It was a tearful goodbye as family, friends and fans gathered for the funeral of slain Punjabi singer-politician Sidhu Moosewala on Tuesday.
The last rites of the singer were held at his native village of Moosa, Punjab after the police did a post-mortem.
Moosewala was gunned down on May 29 with the autopsy report revealing 24 bullet wounds on his body. A police source told IANS that 30 rounds were fired on his car under two minutes.
The Congress leader, whose real name was Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, was shot dead less than 24 hours after his security was curtailed by the Punjab state government.
While a police investigation is underway, the 28-year-old singer is said to have been killed by gangsters near his ancestral village in Mansa in broad daylight. He was at the wheel in a Mahindra Thar SUV when around 10 to 12 assailants fired multiple rounds at point-blank range at the singer and his two friends, one of whom is reported to have died.
Police have stated an AK-47 assault rifle was used in the shoot-out as its shells were recovered from the crime scene. Meanwhile, Goldy Brar, a Canada-based gangster, and Lawrence Bishnoi have taken responsibility for the murder.
Six people detained
Moosewala’s death occurred a day after Punjab Police curtailed the security cover of 420 people, including the deceased singer.
On Monday, Punjab Police detained six people from Dehradun’s Peliyon Police Chowki area in connection with Moosewala’s murder, according to Special Task Force (STF) sources quoted by ANI.
Uttarakhand STF and Punjab STF, in a joint operation with Dehradun Police, detained six people who allegedly provided support to the assailants in killing Moosewala.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police has also begun questioning Bishnoi in Tihar Jail in connection with the murder, considering Brar is a close aide.
Meanwhile, Punjab Police in their preliminary investigation linked the murder to an inter-gang rivalry.
Amid the outrage over the death of the singer, Punjab High Court on Monday issued a notice to the state government, seeking a detailed report on the number of people whose security was reduced or withdrawn and the reason for the decision.
The murder of Moosewala has sent shockwaves across the world, drawing reactions from celebrities such as Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, Sara Ali Khan, Bhumi Pednekar and Canadian rapper Drake who reportedly new the singer from his days in Brampton, Ontario, where he was an international student and rose to stardom.
‘Brown Munde’ hitmaker AP Dhillon also took to his Instagram to share a touching post about Moosewala’s legacy and the hate that many artists on the Punjabi rap scene have to endure,
“Most people will never know the extent of what you have to deal with as a Punjabi artiste behind the scenes on a daily basis,” wrote Dhillon. “With constant judgement, hate-filled comments, threats and negative energy directed towards people like us, who are just doing what we love.”
In an Instagram Story, Dhillon also paid tribute to Moosewala’s legacy. “I always admired how Sidhu was able to rise above it all. He made it look easy and stayed true to himself. Today, I am praying for his family and our community. We need to do better.”
Singer Amit Antil from ‘India’s Got Talent’ also weighed in, saying Moosewala’s demise was an eye-opener for people who blamed celebrities for having guards and security.
“As all of us know that talent is always compared to treasure that can’t be stolen. But the fact is it can be killed henceforth it’s our responsibility to keep them protected and safeguard. The way a young singer was shot in broad daylight raises questions on how secure we Indian artistes are. Punjab has been a place of love, peace and brotherhood, violence was really unexpected,” Antil told IANS.
Moosewala was to get married to a woman from Sangheri village in Sangrur district next month.