Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala was on Sunday shot dead in Punjab's Mansa district by unidentified assailants in what's suspected to be a fallout of inter-gang rivalry.
Mansa Senior Superintendent of Police Gaurav Toora said Moosewala was with his cousin and a friend in a Mahindra Thar jeep in Jawahar Ke village in Mansa when two vehicles intercepted them and the occupants of these vehicles opened heavy fire at Moosewala.
Punjab's Director General of Police VK Bhawra said at least three weapons were used and 30 rounds fired in the attack.
SSP Toora said Moosewala was taken to civil hosptital where he was declared brought dead. He added the two others injured were stable.
Toora said that police found bullet shells of a 9 mm weapon, adding that there was a possibility of the use of a 315 bore weapon. When asked about the use of an AK-47 rifle, he said it could be possible, but all facts would come out during the investigation.
Of inter-gang rivalry, Toora said the name of Moosewala's manager had cropped up in the murder case of youth Akali leader Vicky Middukhera last year.
Toora added that there was a rivalry between Lawrence Bishnoi and Lucky Patial gangs and the attack could be connected to it.
“We are investigating the matter and we have got some leads,” said Toora.
DGP Bhawra announced the formation of a Special Investigation Team to investigate the murder. He added that Moosewala had not taken with him the two Punjab Police commandos who were still provided for his security.
Bhagwant Mann's Punjab government had withdrawn Moosewala's security cover on Saturday, and the decision has drawn flak in the wake of his killing.
Moosewala had unsuccessfully contested the Punjab assembly election earlier this year from the Congress party, which he joined in December last year.
The Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring called for Bhagwant Mann's Punjab government's dismissal following Moosewala's killing. He had played a major role in bringing Moosewala into the Congress fold.
"AAP Punjab government has has lost moral authority. It must be dismissed," said Warring in a tweet.
Reacting to the killing, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann expressed shock at the "gruesome murder" and appealed for everyone to be calm.
The Congress party said, "The murder of Shri Sidhu Moose Wala, Congress candidate from Punjab and a talented musician, has come as a terrible shock to the Congress party and the entire nation. Our deepest condolences to his family, fans and friends. We stand united and undeterred, at this time of extreme grief."
Moosewala, whose real name is Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, was 27-years-old.
AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal said culprits involved in Sidhu Moosewala's murder will be given harshest punishment:
Calling Punjabi singer and politician Sidhu Moosewala's murder on Sunday shocking, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said culprits will be given the “harshest punishment”.
The Aam Aadmi Party national convener urged public to maintain peace.
"Sidhu Moosewala's murder is saddening and shocking. I just spoke to Punjab CM Mann sahib. Culprits will be given the harshest punishment. I request everyone to remain strong and maintain peace. May God give peace to his soul," Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
Kejriwal’s tweet came in response to Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann's tweet on the incident.
"I am shocked and deeply saddened by the gruesome murder of Siddhu Moosewala. Nobody involved will be spared. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his fans across the world. I appeal everyone to stay calm," Mann said in his tweet.
Leaders of the Congress and other political leaders expressed shock and anger over the daylight gunning down of famous singer, and attacked the AAP government for withdrawing his security cover a day before.
BJP blames Arvind Kejriwal for Sidhu Moosewala's murder
The BJP has blamed AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal for murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, saying that the Delhi Chief Minister governs Punjab through a remote control.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, party spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that the secret list which had the names of those whose security was removed was made public.
"In a way, it was an open invitation to murderers, that you can do you work … Arvind Kejriwal is responsible for this murder," Patra said
Speaking at the same press conference, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa got apparently emotional. He said Kejriwal and Raghav Chaddha travel with 90 and 45 gunmen but they took away the security of a popular Punjabi singer.
(With PTI inputs)