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India's Anti-Terror Agency Launches Nationwide Raids in Terror-Funding Case

© AFP 2023 Money SHARMAA Central Industrial Security Force guard stands outside the office of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi
A Central Industrial Security Force guard stands outside the office of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi  - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.02.2023
Delhi Police's special cell registered a case in August 2022 about terror funding by members of a criminal syndicate, followed by the anti-terror agency, the National Investigation Agency, taking charge of the inquiry.
India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out countrywide raids at more than 70 locations on Tuesday in connection with a terror-funding case by criminal syndicates, both in India and abroad.
According to media reports, the NIA conducted raids at places in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, which are reportedly connected to infamous gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi and Neeraj Bawana, as well as Bishnoi’s close aide Kulwinder Sandhu, among other criminals.

Media reports citing NIA sources suggest that the authorities suspect the gangsters of supplying arms and ammunition to international criminal gangs via Nepal.

NIA   - Sputnik India, 1920, 15.02.2023
Domestic News
Anti-Terror Agency Searches 60 Locations Across India: Reports
Furthermore, the cases connected to the searches include the Ludhiana blast case, as well as separate cases involving Lakhbir Singh, who is accused of two rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attacks in Punjab, and Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) operative Arshdeep Singh Gill, an NIA source told media.

What is Known About Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi?

The federal agency placed Bishnoi under arrest on 24 November 2022 in connection with a case related to conspiracy hatched by terrorists, gangsters and drug smugglers' syndicate to create terror among the public.
His arrest was made when he was in Bhatinda Jail.
Bishnoi's associate Sandhu is believed to have provided logistical help to Bishnoi and is accused of being part of an organized drug syndicate that abets narcotics smuggling from Pakistan to Gujarat and Punjab.

How Does India Fight Gangster Mafia?

At present the NIA is investigating the possibility of the Nepal-Uttar Pradesh route allegedly being used by Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI),, to supply arms to gangs in India.
As of 21 February, at least 12 gangs have been arrested on terror charges by the Indian authorities.

After a high-level meeting chaired by Indian Home Minister Amit Shah on the matter, it was announced that the gangsters would not be treated as ordinary criminals, but rather booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) that deals with terrorist activities.

Despite most gangsters being in prison now, their operations continue unabated. The NIA still aims to seize the gangs' source of funding and manpower.
According to media reports, at least 12 gangs and their members have been questioned by the agency and the latest round of searches are based on fresh leads received after questioning the main people who have been accused.