The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested three persons in connection with the raids conducted on Wednesday as part of a nationwide drive codenamed ‘Operation Dhvast’, in the terrorist-gangster-drug smugglers network cases.
In a coordinated crackdown with the police in Punjab and Haryana, the NIA raided 129 of the total 324 locations. Following the searches in the two States, besides Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chandigarh and Madhya Pradesh, the agency has taken into custody Parveen Wadhwa from Bhiwani (Haryana), Irfan from New Seelampur (Delhi) and Jassa Singh from Moga (Punjab).
“Parveen Wadhwa was found liaising with certain notorious gangsters, including Lawrence Bishnoi, in jail. The NIA seized weapons from the house of Irfan, who is also associated with such gangsters. Jassa Singh was working at the behest of Canada-based ‘listed terrorist’ Arsh Dhalla,” said an agency official.
According to the NIA, Parveen Wadhwa was in regular touch with Lawrence Bishnoi and his gang members named Deepak aka Tinu and Sampat Nehra, along with other associates. “He was working as their special messenger from inside jails,” said the agency. Irfan was allegedly involved in a terror conspiracy involving gangster Kaushal Choudhary and his associates, including Sunil Balyan. “He has been arraigned as an accused following the raids that also led to the recovery of arms,” it said.
Accused Jassa Singh’s role in the Khalistan terror conspiracy has been established. He had delivered a pistol at the instance of Arsh Dhalla, said the agency.
The latest searches were part of the continuing NIA action against terror networks as well as their funding and support infrastructure, with respect to which it has been probing three cases since August 2022. The Punjab police searched 143 places in 17 districts, while their Haryana counterparts raided 52 locations in 10 districts.
“The cases are connected with the conspiracies related to targeted killings, terror funding of pro-Khalistan outfits, extortion, etc. Notable among these cases are the sensational killing of Maharashtra builder Sanjay Biyani and international Kabaddi player Sandeep Nangal Ambia in Punjab last year,” said the NIA.
The conspiracies were being hatched in jails of different States and executed by an organised network of operatives based abroad. The agency has found that several criminals, who fled to countries such as Pakistan, Canada, Malaysia and Australia, are involved in planning serious crimes in association with those lodged in Indian prisons.