NIA arrests key aide of jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi

Accused Vikas Singh faces 10 criminal cases, including murder, attempt to murder and those registered under the Arms Act and the Gangsters Act, the official said.

Lawrence Bishnoi being escorted by the police (Photo Courtesy: @NBCHINDI/Twitter)
Lawrence Bishnoi being escorted by the police (Photo Courtesy: @NBCHINDI/Twitter)


The NIA on Wednesday said it has arrested a key associate of jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi for his alleged involvement in harbouring members of a terror syndicate involved in an RPG attack on the Punjab Police intelligence headquarters last year.

Accused Vikas Singh, a resident of Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow, had provided shelter to Deepak Surakhpur and Divyanshu of Faizabad who had executed the rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack in Mohali in May 2022, a spokesperson of the National Investigation Agency said.

"Singh has revealed that he had given shelter to Surakhpur and Divyanshu in his house in village Devgarh, Ayodhya and his flat in Gomti Nagar Vistar, Lucknow, many times," the official said.

Singh faces 10 criminal cases, including murder, attempt to murder and those registered under the Arms Act and the Gangsters Act, the official said.

"NIA investigations have revealed that Surakhpur was introduced to Singh by Vicky Midhukhera, another associate and friend of Bishnoi. Singh had connected Divyanshu, already known to him, to the Bishnoi syndicate.

"The duo (Singh and Bishnoi) was also involved in numerous targeted and contract killings, including that of businessman Sanjay Biyani in Nanded and Rana Kandhowalia in Punjab. Singh also harboured another accused, namely Rinku, after Rana Kandowalia's murder," the spokesperson said.

After carrying out a double murder in Chandigarh (on Bishnoi's directions) in the beginning of 2020, the official said, the gangster's associates Monu Dagar, Pradhan, Cheema and Rajan were in Lucknow with Singh.

The investigation has also revealed that many gangsters and associates of Bishnoi from other states like Rinku, Rajpal and Bhati (Madhya Pradesh) were also harboured by Singh, the spokesperson said.

The NIA said Singh was arrested in a case related to a conspiracy hatched by members of Bishnoi's criminal syndicates and gangs based in India and abroad to raise funds and recruit youths to carry out terrorist acts in Delhi and other parts of the country.

"The investigations so far have shown that the conspiracy was hatched/being hatched in jails of different states and was being executed by an organised network of operatives based abroad," the agency said.

The NIA has already established the involvement of the terror syndicate in several sensational cases, including the targeted killing of Dera Sacha Sauda follower Pradeep Kumar in 2022 and Raju Theth in Rajasthan's Sikar besides the murder of famous Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala and the RPG attack.

The agency has so far arrested 15 accused and had charge-sheeted 14 of them, including Bishnoi, in the terror-gangster conspiracy case on March 24 under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act.

"Further investigations into the conspiracy are continuing as part of the NIA's efforts to destroy the growing nexus between terrorists, gangsters and drug smugglers, and to dismantle their funding and infrastructure," the spokesperson said.

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