The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday filed its first chargesheet against 12 accused, found to have links with pro-Khalistani outfits and Pakistan-based conspirators, in one of the three terror-gangster nexus cases it is investigating.
Proscribed terrorist organisation Khalistan Tiger Force operative Arshdeep Singh Gill alias Arsh Dala, a listed ‘Individual Terrorist’, is named among the 12 charge-sheeted accused. Others have been identified as Gaurav Patyal, Sukhpreet Buddha, Kaushal Choudhary, Amit Dagar, Naveen Bali, Chhotu Bhat, Asif Khan, Jagga Takhatmal, Tillu Tajpuria, Bhupi Rana and Sandeep Bandar. The case has brought to light links of the gangsters with the Music Industry, Singers, Kabaddi players and Advocates on the lines of the pre-1993 Mumbai blasts era when extensive linkages of the underworld with the business people and the film industry had surfaced, said the Central agency.
The anti-terror agency further said that 10 other persons are still under investigation for their role in the terror conspiracy, which included plans to eliminate certain leaders, singers and businessmen to terrorise people, extort money from them and create a sensation.
The NIA investigations have revealed linkages of the charge-sheeted accused with Khalistan Tiger Force and its operative Arsh Dala, said the NIA.
Besides being in contact with Pakistan-based conspirators, the agency said, the accused were also in touch with pro-Khalistanis based in Canada and abroad.
The chargesheet filed here in the national capital related to the dismantling of the gangster-terror network, along with their funding and support infrastructure, said the NIA, adding “These gangs were conspiring to carry out targeted killings and were also raising funds to carry out these and other terror activities, as part of a deep-rooted conspiracy amongst terrorists, gangsters, drug smugglers and their networks, operating from both within and outside the country.”
The charge sheet against the 12 accused followed six months of extensive searches and examination of around 100 members of different Organised Crime Support networks by the NIA at 91 locations in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, across 25 districts such as Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Mohali, Muktsar, Moga, Ferozpur, Bhatinda, Sangrur, Patiala in Punjab; Gurugram, Sirsa, Yamunanagar, Jhajjar, Rohtak, Rewari in Haryana: Outer North, North, Rohini, Dwarka, North-west, North-East in Delhi; and Bagpat, Bulandsahar, Pilibhit, Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
The searches led to the seizure of large amounts of incriminating materials. The NIA has also unearthed centres created for harbouring the gang members and stocking weapons for them in various places across Haryana and Punjab.
“Around 20 weapons, 527 rounds of ammunition, 195 digital devices and 281 documents were seized in these raids. Seven LOCs (Look Out Circulars) and 10 NBWs (Non-Bailable Warrants) have so far been issued during the course of the investigations. Three Immovable properties and three movable properties have been attached and seized under Section 25 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” NIA said.
It was revealed during the investigation that most of the accused were, till recently, operating their own separate gangs involved in extortion rackets, said the NIA.
“They initially transformed into a gangsters’ syndicate to expand their area of influence in other states, but soon ended up in a deadly criminal-terror nexus after being exposed to exploitation by terrorist elements. Sophisticated weapons and availability of a large pool of cheap shooters made the gangsters’ syndicate an attractive choice for the terrorist outfits.”
It has further been found that family members of many of the gangsters lodged in Prisons are helping them in carrying out extortion activities from behind the bars, the investigation agency added.