The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has launched a crackdown on individuals linked to the Khalistani terrorist network across multiple states of India. The operation has targeted 30 locations in Punjab, 13 in Rajasthan, 4 in Haryana, and two in Uttarakhand. The NIA has also been monitoring specific locations in Delhi-NCR and Uttar Pradesh.
Uttarakhand has been under scrutiny due to its picturesque locations of Udham Singh Nagar and Bajpur. The raids have also targeted Turner Road in Dehradun, where illicit cartridges were discovered last year. These cartridges were traced back to Parikshit Negi, a firearms merchant from the Dehradun region. Negi was apprehended by the Delhi Police, but his association with the Khalistani network raises significant questions.
The NIA’s actions coincide with the demise of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, which stirred diplomatic tensions. The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, held India responsible for Nijjar’s death, prompting India to expel a Canadian diplomat from its soil and suspend visa services for Canadian nationals.
In August, the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police apprehended five individuals in possession of 2,000 cartridges during an operation. This discovery revealed a significant connection to a Dehradun-based firearm vendor, the Royal Gun House. Local authorities discovered that the establishment had been closed for two months and its license had been revoked. Negi, who lived on Turner Road, was implicated in the clandestine distribution of cartridges, which extended beyond August 2022.
However, investigations are ongoing, and local law enforcement and NIA operatives in Dehradun remain tight-lipped.