Lawrence Bishnoi, the leader of a criminal gang, told the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday that he has been falsely named in a first information report about the murder of singer Sidhu Moose Wala, The Indian Express reported.
“The petitioner [Lawrence Bishnoi] has been named in the FIR only to cover up the inadequacies in the investigation,” his plea stated. “Moreover, the petitioner is being made a scapegoat and is being erroneously held responsible.”
Moose Wala was shot dead in Jahawarke village of Mansa district in Punjab on Sunday evening. The attack took place just a day after the Punjab government temporarily cut back security cover for Moose Wala and 423 other persons.
Punjab Director General of Police VK Bhawra on Monday said that a member of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang named Lucky has taken responsibility for the killing.
On Wednesday, Bishnoi said that even before a first information report was registered, a Punjab Police officer had declared him responsible for Moose Wala’s murder, reported The Indian Express.
“The petitioner has been falsely and erroneously named in the FIR without any tangible evidence, based on unreliable claims made on social media platforms,” it added.
Bishnoi, who is lodged in Tihar jail for another case, has said that there is a serious threat to his life. He has sought to restrain the judicial magistrate of Mansa from issuing a warrant and handing over his custody to the Punjab Police.
“He [Bishnoi] can be put to harm, or liquidated by adopting extrajudicial means,” said his plea, which was submitted through his counsels Sangram Saron and Shubreet Kaur.
Bishnoi had requested that he be questioned through video conferencing or within the precincts of Tihar jail in Delhi, reported The Indian Express.
Earlier on Wednesday, Bishnoi withdrew his plea from the Delhi High Court, Bar and Bench reported. He had told the Delhi High Court that he fears a “fake encounter” by the Punjab Police and sought security arrangements if he was to be taken into custody.