Absconding associate of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi arrested: NIA

New Delhi: The NIA on Saturday said an associate of jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi has been arrested in a case pertaining to a conspiracy hatched by members of criminal syndicates, based within the country and abroad, to raise funds and recruit youths to carry out terrorist acts in Delhi and elsewhere.

The arrested accused, Yudhvir Singh alias ‘Sadhu’, a resident of Fatehabad area of Haryana, was wanted in the case, said a spokesperson of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

“Investigations have revealed that Yudhvir used to smuggle weapons from across the border for dreaded gangsters and criminals in various parts of India. On the directions of Bishnoi and syndicate members, he also used to harbour associates of criminal gang members and accused persons tasked with committing various kinds of crimes, including murder and extortion,” the official said.

Earlier on March 24, the NIA had charge-sheeted 14 accused in the same case under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

“NIA investigations have so far revealed that the conspiracies were being hatched in jails of different states and were being executed by an organised network of operatives based abroad,” the spokesperson said.

Further investigations into the case and other such cases 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.

On May 17, the NIA along with Punjab and Haryana police conducted searches at 324 locations across nine states and union territories under “Operation Dhvast”, leading to the arrest of three people and recovery of a cache of arms and ammunition besides huge amounts of cash.

The operation was the sixth in a series of such crackdowns launched by the NIA following the registration of three cases since August 2022 pertaining to conspiracies related to targeted killings, terror funding of pro-Khalistan outfits and extortion.

Notable among these cases are the sensational killing of Maharashtra builder Sanjay Biyani and international Kabaddi player Sandeep Nangal Ambia in Punjab last year.