New Delhi: Rajasthan Police’s investigation has revealed that gangster Lawrence Bishnoi was in talks with at least five cow vigilantes, including Monu Manesar, who are among the accused in the Nasir-Junaid murder case.

The information came to light after the police arrested Manesar last week and retrieved data, including social media chats and recorded phone calls, from his devices, the Tribune reported.

He was arrested by the Haryana Police on September 12 for allegedly uploading “objectionable and inflammatory” posts under a fictitious name on social media and later handed over to the Rajasthan police who had been looking for him in connection with the double-murder case, the Indian Express reported.

His name had hit headlines again when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) procession in Nuh on July 31, where Manesar’s presence was expected, got violent and ultimately sparked riots in Delhi, Gurgaon and Faridabad.

According to the police it seemed many cow vigilantes, including Manesar, wanted to join the Bishnoi gang.

Bishnoi was the alleged “mastermind” behind Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala’s killing last year and is currently jailed in Ahmedabad on drug smuggling charges that are being investigated by the National Investigation Agency. He has been involved in gang-related wars alongside fellow gangster Goldy Brar and has been in the news for publicly threatening actor Salman Khan from inside the jail during a news interview and more recently for claiming responsibility for the murder of one Sukhdool Singh in Canada.

A senior investigating officer had earlier told the Tribune that Manesar made several calls, including video, to Bishnoi between August 28 and September 10. Manesar even reportedly forwarded a “resume” listing his “stature” and “connections” in the area, while offering to head and re-establish Bishnoi’s network in the area.

“Bishnoi once ruled the extortion business in the area, but a police crackdown wiped out his gang. Sharing a common interest in cow welfare, he was in touch with ‘gau rakshak’ groups. Vigilantes like Manesar caught his fancy after the Nasir-Junaid murder case and Nuh clashes. He wanted to use their network for his work. From group chats, we have got names of five more men who were in touch with Bishnoi, but we can’t reveal their names,” an investigator was quoted by the Tribune as saying.

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