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Haryana: NIA special court forfeits most wanted pro-Khalistan terrorist Rinda’s aides’ properties to the state, first such forfeiture under UAPA

This is the first time the NIA has aggressively sought the forfeiture of terrorists' properties to the state under UAPA.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative and part of a new strategy adopted by NIA under UAPA to squeeze the finances of terrorist organisations, a special NIA court in Haryana has ordered to forfeit the seized property of four aides of Pakistan-based listed Khalistani terrorist Harwinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda.

The press note released by the federal agency on September 14, Thursday read, “This is the first time the NIA has aggressively sought the forfeiture of terrorists’ properties to the state under Section 26 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after they have been attached as proceeds of terrorism.

In the instant case, the special court has approved the NIA’s application seeking the forfeiture of the property, including Rs 7.80 lakh in cash and an SUV car, which was allegedly used by the accused for transporting arms, ammunition, explosives and narcotics across the country, the spokesperson said.

The Haryana Police on May 5 last year had seized three improvised explosive devices, one pistol with two magazines, 31 rounds of ammunition and Rs 1.30 lakh in cash from the four accused — Gurpreet Singh, alias Gopi; Amandeep Singh, alias Deepa; Parminder Singh, alias Pinder; and Bhupinder Singh.

They were going to deliver the consignment to Adilabad in Telangana, in their car. A specially designed cavity was created in the SUV to hide the arms and cash, the spokesperson said.

A case was registered at Madhubhan Police Station in Haryana under various sections of the UAPA, Explosive Substance Act (1908), and the Arms Act. On May 24, 2022, the NIA took over the investigations into the case.”

Meanwhile, the NIA official spokesperson was quoted by the media as saying, “Forfeiture of properties is a major new tool in the NIA’s strategy to dismantle the terrorist ecosystem in the country. The NIA has adopted this strategy to squeeze the financial resources of the terrorist outfits as well as their operatives and associates. The agency has already attached several terrorist-linked properties and the process of their forfeiture is underway in different courts,” an official spokesperson said.

Who is Harwinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda from Babbar Khalsa International listed amongst UAPA

It may be noted that on March 21 this year, MoS Home Nityanand Rai informed the Lok Sabha that in the year 2022, and in 2023 so far, 23 individuals have been listed as ‘terrorists’ under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967. The minister further added that the names of the 23 individuals have been added to the 4th schedule of the Act.

As per the list provided by MoS Nityanand Rai, there are several Islamic terrorists and 2 Khalistani terrorists namely Arshdeep Singh Gill from the KTF and Harwinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda from Babbar Khalsa International.

On November 19 2022, senior state police and intelligence officials reportedly said that Gangster-turned-terrorist Harvinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda died in a hospital in Lahore, Pakistan. He was named in at least ten terror cases in Punjab. Reports suggest he was undergoing treatment for a kidney ailment allegedly triggered by a drug overdose.

Other reports have suggested that the Davinder Bhambiha mafia group has claimed responsibility for his death as he allegedly turned against its members. Pakistan hospitals had, however, denied any such deaths.

Rinda was wanted by Punjab Police in at least 24 crimes related to homicide, contract killing, robbery, extortion and more. He was recently named in the Faridkot murder case where Dera Sacha Sauda disciple Pardeep Singh Kataria was shot dead by six assailants in broad daylight. His role was also suspected in the murder of Hindu leader Sudhir Suri who was killed last month.

There was a cash reward of Rs 10 lakhs announced by the National Investigation Agency for any information on Rinda. Interpol had also issued a Red notice against him. 

Rinda was associated with the terrorist organization Babbar Khalsa International. He provided crucial support to Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to smuggle weapons and drugs into Punjab from Pakistan. A senior Punjab Police official said Rinda was also named as the mastermind behind the RPG attack on intelligence headquarters in Mohali, Punjab, in May last year.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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