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Who is Lawrence Bishnoi, the man affiliated with 700 shooters across India

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted searches at nearly a dozen locations in Haryana and Rajasthan in connection with the jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi.

The locations raided by the ED were the residential premises of some suspects having links with Bishnoi, who is currently in jail and is one of the accused in the murder case of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala.

Who is Lawrence Bishnoi?

Born in 1993 in Punjab, Lawrence Bishnoi spent his early years in Abohar till 2010 and later moved to Chandigarh to join the DAV College. In 2011, he joined the Panjab University Campus Students Council, where he met gangster Goldy Brar. Bishnoi and Brar became involved in university politics and started undertaking crimes within the university campus.

Bishnoi has over two dozen criminal cases registered against him, including murder and extortion. However, he has denied all these allegations. His gang is affiliated with over 700 shooters across the country. Currently, he is in custody in Tihar Jail.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) report revealed that Bishnoi and his associate, Goldy Brar, have links with the Pro-Khalistan outfits.

During the period between 2010 and 2012, Bishnoi began his criminal activities in Chandigarh when several FIRs were registered against him for crimes, including an attempt to murder, trespassing, assault, and robbery. Out of the seven FIRs registered against him in Chandigarh, he was acquitted in four and three cases are still pending.

During his time in jail, Bishnoi built alliances with criminals behind bars. After being released, he met with arms dealers and local criminals, thus increasing the number of people associated with his gang.

In 2013, he shot dead the winning candidate of elections of the Government College in Muktsar and a rival candidate at the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation elections. After 2013, he ventured into liquor dealing and often sheltered murderers in his gang. In 2014, he had an armed encounter with the Rajasthan Police, after which he was sent to jail, where he plotted murders and witnessed executions.

He befriended Jaswinder Singh (alias Rocky), a gangster-turned-politician. While working with Rocky, he remained active in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. However, Rocky was shot dead by Jaipal Bhullar in 2016, who himself was gunned down in 2020.

During this time in the Bharatpur jail, Bishnoi operated his syndicate by allegedly receiving help from jail staff. In 2021, he was transferred to the Tihar jail in Delhi regarding a case registered against him under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

According to jail authorities, Bishnoi uses voice-over IP calls to communicate with his associates outside the jail.

Threats to Salman Khan

In 2018, a close associate of Bishnoi, Sampath Nehra, carried out a recce of Salman Khan’s residence and stated that he was asked to assassinate Salman Khan for his involvement in the Black Buck hunting case.

While being transported by police to appear in a Jodhpur court in Rajasthan for a case of extortion, Bishnoi said, “Salman Khan will be killed here in Jodhpur… Then, he will come to know about our real identity… Now, if the police want me to commit some major crime, I shall kill Salman Khan and that too in Jodhpur.”

Murder of Sidhu Moosewala

On May 29, 2022, Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala was shot dead in Mansa, Punjab. The responsibility for the shooting was claimed by Goldy Brar, who said that he had engineered the plot with Bishnoi.

At the time of the shooting, Bishnoi was lodged in Tihar jail. Following the murder, the Delhi Police Special Cell obtained a 5-day custody of Bishnoi for investigation. Soon after Moosewaala’s assassination, Bishnoi moved a plea in the Delhi High Court, stating that he was afraid for his life and feared a fake encounter by the Punjab police.

He said that the Delhi Police and the Tihar Jail authority must ensure his safety and that he must be properly handcuffed and shackled. He later withdrew the plea from the Delhi High Court and moved his petition to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Murder of Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi

Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi, president of the right-wing group Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena, was shot dead in the living room of his house on December 5 in Jaipur.

Three armed men, one of whom was killed in retaliatory firing, first had tea with Gogamedi at his house. A video of the incident showed that the accused were sitting with him before opening fire. Gogamedi was shot at least five times at close range, with the final bullet pumped into his head. One of Gogamedi’s security guards also sustained bullet injuries in the exchange of fire with the assailants.

Bishnoi’s gang member Rohit Godara claimed responsibility for the murder. In a Facebook post, Godara said that he takes full responsibility for the murder.


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