Authorities in India are investigating the murder of a popular Indian rapper after he was fatally shot just a day after his security cover was withdrawn.
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, 28, better known by his stage name Sidhu Moose Wala, was killed on Sunday evening, May 29, while driving his car in Mansa, a district in Punjab state, northern India.
Moose Wala was driving with two of his friends in an SUV to the village Jawahar Ke in Punjab, when they were attacked.
The rapper’s SUV was sprayed with bullets and he was found slumped on his seat and bleeding heavily. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.
Punjab police said that the attack seemed to be due to a gang-war. Police also said that a Canada-based gangster has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Lawrence Bishnoi gang is involved in this murder. Lucky, member of the gang has taken responsibility from Canada,” Punjab DGP VK Bhawra told the media. He said the name of Moose Wala’s manager Shaganpreet had figured in the murder of one Vicky Middukhera last year.
This murder appeared to be in retaliation of Middukhera’s murder, the top police officer said.
Punjab Police has also formed a special investigation team to probe the incident.
The singer had faced criticism from several quarters for promoting gun culture in his songs. He had also been booked for allegedly promoting violence through his song ”Sanju”.
He was booked under the Arms Act and the Disaster Management Act in Barnala after photographs showing him firing an AK-47 rifle at a firing range during the COVID-19 lockdown appeared on social media.
The singer had joined Congress in December last year. In the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections, Sidhu Moose Wala had contested from Mansa on a Congress ticket. He was defeated by Aam Aadmi Party’s Dr Vijay Singla.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that he was deeply shocked saddened by the news. “Deeply shocked and saddened by the murder of promising Congress leader and talented artist, Sidhu Moosewala. My heartfelt condolences to his loved ones and fans from across the world,” Mr Gandhi tweeted.
Congress leader Charan Singh Sapra said the state government and Chief Minister must come clean on what basis Moose Wala’s security cover was removed. “The government has to answer,” he told NDTV.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday said that those involved in the attack on singer Sidhu Moose Wala won’t be spared. The Aam Aadmi Party leader also urged everyone to remain calm.