Bishnoi remained in Punjab jails since June 15 when he was brought to the state for questioning after the murder case of Punjabi singer-turned-politician Sidhu Moosewala
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday took custody of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi from the high-security Bathinda central prison in connection with a case related to a conspiracy by terror outfits and criminal syndicates to execute sensational crimes in the country.
The agency’s move came after a three-month-long investigation that found Bishnoi as the main mastermind of conspiracies hatched by various terrorist outfits based in India and abroad that have been working in active collusion with criminal syndicates, comprising gangsters and drug smugglers.
“It was found that most of the conspiracies were hatched from inside the jail by Lawrence Bishnoi and were being executed by the network of criminal operatives based in India and abroad,” the NIA said in a statement.
“Their aim is to instil fear and insecurity among people by carrying out terror acts and sensational crimes, including targeted killings of prominent persons, in Delhi and other parts of the country,” the agency said.
Case registered in Delhi in August
The case in this regard was initially registered at the Delhi Police’s Special Cell police station on August 4 under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 17, 18 and 18B of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The NIA re-registered the case on August 26 after the special cell found grave anti-India conspiracies being hatched by terror organisations and criminals, with Bishnoi at the centre stage.
Bathinda jail superintendent ND Negi said Bishnoi was taken to Delhi by the central agency in a well-guarded convoy. A Delhi court later sent him to 10-day NIA custody.
The NIA probe in the case has revealed that a terrorist, gangster and drug smugglers syndicate led by Bishnoi was involved in many targeted killings and extortion from businessmen and professionals, including doctors, which has created a widespread scare and terror among the public at large.
The NIA statement said all such criminal acts were not isolated local incidents but were part of a deep-rooted conspiracy among terrorists, gangsters, drug smuggling cartels and networks, operating from both within and outside the country.
“Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi have remained his active areas since last more than a decade. But now he has operatives in most of the states. He has become a big threat for the national security,” claimed an official.
Investigations have also revealed that Bishnoi, along with his brothers Sachin and Anmol Bishnoi and associates, including Goldy Brar, Kala Jathedi, Kala Rana, Bikram Brar and Sampat Nehra were also raising funds to carry out all such terror/criminal activities through smuggling of drugs and weapons and widespread extortions.
Jailed since 2014
A resident of Fazilka, Punjab, Bishnoi has been behind the bars since 2014 when he was arrested after an encounter with the Rajasthan Police. He was shifted to Delhi’s Tihar jail last year before being brought to Punjab on June 15 in connection with the sensational murder of Punjabi singer-turned-politician Sidhu Moosewala on May 29.
Since then, Bishnoi was taken on production remand by different district police authorities for interrogation in cases, including murder, attempt to murder and extortion.
On Wednesday, the Faridkot police invoked UAPA against all six accused of the murder of Dera Sacha Sauda follower Pardeep Singh Kataria at Kotkapura town in Faridkot on November 10 in which the fugitive gangster Goldy Brar, a key aide of Bishnoi, is the alleged mastermind.