Punjabi singer and Congress leader Sidhu Moose Wala was shot dead in Jahawarke village of Mansa district in Punjab, The Tribune reported. Two others were injured after the assailants opened fire at a jeep they were travelling in.
The assailants have not been identified yet. The attack took place just a day after the Punjab government withdrew security cover for 424 persons, including Moose Wala, NDTV reported.
Moose Wala, along with two others, were taken to Mansa Hospital after the attack, ANI reported.
“Three people were brought to the hospital, out of which Sidhu Moose Wala was dead,” Ranjeet Rai, a civil surgeon at the hospital said. “After giving primary treatment, the two injured have been referred to a higher institute for further treatment.”
Several bullets hit Moose Wala, said Deputy Superintendent of Police (Mansa) Gobinder Singh, reported PTI.
The police are suspecting that gangsters were involved in the attack, The Tribune reported. Gangsters based in Canada had recently asked for ransom from many Punjabi artists, according to the newspaper.
Moose Wala had contested the recent Punjab Assembly elections on a Congress ticket from Mansa constituency and lost to Aam Aadmi Party leader Vijay Singla.
On Friday, Singla was sent to judicial custody for 14 days on corruption charges.
On Tuesday, Singla was sacked from the state Cabinet after the allegations against him emerged. On the same day, he was arrested by the Punjab Anti-Corruption Cell for allegedly demanding Rs 1.16-crore as bribes for allotting construction projects and a 1% commission in future contracts.
Punjab Chief MInister Bhagwant Mann expressed shock at the incident and gave assurance that the culprits will be punished. He also appealed citizens of Punjab to maintain peace.
The Congress party expressed shock at Moose Wala’s death and offered condolences to his family. The party’s student union National Secretary Roshan Lal Bittu questioned the state government’s decision to withdraw Moose Wala’s security.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also offered condolences to Moose Wala’s family and fans.
“Deeply shocked and saddened by the murder of promising Congress leader and talented artist, Sidhu Moosewala,” he said. “My heartfelt condolences to his loved ones and fans from across the world.”
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa has urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to initiate an inquiry into how the list of persons whose security was withdrawn got leaked.