According to sources, this is one of the key findings of the probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the attack following the arrest last month of the shooter who has been identified as Deepak Ranga from Surakhpur village in Haryana’s Jhajjar.
Before the attack, the sources said, Pakistan-based Rinda had taught Deepak how to use a rocket-propelled grenade over two video-call sessions. The NIA has also found that Rinda managed to radicalise Deepak with stories of how the police had allegedly tortured the family members of one of Rinda’s associates, the sources said.
According to sources, Deepak was also allegedly involved in the murder of builder Sanjay Biyani in Maharashtra’s Nanded in April last year on Rinda’s orders.
Deepak was arrested from Gorakhpur in UP on January 25, an NIA spokesperson said in a statement issued that day. On Friday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared Rinda as a terrorist under the UAPA, saying he “is associated with Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and is presently based in Lahore, Pakistan under the patronage of cross-border agencies”.
The Mohali attack took place in the evening of May 9, 2022, with the RPG causing damage to the facility but not any injuries to personnel. The NIA had registered a case suo motu on September 20, 2022, after it emerged that terror outfits and elements based abroad were operating with criminal gangs in the northern states for targeted killings and violence.
A scene after the RPG attack that was carried out at the intelligence headquarters in Mohali on May 9 last year. (File/Express)
Following Deepak’s arrest, the NIA had said in its statement that he “is a close associate of Canada-based gangster-turned-terrorist Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias Landa and Pakistan-based gangster-turned-terrorist Harvinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda”.
According to sources, Deepak told the agency during questioning that he was initially associated with jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi — and had allegedly committed two murders on the directions of Bishnoi and an associate. “But he did not get the exact amount that was promised by them. Bishnoi later connected Deepak with his Canada-based associate Goldy Brar. A few months later, Goldy connected Deepak with Landa and Rinda,” sources said.
“After coming in touch with Rinda, he was asked to eliminate Sanjay Biyani in Nanded, who had refused an extortion demand of Rs 5 crore. Deepak came in touch with a juvenile and they killed Biyani on April 5 last year. After the murder, Rs 23 lakh was given to Deepak and Rs 9 lakh to the juvenile,” the sources said. The Delhi Police Special Cell had arrested the juvenile in November last year.
During questioning, sources said, Deepak told the NIA that Rinda had also asked him to eliminate a senior leader of the Shiv Sena. “But he refused after he found heavy security arrangements,” the sources said
“After a few months, Rinda asked him to carry out the RPG attack in Mohali. Rinda told him that some of the family members of his associate were tortured by the police. Rinda started teaching him how to operate an RPG. Deepak had two online sessions with Rinda. One of Rinda’s associates delivered the RPG,” sources said.
“(After the attack), they managed to escape to UP from where they went to Nepal. Rinda started giving Rs 75,000-1 lakh every month to them. But Deepak had a heated argument in Nepal with his associate (the juvenile), who came back to India,” sources said.