New Delhi [India], Feb 21 (ANI): In a major crackdown on gangsters working in tandem with terrorist groups and drug smugglers based in foreign countries including Pakistan and Canada, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids at 76 locations across 8 states on Tuesday, an official statement said.
During the raids, officials seized a large cache of arms and ammunition and cash to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore, the statement said.
Three cases have been registered by the NIA since August 2022 and several people, including some Kabbadi players, have been identified and booked for their alleged involvement in terror and other criminal activities, including targeted hits and extortion from leading businessmen and professionals, the statement informed.
"Incidentally, the investigations have revealed that conspiracies for several such crimes, including the sensational killing of Maharashtra builder, Sanjay Biyani, and Sandeep Nangal Ambia, an international Kabbadi player, in Punjab last year, were being hatched in jails of different states and were being executed by an organized network of operatives based abroad," statement informed.
As per an official, Tuesday's raids, the fifth in the series of such crackdowns, were conducted in Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh"These raids focused on arms suppliers and hawala operators working with these gangs, led to the recovery of 9 illegal weapons, including pistols, revolvers and rifles, and Rs 1.5 crore in cash. Incriminating material, including documents, hard drives and mobile phones, were also seized," the statement informed.
The raids were conducted at 76 locations in Abohar, Bhatinda, Muktsar Sahab, Moga, Fazilka, Ludhiana, Mohali, Ferozpur, Tarn Taran, Ludhiana, Faridkot, Sangrur and Jalandhar Districts of Punjab; Gurugram, Yamuna Nagar, Rohtak, Mahendragarh, Sirsa and Jhajjar districts of Haryana; Sri Ganga Nagar, Sikar, Jodhpur and Jaipur districts of Rajasthan; Baghpat, Bareilly, Pratapgarh, Bulanshehar, Lucknow and Pilibhit of Uttar Pradesh; Ujjain and Ratlam districts of Madhya Pradesh; Byculla in Mumbai; Gandhidham in Gujarat; and Dwarka, Central and Outer North Districts of Delhi/ NCR.
Searches were conducted at the premises of Lakhvir Singh of Gidderbaha at Muktsar, Naresh at Abohar, Surender @ Cheeku at Narnaul in Haryana, Kaushal Choudhary and Amit Dagar at Gurugram and Sunil Rathi at Bagpat, UP. Some hawala operators, kabaddi players, weapon suppliers, gun houses, businessmen and their alleged financers, were also raided, it added.
"The investigations have revealed that many criminals, who were leading gangsters in India, had fled to countries like Pakistan, Canada, Malaysia and Australia and were planning their crimes from there in association with criminals lodged in jails in different states. These groups were carrying out targeted killings and raising funds for their nefarious activities through the smuggling of drugs and weapons, hawala and extortion," the official statement informed.
Further investigations are on to dismantle such terror networks and their funding and support infrastructure, it added. (ANI)