New Delhi: In a major catch in the terror-gangster-smuggler nexus case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday arrested Vikramjeet Singh (Vikram Brar), a key aide of notorious jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, immediately after his deportation from UAE to India. A team from NIA had gone to UAE to facilitate this deportation and bring him back to India.
Brar, involved in the sensational killing of famous Punjabi Singer Sidhu Moosewala, was taken into custody by the NIA. Besides targeted killings of innocent people/ businessmen, he was involved in cases of smuggling of weapons and extortion in India with the help of dreaded gangsters - Lawrence Bishnoi, Goldy Brar and others.
Wanted in 11 murder cases
Absconding since 2020, Brar was wanted in at least 11 cases of murder, attempt to murder, extortion under various sections of IPC as well as the Arms Act. 11 Look Out Notices had been issued against him by competent authority on request by various State Police, including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.
Vikram Brar was operating as a ‘communications control room’ (CCR) for the Lawrence Bishnoi terror gang from the UAE. This CCR was also facilitating calls of Lawrence Bishnoi and Goldy Brar (based in Canada) and further upon their directions, he used to make extortion calls to various people. Brar’s CCR also enabled calls of main gang leaders with the operatives/ members. An open-dated Non Bailable Warrant of Arrest (NBWA) had been issued by the NIA Special Court, Delhi. A Look Out Circular (LOC) was also issued in the name of the accused, who was chargesheeted on 24th March 2022 in NIA Case no. RC-39/2022/NIA/DLI under sections 120B & 384 of IPC, section 17 & 18 of the UA(P) Act, 1967, along with other 13 co-accused.
In 2020-2022, according to NIA investigations, Vikramjeet Singh or Vikram Brar had actively helped Goldy Brar in executing the killing of Moosewala. Lawrence Bishnoi had also sent extorted money many times to Brar through hawala channels. Brar had demanded extortion money from a doctor in Kurukshetra (Haryana) and also threatened him.
Association with Students Organisation of Panjab University
Before becoming a close associate of Bishnoi, Vikram Brar was associated with Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) in Punjab University. Along with other associates, he actively participated in various crimes like murder, attempt to murder and extortions etc. He had been assisting/facilitating the Lawrence Bishnoi gang in targetted killings extortions in Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab. He was also providing logistic support to the gang members.
NIA has so far arrested 16 persons in the terror-gangster conspiracy case. Further investigations into the conspiracy are continuing as part of NIA’s efforts to destroy the growing nexus between terrorists, gangsters and drug smugglers, and to dismantle their infrastructure, including funding channels.
In the recent months, the NIA has been successful at getting 5 ‘wanted’ absconders, either deported or extradited to India, due to the close coordination with central intelligence agencies and persistent follow-up with the concerned authorities in the foreign countries. Bikramjit Singh @ Bikkar Panjwar aka Bikkar Baba, the mastermind of Tarn Taran bomb blasts, was successfully extradited from Austria in December 2022. This was the first extradition case of its kind from a western country. Prior to this, the only other extradition since the setting-up of the NIA, was that of Wuthikorn Naruenartwanich aka Willy in December 2015 from Thailand. The other 4 deported accused were wanted for commission of serious and sensational crimes, such as the Ludhiana Court Complex blast case etc. They included Kulwinderjit Singh aka Khanpuria of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), Harpreet Singh aka Happy Malaysia, Parminder Pal Singh aka Bobby and Aboobacker Haji.