Six months on Sidhu Moosewala's village continues to mourn, family says key culprits yet to face law
The deluge of fans streaming in at Moosa village hasn’t quite subsided even six months after the son of the soil and Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala was shot dead by half-a-dozen gunmen at Jaharwake village of Mansa district. For some committed fans who ignored criticism of the singer over his songs with alleged themes of guns and violence, the place where he was cremated has turned into a sort of pilgrimage.
On Tuesday, six months on, hundreds of fans from across the state and worldwide converged in his village. Small stalls selling merchandise with Moosewala on it dot the village. A reminder of the huge fan following he drew.
Moosewala was gunned down by six sharpshooters near his house in Mansa on June 29 that left gaping holes in the claims of stringent law and order situation in the state. It also threw major challenges towards the Aam Aadmi Party government, which was barely a few months in power.
The killing fuelled fears that the gang wars had returned to the state. His murder was linked to what was alleged as “revenge” for the gunning down of Akali Dal youth leader Vicky Middukhera. Even as the Punjab police were looking frantically for the killers, the Delhi police claimed the first breakthrough with the arrest of two of them, making it embarrassing for their counterparts in Punjab who were trying to track them down.
Though some of the killers were later nabbed by the Punjab police, his parents continue to allege that justice is yet to be delivered. “The main culprits behind the murder are still out,” insists his father Balkaur Singh.
Balkaur Singh and his wife Charan Kaur had even threatened to leave the country if the killers of their son were not brought to task. While hinting at rivalry, his father had often pointed to the personal animosity of a few other singers and blamed them for the death of his son.
The killing aside, Moosewala’s death also had political fallouts in the state, with opposition Congress squarely blaming the Aam Aadmi Party-led government for the killing of the singer as it was just a couple of days before the shooting that his security was withdrawn on government orders.
And like in his lifetime, even after his death, his albums continue to invite controversy. Two albums of the singer were released after his killing and they garnered millions of views on YouTube within an hour of release. True to his image, while one song titled SYL garnered one million views within an hour of release, it spoke about the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue and Punjab’s right over the water. The song also highlighted the issue of Sikh prisoners. The song was, however, removed from social media for its content. The other song, which was written and composed by him, called Vaar is about the valour of Hari Singh Nalwa, the commander-in-chief of the Khalsa army during the regime of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.