Following the death of renowned Indian rapper Sidhu Moose Wala last month, eight people in connection to his murder have been arrested.
The suspects, including the man who reportedly asked for a selfie with the 28-year-old artist moments before he was shot and killed, were brought into custody “for providing logistic support, conducting [reconnaissance] and harboring the shooters,” Punjab police said in a news release on Tuesday.
Moose Wala, whose real name was Subhdeep Singh Sidhu, was fatally shot in Mansa in the Indian state of Punjab on May 29 while driving with two other people. Authorities believe that the shooting might have been the result of an “inter-gang rivalry.” They have also reportedly identified four shooters who are connected to the murder but currently remain at large.
According to the police, one of the arrested suspects posed as a fan of the rapper. He took note of when Moose Wala was unaccompanied by his bodyguards while riding in a vehicle that was not bulletproof. The suspect reportedly asked for a selfie with the artist minutes before the murder.
The remaining suspects purportedly provided logistic support to the alleged assailants, such as arranging for their vehicle and finding a hideout for them.
The arrested suspects have been identified as follows: Sandeep Singh, alias Kekda, of Sirsa, Haryana; Manpreet Singh, alias Manna, of Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda; Manpreet Bhau of Dhaipai, Faridkot; Saraj Mintu of Dode Kalsia village, Amritsar; Prabhdeep Sidhu, alias Pabbi, of Takhat-Mall, Haryana; Monu Dagar of Rewli village in Sonipat, Haryana; and Pawan Bishnoi and Naseeb, both from Fatehabad, Haryana.
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While being interrogated, gangster Lawrence Bishnoi reportedly named Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar as the conspirator behind the murder of Moose Wala. Authorities also revealed the names of three purported suppliers who helped with the murder, namely: Ranjeet, a resident of Faridkot; Vijay, who currently resides on the Haryana-Rajasthan Border; and Raka. Born on June 11, 1993, in Moosa, a village in the Indian state of Punjab, Moose Wala studied engineering before moving to Canada in 2016, where he released his first track, “So High,” the following year. The artist chose his stage name as a tribute to his village.
Inspired by the gangster rap genre, Moose Wala released three albums and over 60 tracks throughout his career. He became a household name both in his native Punjab as well as among Sikhs living overseas.
His most recent track, “The Last Ride,” was released in late May. Several fans have pointed out that the song’s cover art features the location where rap icon Tupac Shakur was shot and killed inside his BMW in 1996.
Moose Wala made headlines in May 2020 after he was taken into custody for firing an AK-47 at a shooting range amid the COVID-19 lockdown. He was also accused of promoting violence and gun culture in songs such as “Sanju.” Despite getting in trouble with the law, the rapper was never convicted.
Besides music, Moose Wala also tried his luck in politics. After becoming an Indian National Congress leader last year, he unsuccessfully ran for Mansa in the 2022 Punjab state assembly election.
Thousands of people gathered on Wednesday for Moose Wala’s funeral in Mansa, where his “antim ardas” (“last prayer”) and “bhog” ceremonies took place.