NIA teams up with Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh police to check organised criminal gangs

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has initiated coordinated efforts with police forces of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to dismantle the nexus between organised criminal gangs in the northern region and terror groups operating abroad.

Chairing a meeting of heads of the three police forces on Friday, NIA Director General (DG) Dinkar Gupta underscored the need for collaborative action to combat organised crime.

Enhanced cooperation and information sharing among NIA, Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana police will effectively address the growing threat posed by these criminal syndicates, particularly in the northern region, Gupta said.

During the meeting, it was decided to establish a collective institutionalised mechanism for real-time as well as regular information sharing and coordinated action and operations against the gangster ecosystem in the northern region, a NIA spokesperson said in a statement.

It was also decided to set up a ‘Joint Listing Committee’ with representative officers from the NIA and the three police forces to list out and map the entire network of the various criminal syndicates active in the northern states and union territories, the spokesperson said.

It was further decided to hold monthly meetings of all stakeholders to address the issue of organised crimes and criminals in these areas.

During the meeting, discussions were held on activities of leaders and members of organised criminal syndicates and groups operating in the northern states and the ongoing investigations in the various criminal cases connected to them.

Interventions required at structural and operational levels to dismantle the terror syndicate ecosystem were discussed threadbare and it was decided to formulate an institutionalised mechanism for timely sharing of actionable inputs with all the stakeholders, the statement said.

The growing nexus between criminals and gangsters, with their interstate linkages and conflicts, has become a cause of concern for the northern states.

The foot soldiers, recruits and harbourers, etc. of these criminal-gangster syndicates are spread across north Indian states and require a coordinated and synergised effort by the police of different states to deal with them effectively, according to the statement.

During the meeting, the NIA, which is investigating three such cases against criminal-terror syndicates, shared its findings and observations on the methodology adopted by the syndicates operating from jails.

Ensuring fast-track trials against gangsters was stressed upon during the meeting as the participants believed that it would be an effective tool to tackle the problem. Discussions were also held on witness protection plan during the meeting, the statement said.

This was the second such meeting chaired by the NIA chief for tackling the menace of organised criminal-terror syndicates. Gupta had initiated these meetings to collectively deal with such syndicates through sharing of findings and inputs among the various police agencies and forces.

Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) PK Agrawal underlined the need for taking swift and decisive action to dismantle the networks of these criminal syndicates, disrupt their activities and ensure justice.

He reassured the participants that the Haryana Police is fully committed to supporting and actively participating in the coordinated efforts to combat organised crime.

Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav emphasised that international liaison and cooperation with law enforcement agencies in foreign countries is essential to extradite and deport active leaders and members based abroad.

Chandigarh DGP Praveer Ranjan stressed the need for close interstate coordination and joint operations between police forces of affected states as the criminal syndicates are operating all over, including Chandigarh.

Representatives from various agencies presented their findings and insights into the ongoing investigations during the meeting with a focus on devising strategies to disrupt the activities of organised criminal syndicates, strengthen intelligence sharing mechanisms and coordinate efforts to apprehend individuals involved in these unlawful activities, the NIA spokesperson said.