Over 10 years in the crime world, entrenched in several dozen criminal cases alongside hundreds of other criminals, shifted from several jails while allegedly building contacts and operating from inside the jails, Lawrence Bishnoi, 30, is now growing his influence in the world of organised crime.
The manner in which Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala’s murder was planned and organised, which included several gangs from different states points to that. Both the Delhi Police special cell and the Punjab Police have pointed to Bishnoi as key conspirator in the case.
Sidhu’s murder is an example of the extent of organisation between several gangs, operating in different states.
The accused involve those from Gawli gang, considered an enemy of D-Company (Dawood Ibrahim), who has support from the Pakistani ISI. Whether Bishnoi is trying to rise to their level or not, but the way things have been working and growing under his name in the past few years point to a bigger law and order problem.
Police sources say Moose Wala’s murder is being investigated, but the brutal murder has definitely created easy access to more extortion by Bishnoi and the likes. They also say that in the past few years, such threats have grown significantly. Former deputy CM OP Soni, ex MLA Harpartap Singh Ajnala and ex MLA Amarpal Singh Boni Ajnala are the latest to receive threats under Bishnoi’s name.
GLORIFICATION OF GANGSTERS
How do these gangs recruit people? As per The Tribune report, Bishnoi once told a cop that social media was their recruiting place. Apparently unemployed youth or the ones young enough to be brainwashed are fascinated by him and ask to be recruited and thereby, express their loyalty to Bishnoi.
News18 checked several social media accounts created using Bishnoi’s name which glorify him, show his videos in handcuffs, stroking his moustache and alleged video calls from inside jails. These posts have hundreds of likes.
DO JAILS HELP BUILD CONTACTS?
To the question of whether Bishnoi has link with several hundred criminals, Delhi Police Special Cell CP, HGS Dhaliwal, in an interview with News18, said, “Bishnoi is an accused in different cases with around 400 different people.”
He also pointed to his shifting in several jails in the past 10 years or so.
Many of Bishnoi’s former acquaintances believe this has helped him build contacts with other gangs. One former student leader who served time in a jail at the same time as Bishnoi, said, “He was always very good with inmates even if they were from opposite groups.”
THE PATH OF CRIME
Educated from a convent school, then in a school in Chandigarh and a dropout from DAV College, Chandigarh, son of a police constable, Bishnoi took the path of crime very early, with no looking back. Those who knew him in those formative years say he was fascinated by the fights (thought to be for a principle) and the ‘popularity’ of the likes of Shera Khubban, the gangster killed in police encounter in 2012.
Coming to Chandigarh, Bishnoi wanted to join student politics and wanted to be the president of a union in first year of college. SOPU paved the way. SOPU and PUSU are the two student unions in Panjab University, dominant till 2014. Members of the unions used to be rivals not only in elections, the animosity went further.
The animosity between the unions led to FIRs against him and his “enemies”. There used to be fights among the members of the same union too, about who’ll have a certain post. Although many would leave this life after a while and get into other professions, Lawrence attached himself to the likes of Khubban. Those who knew or saw him in those days say he was fascinated by the ‘badmash’ outlook.
Shera Khubban’s father, however, mentioned in one interview with a web channel that he went to Bishnoi’s house and asked his parents to control their son in time. He said that Bishnoi used to go to Khubban’s court appearances, would give almonds to him to eat. This was confirmed by a person to News18 who was close to Bishnoi at that time.
But once he was knee deep in it, there was no way getting out. And now that he cannot get out, he has made a life for himself in it. Police sources say that he enjoys his name being flaunted even if the threats are not from him or his men.