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Lawrence Bishnoi, Behind Bars In Drug Smuggling Case, Appeals Court To Drop 'Terrorist' And 'Gangster' Labels

The recent development follows Bishnoi's transition from police remand to judicial custody after his involvement in a 2022 drug seizure case linked to a boat off the Gujarat coast.

Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi
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Lawrence Bishnoi, a high-profile figure currently incarcerated in connection with a drug smuggling case being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), has submitted a request in a special court. His application seeks an order from the court directing the investigative agency to refrain from labeling him as a "terrorist" or a "gangster" in official police and court documents unless there is substantial and convincing evidence to support such designations.

Special judge KM Sojitra presided over the court proceedings, and the NIA has been summoned to provide a response to this request. The case is scheduled for a hearing on September 22.

The recent development follows Bishnoi's transition from police remand to judicial custody after his involvement in a 2022 drug seizure case linked to a boat off the Gujarat coast. Additionally, Bishnoi faces accusations in the murder case of singer Sidhu Moosewala.

In his plea, Bishnoi emphasized the importance of protecting his fundamental rights as a citizen of India and urged the court to consider his request seriously. The plea was filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Anand Brahmbhatt, PTI reported.

It's noteworthy that the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) had taken custody of Bishnoi from a Punjab jail in April, relating to a case involving the seizure of 39 kg of narcotics from a boat off the Gujarat coast in September 2022. This seizure was allegedly orchestrated by a Pakistan-based smuggler at his behest. Subsequently, the NIA took over the case, securing Bishnoi's remand until September 18.

Bishnoi, who has spent nearly a decade behind bars, expressed frustration over being ensnared in various cases by different investigating agencies. He vehemently opposed being labeled as a "gangster" or "terrorist," asserting his love for his homeland and a willingness to live and die for it, given justice.

He pointed out that he had never been convicted in any of the cases against him, and there was insufficient evidence to substantiate such allegations. Furthermore, he mentioned restrictions imposed upon him, including the prohibition of wearing a T-shirt featuring the image of the respected patriot Shree Bhagat Singh during court appearances.

The NIA, seeking his remand, argued that it was necessary to uncover a criminal conspiracy involving Bishnoi and wanted Pakistani smugglers, which they allege was being orchestrated from within the jail. During interrogations, Bishnoi had reportedly admitted to involvement in the supply of weapons from prison and funding the proscribed terrorist organization Babbar Khalsa International through his associates by providing them with weapons.

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