The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested six people, including a close aide of a designated terrorist, in connection with its cases related to unholy nexus between criminal gangs, terror groups and drug mafia, an official spokesperson said on Thursday.
The arrests came after the NIA carried out raids at 76 locations in eight states on Tuesday to bust the nexus.
All about the arrests made by NIA
Those arrested include Lucky Khokhar alias Denis, a close associate of Canada-based 'designated terrorist' Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dala.
Others arrested in the raids, which were carried out in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, included associates of gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi, Jaggu Bhagwanpuria and Goldy Brar.
Khokhar, a resident of Bathinda, Punjab, was nabbed from Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan on Tuesday. He was in direct and frequent contact with Arsh Dala and had carried out recruitment for him, besides receiving funds for terror-related activities, the NIA said.
He had also provided arms and ammunition to Arsh Dala's associates in Punjab that were also used for carrying out a murder recently in Jagraon on the directions of the Canada-based terrorist.
The NIA had registered a suo moto case on August 20 last year against seven people, including Harwinder Singh alias Rinda, Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias Landa, and Arsh Dala. One person, Deepak Ranga, was earlier arrested in the case by the NIA.
According to a NIA spokesperson, Khokhar was working for Dala, who has been involved in smuggling arms, ammunition, explosives, IEDs across international and inter-state borders in India for several banned terror outfits, including the Khalistan Liberation Force, Babbar Khalsa International and International Sikh Youth Federation.
Besides Khokhar, the NIA also arrested Lakhvir Singh, Harpreet, Dalip Bishnoi, Surinder alias Chiku Chaudhary, and Hari Om alias Titu, the spokesperson said.
While Hari Om alias Titu was arrested on Tuesday, Lakhvir Singh, was nabbed a day later in connection with a case registered against them and their associates in August last year for allegedly attempting to motivate and recruit youth for terror activities through using social media.
They were also using social media to "publicise" their crimes in a bid to create fear among the general public, the NIA said.
Nine weapons were seized from Lakhvir Singh's possession, who is termed a notorious criminal and associate of Chhotu Ram Bhaat, earlier arrested in the case.
The NIA has so far arrested nine accused, including Kaushal Choudhary, Amit Dagar, Sukhpreet Singh, Bhupi Rana, Neeraj Bawana, Naveen Bali and Sunil Balyan, in this case.
According to the spokesperson, Surender Chaudhrary and Dalip Bishnoi are known associates of gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi and Jaggu Bhagwanpuria and Canada-based criminal Goldy Brar.
They were arrested for raising funds, recruiting youth and carrying out terrorist acts on behalf of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang.
This case was also registered by the NIA in August last year and 10 accused, including Lawrence Bishnoi, Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, Kala Jatheri, Kala Rana, Joginder Singh, Rajesh Kumar, Raju Basoudi, Anil Chippi, Naresh Yadav, and Shahbaz Ansari have been arrested, the spokesperson said.
Surinder Chaudhry, who was arrested on Tuesday, faces several cases under the NDPS Act, for attempt to murder and extortion.
He has been involved in illegal liquor contracts, smuggling and extortion from liquor and mining contractors in Haryana and has been one of the main financers of terror-gangster syndicates.
Dalip Bishnoi, who was arrested on Wednesday, is a "habitual criminal" having 13 cases against him. He has been one of the main financers of this terror gang and was providing logistics support to the gangs in Punjab and Rajasthan, the spokesperson said.
The NIA investigations have so far shown that many criminals, who were leading gangsters in India, had fled to countries like Pakistan, Canada, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia and were planning their terror and criminal acts 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 smuggling of drugs and weapons, hawala and extortions.
Further investigations are on to dismantle such terror networks and their funding and support infrastructure, the spokesperson said.
(With PTI Inputs)