A memorial service for singer-songwriter and Congress politician Sidhu Moose Wala, who was shot dead by gangsters on May 29, drew hundreds of people to the grain market yard in Punjab’s Mansa town on Wednesday.
Despite concerns about his lyrics and personal behaviour, Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, better known by his stage name Sidhu Moose Wala, had a cult following. He was 28 years old at the time.
Blood donation camps were set up during the antim ardas (last prayers) on Wednesday, and males were given turbans to wear in his honour. Balkaur Singh Sidhu, his father and a retired army officer, had urged his supporters to attend the memorial service wearing turbans.
Mr Sidhu addressed the crowd, saying he couldn’t understand why his son was slain. He asked that no lies or misinformation regarding Sidhu Moose Wala and the murder be propagated. He expressed his hope that the government would uphold the rule of law.
The prayers drew people from all around Punjab and a few other provinces. Emotions were running high in the audience, with some telling reporters that the authorities should “shoot his killers as they shot him.”
On May 29, Moose Wala was killed when at least four men opened fire after intercepting his automobile at Jawahar Ke hamlet, near his home village of Moosa in Mansa district. His funeral was attended by a large crowd two days later. Top politicians from both parties had visited the family, including Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
On Wednesday, state police issued a red corner notice to criminal Satinderjit Singh alias Goldy Brar, who allegedly claimed responsibility for the murder in a Facebook post.
Goldy Brar is said to be a member of a group led by Lawrence Bishnoi, who is now in custody and is also being investigated as a suspect in Moose Wala’s murder.