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HomeIndia‘Pro-Khalistan terrorist’, India’s most wanted gangster: Who was Rinda?

‘Pro-Khalistan terrorist’, India’s most wanted gangster: Who was Rinda?

The Indian security agencies suspect ISI role in the death of Harvinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda. He died in a Pakistan hospital due to organ failure Saturday, according to reports.

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New Delhi: ‘Gangster-turned-Khalistan terrorist’ 35-year-old Harvinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda, the alleged mastermind of the RPG attack on Intelligence Headquarters of Punjab Police in Mohali in May, has died in Pakistan. Although reports suggest that Rinda died of “organ failure” at a Pakistan hospital Saturday, sources in the intelligence say that he was poisoned. The intel sources also suspect that Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has a role in his death. Meanwhile, the Bambiha gang (operating in Delhi-Haryana-Rajasthan region) has also claimed responsibility for killing Rinda, however sources have dismissed these claims.  

According to security agencies, Rinda, who moved to Pakistan some years ago, is believed to be associated with the pro-Khalistan terror outfit — Babbar Khalsa International. Rinda, who has over two dozen cases — murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, Arms Act, and also under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act — lodged against him, was one of India’s most-wanted gangsters. 

In June this year, the Interpol issued a red notice against him. The NIA had also announced a 10 lakh reward on him. According to security agencies, Rinda is also behind Punjab’s Nawanshahr CIA office hand grenade attack, and the attack outside a police outpost in Rupnagar in March this year. He is also believed to be involved in the Ludhiana court blast.

Also Read: Close aide of Rinda, Pak-based pro-Khalistan ‘terrorist’, nabbed by NIA

Long saga of crimes 

Hailing from Rattoke village in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district, Rinda moved with his family to Maharashtra at the age of 11. According to the police, the dreaded ‘gangster-turned-terrorist’ allegedly killed a relative over a family dispute at the age of 18. As per police records, the 35-year-old then allegedly started running an extortion racket and looted from traders in Nanded Sahib in Maharashtra. 

According to his criminal dossier, Rinda’s modus operandi included — targeting people with whom he and his associates have a rivalry and those who are witnesses in criminal cases lodged against him and his associates. Rinda was allegedly also involved in narcotics smuggling with Canada-based gangster Lakhbir Singh alias Landa Harike and is believed to have been involved in transporting weapons and explosives across the border. According to sources, Rinda recruited youth from Punjab and Haryana to carry out terror activities in the country. 

According to the dossier, Rinda was wanted by the Chandigarh Police in the Vivek Pandit murder case (2016), Desraj Singh murder case (2017) and the killing of Hoshiarpur sarpanch Satnam Singh (2017). Rinda is also said to have been allegedly involved in a shooting incident in Panjab University (PU) in 2016. 

He had earlier in 2014 attacked jail staff of Patiala Central Jail and also threatened the Station House Officer of Sector 11 police station, Chandigarh as a student of PU, according to police records. Rinda is also suspected to be behind the killing of Sanjay Biyani, a builder in Nanded in June this year. He along with Dilpreet Singh Baba were also allegedly involved in the attack on singer Parmish Verma in 2018. 

Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar mastermind of the Sidhu Moose wala murder case and who claimed responsibility for the killing of the 2015 sacrilege case accused Pradeep Kumar is believed to be an associate of Rinda. 

According to police sources, Rinda fled India via Nepal and reached Pakistan on a fake passport in 2020. He is believed to have been supported and sheltered by Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) ever since.

(Edited by Anumeha)

Also Read: Khalistan on the Pacific: How the gangs of Punjab were born in Canada


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