While many common people are often untouched by the dark side of various northern cities, including Delhi, criminal gangs in recent years are constantly merging with each other, becoming bigger and deadlier. The daylight murder of famous singer and Congress leader Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, popularly known as Sidhu Moose Wala, in Punjab on May 29 was carried out by one such gang that has been involved in a number of killings, including of rivals, say officials.
Punjab police said that Moose Wala was killed by Lawrence Bishnoi and Goldy Brar to avenge Vikramjeet Singh alias Vicky Midhu Khera, who was killed in Mohali in August 2021. Officials said that Shaganpreet Singh, manager of Moose Wala, was allegedly involved in facilitating the killers of Vicky in eliminating him. Singh escaped to Australia before authorities could catch him.
Punjab’s director general of police (DGP) VK Bhawra said the killing of the popular singer seemed to be the result of an inter-gang rivalry and that Canada’s Lawrence Bishnoi gang was involved in it.
The role of Shaganpreet was discovered when Delhi police arrested three gangsters this year in March who mentioned that he helped them kill Vicky who was a Youth Akali Dal leader and former Student Organisation of India (SOI) president.
According to top sources in Delhi police, a gangster of the Bishnoi group, Shahrukh, was also looking for an opportunity to eliminate Sidhu Moose Wala but officials got to know about his plans and arrested him last month.
Lawrence Bishnoi and Goldy Brar, two names in the news after Moose Wala’s murder, are part of a long list of gang members who have been working together to increase their influence in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, and parts of Uttar Pradesh. While top officials of these states’ police say that most of them are locked inside Tihar Jail, all the gangs are still operating.
When News18 spoke to various state police officers, who are involved in controlling the expansion of gangs, it was found that in the last five years, the community has been divided into two and gangs have made friends with other gangs.
Lawrence Bishnoi (Punjab, Rajasthan) has been working with other states’ gangsters to increase his area of operation. Bishnoi has a tie-up with Jaggu Bhagwanpuria (Punjab), Kala Jathedi (Haryana, Delhi), Hashim Baba (northeast Delhi), Subbe Gurjar (Gurugram), and Jitender Gogi (outer Delhi, Haryana). All these gangs operate together to deal with rival gangs, which too have big names.
Among their key adversaries is Neeraj Bawana who is in jail but apparently runs his racket without any hassle. Bawana operates in Haryana and outer Delhi in concert with Tillu Tajpuria (outer Delhi), Bambiha group (Punjab), which has a rivalry with Bishnoi, and Kaushal Chaudhary (Gurugram).
Many of these gang members are in jail in Delhi or Punjab where they met each other and decided to join hands, say officials. “Lawrence Bishnoi in Tihar Jail met Hashim with the help of Jitender Gogi. Bishnoi also became a friend of Kala Jathedi to expand his gang. From there, they planned several killings and are running extortion rackets in various states including Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, etc. In the same Tihar Jail, Neeraj Bawana is also locked up and two key members Dilpreet alias Budha of Davinder Bambiha who was killed in 2016 became friends and decided to run a common gang. Neeraj Bawana also asked Tillu Tajpuria to join the gang to increase their strength of shooters,” a senior police officer explained to News18.
Tie-ups and gang wars
There are mainly two major gangs that operate in several northern states. According to a deputy commissioner-level Delhi police officer who has been dealing with these gangsters, “The gang leaders having influence in one particular state have tie-ups with other gang leaders who enjoy clout and power in different states.”
While local police may not have that level of understanding, these gangs help each other if someone wants to operate, eliminate, or extort in some other state. “Sidhu Moose Wala’s murder is now a fresh point of contention between these two main gangs. Neeraj Bawana has reportedly threatened Bishnoi and Goldy Brar that they will see retaliation for Sidhu Moose Wala in two days,” a Punjab police official told News18.
According to sources, in 2016, after Davinder Bambiha was killed, the Bishnoi gang started extorting money from businessmen in areas where the rival gang was active. In 2020, the Bambiha group killed Gurlal Brar who was a close associate of Bishnoi. There have been multiple killings by both gangs in the past five years.
After the main leaders were arrested by police, out of fear for their lives, the second line of command of these gangs shifted abroad, including in Canada, the UK, Thailand, Dubai, and Australia.
According to police sources, Bishnoi’s close associate Goldy Brar operates from Canada and Kala Rana from Thailand. Gaurav Patiala is operating from Armenia.