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Moosewala murder probe reveals how Bishnoi gang network extends all the way to Pakistan

Investigators say absconding terrorist Harvinder Rinda, learnt to be based across the border, hired Lawrence Bishnoi’s men to carry out crimes across India

Late singer Sidhu Moosewala and jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi (R). (File)

Investigation into the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala has shed light on the extensive crime network of the prime accused, jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, that extends all the way to Pakistan, police have said.

Those involved in the probe say that the absconding terrorist Harvinder Rinda, learnt to be based across the border, had earlier hired Bishnoi’s men to eliminate a senior leader of Shiv Sena, a plan that was shelved due to heavy security. Bishnoi and Rinda had met while they were housed together in a Punjab jail.

The joint probe involving police in Maharashtra, Mohali and Delhi also points to the involvement of Bishoi’s men in the murder of builder Sanjay Biyani in Nanded on April 5 this year, an RPG attack on the state police intelligence headquarters in Mohali on May 10, and the murder of gangster Rana Kandowalia in Amritsar on August 3 last year.

On May 13, Punjab DGP Viresh Kumar Bhawra said the RPG attack on the intelligence wing headquarters was jointly carried out by an “axis of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and gangsters with the backing of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)”. Bhawra said this while announcing the arrest of six persons in connection with the case. He identified the key conspirator as Lakhbir Singh Landa, who hails from Tarn Taran district and has been in Canada since 2017. He said Landa was an associate of Rinda, who was close to BKI chief Wadhawa Singh and the ISI.

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Sources told The Indian Express that Rinda, a resident of Nanded in Maharashtra, was lodged in a jail in Punjab in 2016-17, where he met Bishnoi and the two became close friends. “After coming out of jail, he evaded arrest and reached Pakistan, from where he started operating his gang in Punjab after taking help from local criminals. Two men, one from Jhajjar in Haryana and another from Faizabad in UP, are members of Bishnoi’s gang and they were hired by Rinda for committing two crimes back to back,” police sources said.

Investigation has so far revealed that they were asked by Rinda to demand extortion money from a one prominent builder, Sanjay Biyani, but he refused and they decided to eliminate him. Biyani, 53, was shot multiple times outside his Nanded bungalow on April 5 by two bike-borne assailants using two firearms from point blank range.

When contacted, Superintendent of Police (Nanded) Pramod Kumar Shewale told The Indian Express that they received similar inputs regarding two attackers. “We have sent our team to Punjab to get more details about them,” he said.

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“After killing Biyani, both the attackers were asked by Rinda to eliminate a senior party leader of Shiv Sena, but despite conducting a recce, they failed to execute the plan. They were then asked by him to carry out a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack on the state police intelligence headquarters in Mohali,” police sources said.

In connection with RPG attack, police have already arrested Jagdeep Kang, who the DGP said was the “local contact” of the module and had accompanied Charat during the recce. The others arrested are Kanwar Bath, Baljit Kaur, Anantdeep Singh Sonu, Baljinder Singh Rambo and Nishan Singh.

First published on: 27-07-2022 at 02:18:34 pm
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