India Rapper Was Shot 24 Times

Sidhu Moose Wala was killed in India's Punjab state after his security was curtailed
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2022 7:27 AM CDT

Popular Indian rapper Sidhu Moose Wala was fatally shot 24 times in Punjab on Sunday, one day after the state lifted security for hundreds of celebrities. Thousands of fans of the rapper, who was born Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, have now descended on his home village of Moosa, not far from the murder scene in Mansa district. The 28-year-old had been driving with friends in Mansa when he was apparently targeted by unknown assailants. Punjab's top police official, VK Bhawra, said the investigation pointed to an inter-gang rivalry, the AP reports. Six people have been detained, per the BBC. Punjab's chief minister Bhagwant Mann, who expressed shock and sadness over the killing, said "no culprit will be spared."

But there is already "massive outrage from fans and opposition leaders" in the state, per the BBC. The Punjab government had cut back on security for more than 400 individuals on Saturday in an effort to curtail VIP culture, the outlet reports. VK Bhawra said "two out of four commandos were withdrawn from Sidhu Moose Wala's security temporarily," per the Globe and Mail. "But when he left home that afternoon, he did not take the commandos along. He also did not take his private bulletproof car." His vehicle was subsequently peppered with 30 bullets, which pierced the windshield and hood. A preliminary post-mortem found the rapper was shot in the chest, abdomen, and feet, according to the BBC.

He was well known not only in India but also in the United Kingdom and Canada, where he was living as an international student when he rose to stardom in 2017. His 2018 debut album, which reached Canada's Billboard Albums chart, included an homage to the Canadian city of Brampton, where he spent much of his time. In 2020, he was charged with violating India's Arms Act for allegedly promoting gun culture in his music. He later joined India's principal opposition Congress Party and unsuccessfully ran in Punjab’s assembly elections. His most recent track, "The Last Ride," was released in May. It references his idol, Tupac Shakur, who was similarly murdered while riding in his BMW in 1996, per the BBC. (Read more India stories.)

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