The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday arrested Deepak Ranga, the alleged main shooter in the Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack on the Punjab police intelligence headquarters at Mohali in May 2022.
The accused, who had absconded after the incident, was tracked down to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. He belongs to Surakpur village in Haryana’s Jhajjar.
The NIA alleges that Deepak is a close associate of Canada-based gangster-turned-terrorist Lakhbir Singh Sandhu aka Landa and Pakistan-based gangster-turned-terrorist Harvinder Singh Sandhu aka Rinda. The accused has been involved in several other incidents of crime and terrorism, including violent killings. He received “terror funds” and logistical support from Rinda and Landa.
The agency had registered the case suo motu on September 20 last year after it “emerged that that terrorist outfits and terror elements based abroad were operating in tandem with leaders and members of organised criminal gangs operating in northern States to commit targeted killings and violent criminal acts”.
According to the NIA, the terror-gangster-drug smuggler syndicate was also engaged in the smuggling of arms, ammunition, explosives and Improvised Explosive Devices from across the border through a wide inter-State network of gun runners, illegal arms and ammunition manufacturers, suppliers and explosive traffickers.
“Since the registration of three criminal cases against the above terror-gangster-drug smuggler network, the NIA has already arrested 19 leaders/members of various organised criminal gangs, two arms suppliers and one big financier connected with the network, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” it said.
In a related development, Canada-based Arsh Dalla was designated as an “individual terrorist” by the Ministry of Home Affairs on January 9.
“Further action to dismantle the terror-gangster-smuggler nexus and its infrastructure would be intensified in the near future,” said the NIA.