Famous Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala was shot dead in a hail of bullets by unidentified assailants in Mansa district, a day after the state government withdrew his security cover. He was on the wheel in Mahindra Thar SUV when the assailants, believed to be 10-12, fired more than 20 rounds at point-blank range at the singer and his two friends, who got grievous injuries.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Mansa) Gobinder Singh said several bullets hit Moosewala, 27, who was in his jeep at Jawahar Ke village when he was attacked. Mansa civil surgeon Dr Ranjeet Rai told reporters that Moosewala was brought dead at the civil hospital.
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu Moose Wala, aka Sidhu Moosewala, had contested the 2022 Punjab Assembly election on a Congress ticket from Mansa constituency and had lost his debut poll to AAP’s Dr Vijay Singla. Interestingly, Dr Singla was recently sacked from the Punjab Cabinet on corruption charges.
The incident happened a day after Punjab Police ordered the withdrawal of security of more than 420 people, including former legislators, Jathedars of two Takhts, heads of deras and police officers. Two of his four gunmen were withdrawn with the new government order. Moosewala was without security when the crime happened.
Also he was travelling in a vehicle that was not bullet proof. Normally, he used his bullet-proof Toyota Fortuner for commuting, police said.
Leaving behind his celebrated tag of a top Punjabi rap singer with fans across the globe, Moosewala, belonging to native Moosa village, did not mind in singing couplets of his songs and posing for countless selfies with the electorate, largely first-timers, during his campaigning.
With assets of Rs 7.87 crore as per his nomination affidavit, the singer-turned-politician, who loved to ride on an open jeep, was facing four criminal cases, including two for obscene scenes. Controversies were not new to Moosewala. He created stir by allegedly misusing the name of 18th century Sikh warrior Mai Bhago in his track with panthic bodies demanding his arrest for hurting Sikh sentiments. He later apologised.
Moosewala, who created a niche for himself with his unique rapping style, was known for hit tracks like ‘Legend’, ‘Devil’, ‘Just listen’, ‘Jatt da Muqabala’ and ‘Hathyar’, among many others. Many of his songs featured in the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 charts. He played the protagonist in Punjabi film ‘Moosa Jatt’. His another film ‘Yes I Am A Student’ was a story that sheds light on the hardship of international students but inspires them to never lose hope.
Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar, a close aide of gang leader Lawrence Bishnoi, has claimed responsibility for Sidhu Moosewala’s murder.
He said on social media:
“Today, Moosewala was killed in Punjab, I, Sachin Bishnoi, Lawrence Bishnoi take the responsibility. It’s our work. Moosewala’s name surfaced in our brother Vikramjit Singh Middukhera and Gurlal Brar’s murder, but the Punjab Police did not take any action against him. We also came to know that Moosewala was also involved in the encounter of our associate Ankit Bhadu. Moosewala was working against us. Delhi Police had taken his name but Moosewala used his political power and saved his skin each time,” Goldy wrote on his social media post, reports IANS.
Police claim eight assailants had attacked Moosewala. Bullets from three AK- 94 rifles have been found at the crime spot. Use of AK-94 is rare in Punjab.
Meanwhile, police have detained some persons in Bathinda over their alleged links with Goldy Brar and Lawrence Bishnoi gang and suspicion of their involvement in Moosewala’s murder.
Police officials had earlier today suspected involvement of gangsters in the crime. Police officials had claimed that there had been instances of ransom calls made by gangsters to singers and actors of Punjabi film industry recently.
Opposition parties in the state have been questioning the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, BJP leader from New Delhi, has questioned the Bhagwant Mann government for leak of the orders of withdrawal of security from 424 persons. He stated on Twitter that making such a list public was dangerous to people whose security was withdrawn
Moose Wala made history when he became the first Indian singer to perform at Wireless Festival last year, alongside rapper MIST.
The rapper shared a post on Instagram for the “legend”.