Months after the killing of Punjab singer Sidhu Moose Wala, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) today raided around 50 locations across north India linked to gangsters operating from both India and abroad.
The raids are being conducted in coordination with local police forces at locations linked to various gangsters in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and adjoining areas, including the homes of Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar and Jaggu Bhagwanpuria - who are allegedly involved in the murder of Moose Wala.
Officials said these gangsters had come on the radar of the anti-terror agency after recent investigation in some terror cases revealed a nexus between the gangsters and terrorists.
Some of the gangsters, including Lawrence Bishnoi - the chief suspect in Sidhu Moose Wala's murder, are also operating from prisons, they added.
Sources say the Union Home Ministry had then asked the NIA to carry out intelligence-led coordinated operations against these gangsters across India, and also consider their international links.
The raids are intended to arrest the local handlers of gangsters who are involved in terror cases., sources said, adding that those involved in cross-border smuggling of arms are also on the radar.
The growing nexus between the terrorists and Punjab-based gangsters had come into the focus after the killing of Sidhu Moose Wala. The centre had also sent multiple alerts to Punjab police over the past two months regarding the growing network of state-based gangsters, officials said.
The singer was shot dead in his SUV near his village Moosa in Punjab's Mansa district on June 29.
A day after Moose Wala was murdered, Goldy Brar had admitted in a Facebook post that he planned it to avenge the killing of another gangster. Goldy Brar is a close aide of Lawrence Bishnoi.