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Narco-terror: probe agencies zero in on Germany-based Bagga

Photo for representation

Photo for representation  

Interpol had issued a Red Notice against him in 2018 following requests from Indian agencies

Investigating agencies have zeroed in on Germany-based Gurmeet Singh Bagga, who has emerged as a common link in the narco-terror network through which drugs and funds for terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir were being pushed into the country from Pakistan.

“The key accused identified during the probe into the seizure of 532 kg of heroin and 52 kg of mixed narcotics by the Customs Department at the Wagah-Attari border last year have suspected links with Bagga, who hails from Hoshiarpur in Punjab. He was also involved in the smuggling of weapons from Pakistan to Punjab using GPS-fitted drones last year,” said an agency official.

The Interpol had issued a Red Notice against Bagga in 2018 following requests from the Indian agencies.

In 2010, he was sentenced to three years’ jail by a court in Germany for an assassination bid on Radha Swami Beas Chief Baba Gurinder Singh Dhillon in Vienna. One Bhupinder Singh Bhinda, who also operated from Germany, was a co-accused in the case.

Bagga faces the allegation that in May 2009, in Vienna, he along with Bhinda and Neeta planned the fatal attack on Sant Ramanand. Sant Narajan Dass of Dera Sachkhand (Balian) was seriously injured.

Back in India, Bagga was involved in five criminal cases under the Explosives Act and the Arms Act. At least two of them were registered in June 2008 at the Sadar Jagraon police station in Ludhiana. Another case registered by the police in September 2019 pertains to cross-border smuggling of weapons using drones, allegedly by a module of the Pakistan-based Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF).

“Smuggling of weapons from Pakistan using such a modus operandi could not have been possible without the role of elements within the Pakistan establishment," the official said.

Drone, arms seizure

A huge cache of arms, including five AK-57 assault rifles, pistols, eight grenades and five satellite phones, were seized at Tarn Taran along with the drone.

In the same case, on September 22, 2019, Bagga’s brother, Gurdev Singh, was arrested by the Punjab's State Special Operation Cell. The police allegedly seized Rs.3 lakh in counterfeit currency from him, as alleged.

The case was later taken over by the National Investigation Agency. Subsequently, in February, a special court issued non-bailable warrants against Bagga and KZF chief Ranjeet Singh Neeta.

Bagga's name had again come up in 2017, when he along with Germany-based Shaminder Singh was found to have arranged funds for a terror module in Amritsar for targeted killings. The police busted the module with the arrest of three persons, including Shaminder Singh's mother, Jaswinder Kaur, in April that year.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 11:06:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/narco-terror-probe-agencies-zero-in-on-germany-based-bagga/article31756792.ece

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