Sidhu Moose Wala shot dead day after security downgrade
The incident took place a day after Punjab withdrew the security of 424 people, including Moose Wala; police said Lawrence Bishnoi gang and a Canada-based gangster have claimed responsibility.
Congress leader and Punjabi singer Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu (28), better known by his stage name Sidhu Moose Wala, was shot dead in Mansa on Sunday, a day after his security was scaled down by the state police. Police said that the Lawrence Bishnoi gang and a Canada-based gangster have claimed responsibility for the attack.
The incident took place a day after Punjab withdrew the security of 424 people, including Moose Wala. The popular singer was earlier protected by four armed personnel; the cover was scaled down to two armed guards.
According to the police, the attack took place around 5.30 pm when Moose Wala, along with his cousin Gurpreet Singh and friend Gurwinder Singh, was driving in a jeep to Jawaharke village in Mansa. Moose Wala’s SUV was intercepted by two vehicles and it was sprayed with about 30 rounds of bullets. He was found slumped on his seat and bleeding heavily. He was rushed to hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.
Addressing a press conference, Punjab director general of police VK Bhawra said Moose Wala’s killing is a result of inter-gang rivalry, adding that Lawrence Bishnoi’s gang and Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar are involved. He said the murder seems to be in retaliation to Youth Akali Dal leader Vicky Middukhera’s murder in Mohali last year as one of Moose Wala’s manager was named as a conspirator in the case.
He added that a three-member special investigation team (SIT) has been formed to investigate the matter.
“Moose Wala had four commandos from the Punjab Police, but two of them were withdrawn from his security temporarily due to Ghalughara Diwas (Operation Bluestar anniversary). He denied taking the two remaining commandos. He even had a private bulletproof vehicle but did not use it today,” said Bhawra.
Attackers’ vehicles recovered
IG, Faridkot range, PK Yadav, who is camping at Mansa, said an SIT comprising superintendent of police (SP-investigation), Mansa, Dharamvir Singh; DSP (investigation), Bathinda, Vishwajeet Singh; and CIA incharge, Mansa, Pirthpal Singh, has been formed. Police have also recovered vehicles used by the assailants and detained more than six persons. It is suspected the assailants fled in some other vehicle.
Mansa senior superintendent of police Gaurav Toora said: “We are searching the CCTV footage of the area to identify the assailants; we have got some leads. We have recovered around 30 empty rounds of 9 mm and .315 bore from the spot; even the use of an AK 47 is suspected, as at least three weapons were used. As of now, the number of assailants is not clear, but at least 6-7 persons were involved.”
Cousin, friend critical
Chief medical officer, Mansa, Ranjit Rai said Moose Wala was brought dead to the hospital, while the other two injured have been referred to a hospital in Patiala as their condition remains critical.
The 28-year-old singer belonged to Moosa village near Mansa and has given several superhit songs over the last few years. The singer had faced criticism from several quarters for allegedly promoting gun culture in his songs and was also been booked for allegedly promoting violence through his song “Sanju’’. Moose Wala joined the Congress in December last year, and unsuccessfully contested the 2022 Punjab assembly elections from Mansa against Aam Aadmi Party’s Dr Vijay Singla.
After news of the incident spread, Moose Wala’s followers gathered in huge numbers outside the Mansa civil hospital raising slogans against the Punjab government for withdrawing police protection from the singer. They even tore the chief minister Bhagwant Mann’s posters installed near the civil hospital.
Mann, while expressing shock over Moose Wala’s “gruesome murder”, wrote on Twitter: “Nobody involved will be spared. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his fans across the world. I appeal everyone to stay calm.”
However, the Congress demanded dismissal of the AAP government in Punjab, and other political parties, including the BJP and SAD, also targeted the government as well as the AAP and its leaders for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.