattu', Satnam Singh alias ‘Satbir Singh’ alias ‘Satta’ and Yadvinder Singh alias ‘Yadda’.

Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) operative Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias 'Landa'.
Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) operative Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias 'Landa'.

The federal agency announced a cash reward of 10 lakh each for Rinda and Landa and 5 lakh each for Pattu, Satta and Yadda. The BKI is a banned terror outfit.

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The NIA’s announcement came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged Indian involvement in the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. India, however, rejected the claim as “absurd and motivated”.

The external affairs ministry, in an advisory issued on Wednesday, advised its citizens in Canada to exercise “utmost caution” due to growing anti-India activities and hate crimes.

Who is Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias ‘Landa’?

1. Lakhbir Singh Landa, a resident of Tarn Taran in Punjab, is believed to be residing in Edmonton in Alberta in Canada.

2. A close aide of Pakistan-based gangster-turned-terrorist Harvinder Singh, alias Rinda, Landa fled to Canada in 2017 and joined hands with the pro-Khalaistan terror organisation BKI.

3. The first case against Landa was for a murder bid and under the Arms Act at Harike Pattan in July 2011. He now faces around 18 criminal cases, including murder, attempt-to-murder and drugs smuggling, in Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Moga and Ferozepur districts. The Punjab Police had registered the last case against Landa under kidnapping charges in Moga in May 2016 before he fled to Canada.

4. Landa was also key conspirator of the Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack at the Punjab Police intelligence headquarters in Mohali, besides planting an improvised explosive device (IED) under a sub-inspector’s car in Amritsar.

5. The NIA had registered the case in 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.

6. According to the NIA, and four others are wanted in a case registered early this year related to the BKI’s terrorist activities aimed at disturbing India’s peace and communal harmony and spreading terror in the state of Punjab.

7. They are accused of commissioning terror acts and activities, besides raising funds for the BKI, through smuggling of terrorist hardware and narcotics into Punjab and also through extensive extortion from businessmen and other prominent individuals.

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    Have 11 years' experience in print and digital media. Write on politics, defence and world affairs, and have a keen eye for human-interest stories.

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