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HomeIndia‘Inspiration, immortal’ — Fans throng Moose Wala home with talk of revenge...

‘Inspiration, immortal’ — Fans throng Moose Wala home with talk of revenge & a grim ‘premonition’

The police suspect ‘inter-gang rivalry’ as the motive for Moose Wala’s murder, but some of the singer’s grieving fans think he is a hero whose killing should be ‘avenged’.

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Mansa: Emotions ran high outside the mansion of Punjabi singer and Congress leader Sidhu Moose Wala Monday, less than a day after he was shot dead by unidentified assailants.

“A Jatt has been murdered. There has to be revenge,” bellowed Gagandeep Singh, a resident of Mansa, even as others in the group tried to pacify him. Some in the crowd could be heard crying, while others speculated that the 28-year-old performer had foretold his death in one of his songs, ‘The Last Ride’.

Complete with jarokhas and frilled balconies, the palatial cream-painted mansion in Moosa village in Punjab’s Mansa district had turned into something of a fortress Monday, with scores of police personnel pressed into service and roads to the village barricaded, as thousands of fans, relatives, politicians and other visitors poured in throughout the day.

In the late evening, the body was yet to be brought to the village from the Mansa Civil Hospital for the funeral, but the crowd was willing to wait.

For legions of fans — many who came to Moosa from faraway villages in Ludhiana, Patiala, Faridkot, and Barnala — paying their last respects was important, as was trying to make sense of what had happened.

A lorry full of fans headed to Moose Wala’s house in Moosa village | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

“He was extremely popular among the youth. A large number of them who are based in Punjab’s villages had access to his content through social media and they related to him. That is why you see that the sentiments are so charged up that people are talking about revenge,” Sidhu Brar, a man in his 20s who had joined the crowd, said.

The Punjab Police have said that Moose Wala’s murder seems to be the result of “inter-gang” rivalry, but his supporters don’t want to dwell on that, preferring instead to remember him as a talented performer — even if several of his videos show him toting a gun —  and a pro-farmer politician.

Also Read: Sidhu Moose Wala’s killing planned ‘6 months ago’ but ‘bodyguards came in the way’

‘Lakhs of Punjab youths draw inspiration from his art’

In death, Sidhu Moose Wala already seems to be assuming mythical proportions.

“Is it true that he knew about his death?” asked one of his fans, Navneet Singh, referring to the song ‘The Last Ride’, which was released just two weeks ago, reportedly as a tribute to American rapper Tupac Shakur, who was shot dead in his car at the age of 25 in 1996.

Some in the group dismissed Navneet Singh’s question, while others didn’t look quite so sure.

For an artiste who has been on the music scene for only three or four years, Moose Wala built up a large following in a short time with his Punjabi songs, some featuring hip-hop rhythms and occasional rap interludes.

He is a popular face on Punjabi entertainment channels and his skills as a singer, songwriter, and producer have earned him loyal fans — he has some 80 lakh followers on Instagram and 1.07 crore subscribers on YouTube. On the video-sharing platform, he can be seen not only in music videos, like the 2017 runaway hit ‘So High‘, but several live shows abroad. Popular figures even in the Hindi film industry have mourned his death.

Nevertheless, Moose Wala’s music career has witnessed a few controversies — the most prominent among them being allegations of promoting gun culture through his music videos. According to Punjab Police records, there are two cases under Arms Act registered against him.

Fans, however, are not put off.

“You may call it controversial but those videos have become immortal with his death. Lakhs of Punjab youths draw inspiration from his art,” Gagandeep Singh said.

From Canada to Congress

Born Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, Moose Wala graduated in electrical engineering from Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College in Ludhiana in 2015 and then spent several years in Canada. He returned to Punjab last year and soon made his political debut as a member of the Congress.

Among the many politicians who poured in at Moose Wala’s residence on Monday to convey condolences to the family were leaders of the Congress — starting from the party’s Punjab unit president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring to local district-level leaders.

Moose Wala was a vocal supporter of the farmers protesting against the three farm laws which have now been repealed. The Congress, according to sources, brought him in owing to his popularity.

This, however, did not translate to an electoral win.

Moose Wala contested the 2022 assembly elections as a Congress candidate from the Mansa seat, but lost the fight to AAP’s Vijay Singla — who was sacked earlier this month from his post as Punjab’s health minister due to corruption charges.

In April, about a month after the Punjab assembly poll results were out, Moose Wala released a song titled ‘Scapegoat’ in which he allegedly called Punjabis traitors for voting the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to power, landing him in a controversy.

Gang allegations

The Punjab government Monday requested the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to get Moose Wala’s murder case probed by a sitting judge. The directions came from Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann who acceded to a request from Moose Wala’s family, urging him to set up a judicial commission to probe the matter.

According to a government source, Moose Wala’s family refused to buy the “gang-rivalry” briefing from the Punjab Police.

Soon after Moose Wala was killed, Punjab Director General of Police V.K. Bhawra had said the murder seemed to be the result of an inter-gang rivalry and that the Lawrence Bishnoi gang was involved in it. He added that a member of the gang from Canada had taken the responsibility of the murder in a Facebook post (which has now been attributed to Goldy Brar).

Moose Wala’s bullet-riddled vehicle | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

Bhawra said the name of Moose Wala’s manager Shaganpreet had figured in the murder of youth Akali leader Vicky Middukhera last year, and the murder seemed to be in retaliation for this. Shagunpreet has allegedly fled to Australia.

While Moose Wala was never publicly named in the investigation into Middukhera’s murder, the Facebook post purportedly written by Brar claimed that he had used his “power” to escape police action.

Moose Wala was shot dead Sunday evening in Mansa district, a day after the Punjab Police partially withdrew the security of 424 people, including that of the singer.

The incident soon turned into a political row, with Opposition parties in Punjab lashing out at the AAP government for curtailing his security cover, calling it a “political murder”, and highlighting concerns over Punjab’s law-and-order situation.

(Edited by Asavari Singh)

Also Read: The ‘Goldy Brar’ seen with Punjab CM in viral photo isn’t the gangster linked to Moosewala’s death



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