Popular Punjabi singer, rapper and politician Sidhu Moose Wala has been shot dead in India, aged 28.
The artist – real name Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu – was killed while driving in the Mansa district of the Punjab state in northern India. Reports add that he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
As The Guardian report, the state’s chief police official, VK Bhawra, revealed that an initial investigation into the killing has linked it to gang rivalry.
Local media are also reporting that the killing came a day after Moose Wala’s security presence was significantly reduced, as part of a wider move from the Punjabi government to remove security cover for over 400 high-profile individuals.
Following the death of Moose Wala’s death, India’s Congress Party, who the rapper joined in 2021 and unsuccessfully ran in state assembly elections for, tweeted: “The murder of Shri Sidhu Moose Wala, Congress candidate from Punjab & a talented musician, has come as a terrible shock to the Congress party & the entire nation. Our deepest condolences to his family, fans & friends. We stand united & undeterred, at this time of extreme grief.”
The murder of Shri Sidhu Moose Wala, Congress candidate from Punjab & a talented musician, has come as a terrible shock to the Congress party & the entire nation.
Our deepest condolences to his family, fans & friends.
We stand united & undeterred, at this time of extreme grief. pic.twitter.com/v6BcLCJk4r
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 29, 2022
The Chief Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann, shared his own statement, saying that “no culprit will be spared” in the attempt to find out who was responsible for the killing of Moose Wala.
Another tribute came in from senior congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who wrote: “Deeply shocked and saddened by the murder of promising congress leader and talented artist.”
Moose Wala’s career kicked off in 2017 after an initial stint as a songwriter, and he released a debut album in 2018.
He performed across the world including at London’s Wireless Festival in 2021. The year prior, he was charged under India’s Arms Act with allegedly promoting guns through his lyrics.