NIA gets Bishnoi's custody in connection with Moose Wala case
A Delhi court on Thursday granted 10-day custody of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi to National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a new case filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The NIA appealed to the court that it needed Bishnoi's custody as part of its probe to question him in connection with the Sidhu Moose Wala murder. It suspects Bishnoi was involved with terror organizations.
Why does this story matter?
- Moose Wala's murder on May 29 reportedly exposed the growing proximity between gangsters and terrorists in Punjab.
- Police officials named Bishnoi as the main conspirator in the killing after his close associate Goldy Brar claimed that they had planned the singer's killing.
- Cross-border drone attacks and inter-gang rivalries have also been in focus in Punjab over the last few months.
Bishnoi's may be party of larger conspiracy: NIA
The NIA said Bishnoi was part of a broader conspiracy, reported PTI. "Material is coming in from Pakistan, people like Moose Wala are targets. Investigation [into] the larger aspect is being carried out. Links are being searched," the agency said when the court asked what the current case's locus was with the singer's murder. The NIA had originally requested Bishnoi's custody for 12 days.
NIA conducted massive raids in September
The NIA had conducted raids in various northern states in September in coordination with police forces in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Rajasthan. After investigations into terror cases revealed a nexus between terrorists and gangsters, the NIA put national and international gangsters on its radar. Moreover, jailed Bishnoi, who is the main suspect in Moose Wala's murder, was found to be operating from the prison.
Moose Wala murder accused charged under UAPA
Reports said the September raids were linked to cases registered by the Delhi Police against Bishnoi, his associates, and the members of his rival gangs. The Delhi Police had the booked Moose Wala murder accused under the stringent UAPA and transferred the case to the NIA. Searches were also conducted in 25 different areas in Punjab, including two in Chandigarh, reports said.
23 persons arrested in Moose Wala case
On September 1, the Delhi Police Special Cell (DPSC) also booked various gangsters involved in the singer's killing under the UAPA. The accused included Bishnoi, Brar, and their rival gangs of Tajpuriya, Bawana, Bambiha, and Kushal Chaudhary. As of September, 23 of the 35 accused were arrested for the singer's murder. While four accused are abroad, six are reportedly absconding.