San Francisco, Khalistan, Amritpal Singh, London, India high commission
A pro-Khalistan mob attacks the Indian Consulate building in San Francisco in March this year. The Khalistani-gangster network has allegedly been responsible for such attacks, as well as killings, extortion, cross-border weapons and drugs smuggling, and anti-India activities | Video grab: X

NIA launches raids across 6 states to destroy Khalistani-gangster network

NIA probe has reportedly revealed the money raised in India through smuggling and extortion funds the criminal activities of Khalistani leaders and gangsters

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has launched a crackdown across six states in northern India in connection with an investigation into the alleged nexus between Khalistani separatists, gangsters, and smugglers, media reports have said.

The NIA on Wednesday (September 27) reportedly carried out raids at some 51 locations in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi-NCR, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. “The NIA is conducting raids at 51 locations across six states in three cases related to associates of Lawrence, Bambiha, and Arsh Dalla gangs,” an NIA official told new agency PTI.

One detained

An associate of the Arsh Dalla gang has been detained during the raids, the official said.

While Lawrence Bishnoi is in jail, gangster-turned-terrorist Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dalla is based in Canada and Davinder Bambiha was killed in an encounter with Punjab Police in 2016.

How the money is used

Media reports quoted NIA sources as saying that Khalistani separatists and gangsters based in countries like Canada were funding their operatives in India through hawala channels to buy drugs and weapons.

The NIA probe has reportedly revealed that the money raised in India through smuggling and extortion funds the criminal activities of top Khalistani leaders and gangsters, both in India and Canada. Also, this money is invested in films, yachts, the Canadian Premier League (football league), and also in clubs and bars in Thailand.

According to media reports, the NIA has even received inputs on the nexus between Khalistanis and the ISI. Arrested Khalistanis and gangsters have reportedly disclosed that the nexus is involved in terror funding, weapons supply, and anti-national activities from foreign soil.

What the nexus does

On Wednesday, raids were reportedly carried out in at least 30 sites in Punjab, 13 in Rajasthan, four in Haryana, two in Uttarakhand, and also in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Media reports quoted NIA officials as saying that the raids were meant to destroy the Khalistani-gangster network, which has been responsible for killings, extortion, attacks on government buildings, cross-border weapons and drugs smuggling, as well as anti-India activities in Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia.

The NIA has already confiscated two properties owned by US-based Sikhs for Justice leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu in Amritsar and Chandigarh.

These developments come in the wake of diplomatic tensions between India and Canada after the latter’s prime minister Justin Trudeau early last week alleged the potential involvement of Indian agents in the assassination of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in that country on June 18.

While New Delhi has rubbished the allegation as “absurd”, both countries have sacked a diplomat of the other and India has announced the temporary suspension of the issuance of visas to Canadian citizens.

(With agency inputs)

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