New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) The killing of Sukhdool Singh Gill aka Sukha Duneke in Winnipeg, Canada, on Wednesday has thrown the spotlight on the global operations of notorious Indian criminal gangs.
Duneke, who was allegedly associated with the infamous Bambiha gang, was wanted in multiple cases in India, including for murder, extortion, and attempt to murder.
He was also a person of interest for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Duneke's murder has raised questions about the extent to which Indian criminal gangs operate outside the country. According to sources, Duneke had fled to Canada in 2017, where he ran an extortion racket. His name prominently featured in the list of 43 individuals released by the NIA earlier this week, all allegedly involved in terror-related activities.
The Bambiha gang has a long-standing rivalry with other Indian criminal groups, including the gangs led by Lawrence Bishnoi and Goldy Brar.
Duneke himself was an accused in the murder of kabaddi player Sandeep Naggal Ambian, who was shot during a match at Mallian village in Punjab in March 2022. It was alleged that Duneke had provided a hideout to the killers at a relative's home in Amritsar.
After Duneke's murder, rival gangsters from Punjab, including Bishnoi and Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, claimed responsibility for the act through separate Facebook posts. The incident once again highlights the volatile and dangerous criminal landscape in the region.
Intelligence sources indicate that at least eight gangsters are suspected to be operating from within Canada, pointing to a global network of Indian criminal elements.
The NIA and Delhi Police's Special Cell have for long suspected the presence of these gangsters abroad, and the recent incident seems to confirm their suspicions.
Security agencies have consistently maintained that Duneke was hiding in Canada, and they had even submitted a dossier to the Canadian authorities regarding his activities.
But was Duneke the only gangster hiding in Canada, operating his nefarious network from abroad?
According to sources, the answer is a resounding no.Intelligence sources reveal that at least eight gangsters are suspected to be operating from within Canada.
As per sources, Satwinder Singh (Goldy Brar) is believed to be hiding in either the US or Canada, while Lakhbir Singh Sandu (Landa), Arshdeep Singh (Arsh Dalla), Satveer Singh Warring (Raman Judge), Charnjit Singh (Rinku Bihla), Sanawer Dhillon, and Gurpinder Singh (Baba Dalla) are suspected to be in Canada.
Gaurav Patyal (Lucky) and Anmol Bishnoi are believed to be in the US.
Notably, the NIA announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh for information leading to the arrest of Lakhbir Singh Sandhu (Landa) for promoting the terror activities of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) in India.
The international reach of these criminal networks is evident in their involvement in heinous crimes, including attacks on government buildings using RPGs and the murder of political leaders.
Gurpinder Singh, known as Baba Dalla who currently resides in British Columbia, had issued threats against an accused in the Punjab sacrilege case, highlighting the interconnected nature of these criminal operations.
Arsh Dalla, also living in British Columbia, is wanted for the murder of Ripudaman Singh Malik, an accused in the 1985 Kanishka airplane bombing. His involvement in a high-profile case demonstrates the global reach of these criminal enterprises.
Charnjeet Singh, alias Rinku Bihla, is another figure wanted for his alleged role in extortion and homicide cases. He played a key role in financing the murder of Dera Premi Manohar Lal in 2020, besides orchestrating an attack on priest Kamaldeep Sharma in Phillaur in 2021.
Raman, known as 'Judge', hails from Ferozepur, Punjab, and is the brother of incarcerated gangster Gagandeep Singh. Together with Bihla, Raman is alleged to have provided logistic support and financing for the murders of Dera Premi and the priest in Phillaur in 2020.
“These foreign-based pro-Khalistani terrorists are also involved in smuggling weapons, ammunition, explosives, and other contraband from across the border. They have also been linked to terrorist activities within India, including high-profile attacks on state institutions,” said intelligence sources.
The global reach of Indian criminal gangs and their involvement in terror-related activities are of increasing concern for the Indian authorities. The recent killing of Duneke serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by these transnational criminal networks.
As investigations continue, it remains to be seen how these criminal elements will be dealt with on the international stage.
(Shekhar Singh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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