Is the Lawrence Bishnoi gang behind the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada? – First post

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was murdered on June 18, 2023 in Surrey, Canada. File image

Canadian authorities have arrested individuals believed to be part of a suspected team to assassinate prominent Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia last June, according to information obtained by CBC News.

The crime has roiled diplomatic relations between India and Canada after the latter accused New Delhi of involvement in the killing.

In addition, sources closely involved in the investigation informed CBC that law enforcement officials are actively investigating possible links to three other homicides in Canada, including the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy in Edmonton.

Insiders say the alleged hit squad members are said to have taken on various roles such as gunmen, drivers and spotters on the day Nijjar was killed at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey.

The sources revealed that investigators had identified the alleged hit squad members in Canada several months ago and have been conducting intensive surveillance on them since then.

Kamalpreet Singh, Karanpreet Singh and Karan Brar are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy in connection with the Nijjar case, according to documents filed in a Surrey court on Friday. All three people appeared virtually in court on Friday.

What do we know about the three arrested people?

The three alleged assassins in their 20s, all Indian nationals, arrived in Canada several years ago, they said CBC.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) identified the men arrested Friday by their legal names, acknowledging that they may also use shorter names or aliases:

  • Karan Brar, 22.

  • Kamalpreet Singh, 22.

  • Karanpreet Singh, 28.

The people in question are Indian nationals who lived in Edmonton. This is evident from sources informed by CBCResearchers had located these three individuals in Canada several months ago and closely monitored them.

The suspects, from left to right, Karan Brar, Kamalpreet Singh and Karanpreet Singh, appeared in court virtually on Friday. BC RCMP

The men reportedly entered Canada on temporary visas, with some on student visas. However, it is indicated that none of them engaged in educational activities during their stay in Canada, nor were they granted permanent resident status.

The RCMP stated that these men arrived in the country separately over a period of three to five years. However, at a press conference on Friday, they declined to provide further details on the suspects’ immigration status.

Sources indicate that on the day Nijjar was killed, members of the alleged assassination crew took on various roles, such as gunmen, drivers and spotters.

Each of the three people is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. According to court documents, police allege the men worked with others to hatch plans to kill Nijjar in Surrey and Edmonton between May 1, 2023 and June 18, 2023.

Are the men related to the Bishnoi Gang?

Sources close to the investigation have said that all the men arrested on Friday are alleged associates of a criminal organization allegedly linked to notorious Punjabi gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, who is currently jailed in India.

Bishnoi has been charged with several crimes, including the May 2022 shooting death of Punjabi singer-politician Sidhu Moose Wala, a former resident of Brampton, Ontario, in Punjab. Additionally, Bishnoi faces charges related to drug trafficking and extortion.

Also read: Gangs of Canada: How the western country has become a haven for Punjabi gangsters

According to media reports, Lawrence Bishnoi, along with another jailed Indian gangster, took to social media to claim responsibility for the murder of Sukhdool Singh Gill last September. They described it as retaliation for a previous gang-related killing in India.

Gill was one of Punjab’s most wanted men, who faces charges of extortion and facilitating financial transactions to obtain weapons for gang members. Indian police have openly linked him to several murders and other serious crimes.

India has consistently alleged that Punjabi gangsters use Canada as a hub to extort money from business owners and other individuals in India. They reportedly rely on a network of underpaid gunmen to serve as collectors and enforcers in India.

Who is Lawrence Bishnoi?

Born in 1993 in Punjab, Lawrence Bishnoi spent his formative years in Abohar until 2010 before moving to Chandigarh to enroll in DAV College. In 2011, he was part of the Panjab University Campus Students Council, where he crossed paths with gangster Goldy Brar. Together, Bishnoi and Brar immersed themselves in university politics and started engaging in criminal activities on campus.

Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi (center) is currently imprisoned in India. File image

With more than 20 criminal cases to his name, including charges of murder and extortion, Bishnoi strongly denies all allegations against him. His gang has links to more than 700 gunmen across the country.

According to a National Investigation Agency (NIA) report, Bishnoi and his associate, Goldy Brar, are associated with Pro-Khalistan organizations.

Prison authorities report that Bishnoi uses voice-over IP calls to communicate with his associates outside the prison.

Do Bishnoi’s criminal activities cross borders?

As of 2022, Bishnoi’s criminal activities spanned five countries: India, Canada, Dubai, Austria and Mexico, a report said in India today said. Within India, Bishnoi’s gang has operations in seven states: Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Delhi, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh.

The gang’s operations are entirely digital, involving approximately 1,000 individuals, including snipers, criminals and suppliers. Target selection is done via audio conferencing conducted from virtual numbers.

Virtual phone numbers, which are not tied to a specific location and can be used on any phone without the need for a SIM card or a physical address, facilitate this communication using Internet technology.

Also read: How Canada’s indictment of India’s role in Nijjar’s killing failed

Lawrence Bishnoi serves as the brains of the criminal organization, with Goldy Brar as the backbone. Sachin Bishnoi, Lawrence’s cousin, oversees recruitment and target planning, while Anmol from Austria and Vikram Brar from Canada manage the gang’s financial dealings.

In the hierarchy, Lawrence sets the goals and gives initial directives to Sampat Nehra. Then his brothers and associates abroad make threatening calls to the targets. Sources indicate that Lawrence does not typically communicate directly with the shooters, but delegates this task to other intermediaries.

With input from authorities

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