New Delhi: Sidhu Moosewala’s family Sunday observed an early first death anniversary for the singer who was shot dead on 29 May last year, to “avoid hot weather and wheat harvesting season”.
The 28-year-old singer, who had also contested last year’s Punjab assembly elections on a Congress ticket, had been killed a day after his security was withdrawn by the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party government in the state.
A year on, while some arrests have been made, investigation in the case is still on.
On Sunday, as the singer’s family observed Moosewala’s barsi (death anniversary), his parents — Balkaur Singh and mother Charan Kaur — slammed the government over the alleged “slow probe” in the case.
Singh, who had last month announced that the family wouldn’t wait till May to observe the singer’s first death anniversary and would instead perform it in March, questioned the timing of action against Waris Punjab De chief and pro-Khalistan activist Amritpal Singh and the suspension of internet services in the state Sunday.
“The police and the AAP government need to answer why they particularly chose to take action against Amritpal on Saturday? Probably it was a plan to stop the masses from reaching the venue of my son’s “barsi” on Sunday” and “to suppress their voices seeking justice for Moosewala,” alleged Singh.
While 78 alleged members of Amritpal’s outfit were arrested Saturday in a major crackdown against the leader accused of spreading communal tension in the state, Amritpal is still on the run. Mobile internet services have also been suspended till Monday afternoon.
Hitting out at the internet suspension, Moosewala’s father said Sunday that while the state government had suspended internet services for peace-loving citizens, “gangsters in jail continued to enjoy it”, a reference to accused Lawrence Bishnoi’s recent interview, allegedly from inside the Bathinda jail where he is lodged.
The administration was reportedly keeping a close eye on Moosewala’s barsi, fearing it may trigger outrage.
Inter-gang rivalry was suspected to be behind Moosewala’s murder and soon after the killing, Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar had claimed responsibility for it in a Facebook post in Punjabi. He had then claimed that the murder was to avenge the killings of his cousin Gurlal Brar and Akali leader Vikramjit Singh “Vicky” Middukhera, who he alleged was killed by the rival Bambiha gang with the help of Moosewala.
Moosewala had launched a song in 2020 called ‘Bambiha Bole’ which was seen as his way of supporting and glorifying the Bambiha gang.
Satinderjit Singh, alias Goldy Brar, is from Muktsar, Punjab, and travelled to Canada on a student visa in 2017. He was detained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US last year.
Meanwhile jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, one of the main accused and alleged co-conspirator in Moosewala’s murder claimed in an ‘interview’ aired by a news channel this month that he was not involved in the planning of Moosewala’s murder, but was aware of it. He claimed the planning was done by Brar, who has been associated with the Bishnoi gang.
While police have denied claims that Bishnoi’s interview was given from inside any jail in Punjab, another interview aired by the same channel a day after, has raised questions on the state’s law and order situation. The dates or locations of both interviews remain unclear.
In September 2022, the police claimed to have arrested 23 accused in Moosewala’s murder, including six-shooters. Of the six, Manpreet Singh alias Manu Kussa and Jagroop Singh alias Roopa were killed during an encounter in Bhakna village of Amritsar in July 2022.
Two other accused, Mandeep Singh and Manmohan Singh, died last month after a clash broke out in the Goindwal jail.
(Edited by Smriti Sinha)
Also read: ‘Calls from Tihar, stalking reels’: Police say Bishnoi ‘macromanaged’ Moose Wala murder from jail