Punjab Police Withdrew Security Despite IB Report Detailing Threat to Life
Moose Wala was seriously injured after unidentified persons opened fire at him in Punjab’s Mansa district on Sunday, police said. The incident took place a day after the Punjab government withdrew his security cover.
The singer had joined the Congress party in December last year.
Punjab Director General of Police V K Bhawra on Sunday said the killing of popular singer Sidhu Moose Wala seemed to be the result of an inter-gang rivalry and that the Lawrence Bishnoi gang was involved in it. He said a special investigation team (SIT) has been set up to investigate the incident.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Bathinda Range, Pardeep Yadav constituted the three-member SIT to ensure effective and speedy investigation of the murder. The team includes SP (investigation) Mansa Dharamveer Singh, DSP (Investigation) Bathinda Vishawajeet Singh and in-charge CIA Mansa Prithipal Singh.
Addressing the media here, the DGP said, This incident seems to be a case of an inter gang rivalry. He said the name of Moose Wala’s manager Shaganpreet had figured in the murder of youth Akali leader Vicky Middukhera last year. Shagunpreet had fled to Australia.
This murder appeared to be in retaliation of Middukhera’s murder, the top police officer said. He said the Lawrence Bishnoi gang was behind this incident, adding that one of the members of the gang from Canada had taken the responsibility of the murder. According to official sources, one Canada-based Goldy Brar had claimed the responsibility of the murder of Moose Wala.
There is an inter-gang rivalry between Lawrence Bishnoi gang and Lucky Patial gang, they said. Notably, three shooters identified as Sunny, Anil Lath and Bholu — all residents of Haryana — had already been arrested by Delhi Police’s Special Cell in connection with the murder of Middukhera, while Shaganpreet was named as accused in the FIR registered in this case.
DGP Bhawra said four Punjab police commandos had been deployed with the singer. He said every year, security is thinned out because of the anniversary of Operation Bluestar and ‘Ghalughara week’ next month. Two commandos of Moose Wala were also withdrawn. But he did not take two of his remaining commandos along with him, the police official noted.
He said the popular singer chose not to take his private bullet proof vehicle as well. On Saturday, the Punjab Police had ordered withdrawal of security of 424 people, including former MLAs, heads of Deras and serving and retired policemen, on temporary basis.
The DGP further said 30 empty bullet shells have been recovered and at least three weapons like 9 mm and 455 bore appeared to have been used in the crime. Giving more details of the incident, he said Moose Wala left his house around 4:30 pm along with Gurwinder Singh (neighbour) and Gurpreet Singh (cousin). The singer was driving the vehicle.
Bhawra said when Moose Wala reached Jawahar Ke village, they were followed by a car and were intercepted from the front by two vehicles. “There was heavy firing from the front on Sidhu Moosewala, he said, adding that the police team reached the spot immediately and the trio was taken to Civil Hospital Mansa where the singer was declared brought dead. His cousin and friend are in stable condition, and have been referred to Patiala for further treatment.