Sidhu Moose WaIa: India police probe Punjabi singer’s murder
A day before the suspected inter-gang rivalry attack, the 28-year-old rapper’s security cover was withdrawn in a bid to clamp down on VIP culture.
Indian police are investigating the murder of a popular Punjabi rapper, who blended hip-hop, rap and folk music, a day after he was shot, officials say.
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, also known around the world by his stage name Sidhu Moose Wala, was killed on Sunday evening while driving his car in Mansa, a district in northwestern India’s Punjab state.
Moose Wala, 28, was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.
Punjab’s top police official VK Bhawra said the initial investigation has revealed the killing to be an inter-gang rivalry.
A day before the attack, the Punjab government had pulled security cover of more than 400 individuals, including Moose Wala, in a bid to clamp down on VIP culture, local media reports said.
There is a reason why security provided to people should be based on an objective threat assessment & not based on personal likes & dislikes. These days security seems to be a reward for loyalty rather than an objective, need based decision #moosewala
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) May 29, 2022
Moose Wala started off as a songwriter before a hit song in 2017 catapulted his singing career, making him well known among the Indian and Punjabi diaspora in countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada.
Most of his singles have an English title even though the songs were mainly sung in Punjabi. His glossy music videos were famous for his rap lyrics and often focused on macho culture. His debut album in 2018 made it to Canada’s Billboard Albums chart.
Moose Wala was also a controversial figure, in part due to his lyrical style. In 2020, police charged him under Arms Act for allegedly promoting gun culture in one of his songs.
His latest track, The Last Ride, was released earlier this month.
The rapper joined India’s main opposition Congress party last year and unsuccessfully ran in the state’s assembly elections.
Punjab’s Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said “no culprit will be spared” and that he was deeply shocked and saddened by the murder.
Rahul Gandhi, a senior Congress leader, took to Twitter to offer his condolences to Moose Wala’s family. “Deeply shocked and saddened by the murder of promising Congress leader and talented artist,” he said.