Sea of support from Punjab, Haryana despite sweltering heat as tributes paid to singer amid tight security at crowded New Grain Market
Politicians rubbed shoulders with fans from Punjab and neighbouring Haryana and residents as hundreds gathered at the New Grain Market in Mansa on a hot Wednesday morning to take part in the bhog ceremony of Punjabi singer and Congress leader Shubhdeep Singh, popular as Sidhu Moose Wala, who was shot dead by unidentified assailants at Jawaharke village 4km from his house on May 29.
Punjab Congress leaders and fans started arriving at the venue since early in the morning to pay their tributes to the slain entertainer.
In view of the huge gathering and VIP movement, the Mansa district administration made elaborate traffic management plans for vehicles headed to the New Grain Market from different districts of Punjab. Strict security arrangements were in place at the venue with senior district officials camping in the mandi complex.
Youngsters from across the state and Haryana were seen wearing T-shirts and carrying flags and posters with the image of their icon printed on them. People were seen distributing badges of the late artiste.
Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring had appealed to traders to keep their business establishments closed till 1pm as a mark of respect to the singer.
Moose Wala suffered 19 bullet wounds and died within 15 minutes of being shot on May 29 evening, according to the post-mortem report, which also stated that the cause of his death was haemorrhage shock due to antemortem firearm injuries. The incident took place a day after his security was withdrawn by the Punjab Police among 424 others.
Last week, Punjab Police reconstituted a special investigation team (SIT) to expedite the investigation into the murder. Eight people have been arrested in the case so far.
Born on June 17, 1993, Moose Wala was popular among youngsters having 6.9 million followers on Instagram. Moose Wala reached new heights of popularity with songs such as 295, So high, Issa Jatt, Tochan and Dollar. However, his stardom was often overtaken by controversies surrounding him for promoting drugs and violence through his songs.
Stepping into politics in December 2021, the Punjabi singer joined the Congress and unsuccessfully contested from Mansa.
Though Moose Wala’s father denied reports of joining politics, politicians, cutting across party lines, including Union home minister Amit Shah, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, met the family of the singer to express their condolences over the past few days.