Sidhu Moosewala Murder: The Thriving Gun Culture & Gangsterism In Punjab

One Man’s Meat Is Another’s Poison

Sidhu Moosewala (Shubhdeep Singh), a famous Punjabi musician who was once arrested for encouraging gun culture and violence through his lyrics, was killed by a gun on Sunday in Mansa.

Punjab has been shocked by the assassination of international pop sensation Sidhu Moosewala, a day after his security cover was withdrawn.30 rounds of bullets were fired by the assassins.

The incident occurred in Jawaharke village when Moosewala and two others were about four kilometers from his home in Moosa village .Unidentified individuals fired on Sidhu’s Mahindra Thar, according to police.

Punjab DGP VK Bhawra, speaking to the media hours after Moosewala’s murder, said, “This murder is linked to the Lawrence Bishnoi gang. Lucky, a gang member, has taken over responsibilities from Canada “..

Meanwhile, two Facebook posts circulating on the internet say that Bishnoi and Brar are to blame for Moose Wala’s death.

The assassination of Moosewala was simply an instance of inter-gang rivalry and highlight Punjab’s famed Gun Culture. In the state, there are over a dozen such gangs, with numerous smaller ones paying allegiance to the larger ones.

Gangsters have recently made ransom calls to singers and performers in the Punjabi film business, according to officials.

The Gun Culture In Punjab

In Punjab, a burgeoning gun culture has resulted in random acts of violence, aided by changes in the police administration that have made personnel subordinate to full-time politicians. In the lack of public mobilization and welfare-oriented politics, this has helped the creation of a politician-criminal nexus.

Punjab has witnessed a peculiar kind of gun culture in the post-militancy and post-liberalisation period, with abundant money coming in from land sales in the countryside and migration towards the capital Chandigarh, almost an aspirational city for many youth hailing from rural areas, who mark their presence outside girls’ colleges in their huge SUVs.

Those working for gangsters have little or no education and come from economically poor homes in a state afflicted by the drug problem while insisting on a fake cultural superiority.

In February 2020, the singer Moosewala was arrested in Mansa district for promoting gun culture through a song titled ‘Panj Golian.’ He was charged under Sections 509 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 294 (reciting obscene songs), and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code (five bullets). After recordings of him using an Ak-47 rifle and a revolver at firing ranges during the coronavirus-induced lockdown went popular on social media, he was booked again on May 4 by Barnala and Sangrur police for crimes under the Disaster Management and Arms Act.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann issued a warning on May 12 to musicians who are accused of promoting gun culture through their music. He disapproved of promoting such a trend and warned that those found to be involved would face severe consequences.

Last year, then-Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh approved the arrest of a Punjabi artist accused of glorifying violence in a song and encouraging gun culture.

The Statistics And Data Of Gun Culture

While this murder is a case of Gang rivalry. One cannot overlook how the glorification of gun violence and the gangsta culture has been on the rise in Punjab. While Punjab has only 2% of country’s population, it has 10% of the total gun licenses. It is also one of the states having highest number of Gun licenses in the recent years. According to a data published by S. Karuna Raju, the state’s chief electoral officer, on 19 January There are more than 390,275 active licensed weapons in the state. There are about 13 gun licenses for every 1000 people in Punjab. Experts believe it is the pop songs that are to be blamed for this excessive portrayal of guns. The songs portray men donning expensive clothes, shoes, watches, gold chain around the neck and sporting a guns, rifles. Guns and rifles have become a common sight in Punjabi songs. These songs are mostly cater to upper caste Jatt Sikhs and the lyrics normalize the usage of guns as if it is a status symbol.

Like Sidhu moosewala there are other singers whose lyrics revolve around the use of words like AK-47, Katta, Asla, Bandook, Hathyar, Pistol, Rifle and Goli. After many flagged this issue, the Punjab and Haryana high court in 2019 directed the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh police to ensure that no songs glorifying liquor, drugs and violence are publicly played or performed. However, nothing could tame the growing popularity of the gun culture in Punjab. In fact, Sidhu moosewala himself caused uproar when a video of him firing AK-47 and pistol during covid-19 induced lockdown went viral.

After case was filed against him for this, he went underground until he got bail. But once out, he made another song called Sanju in which he compared himself to Sanjay Dutt. The lyrics of the song, as well as the video, promoted and glorified possession and use of illegal firearms, and boasted about registration of FIR as a sign of a ‘real man’.”

Many experts are worried that the toxic cocktail of heady world of social media, drugs, pop songs and rising unemployment will only lead to the Gun culture being deeply spread among the youth of Punjab.

The Youth Following Gangster-ism And Gun Culture

What’s more alarming is that many would-be gangsters appear to be gravitating to the gangster lifestyle. The fact that elite gangsters have a substantial social media following among teens demonstrates this. When gangsters pose with luxurious automobiles, weapons, and rifles, many fans admire their “macho” appearance and actions.

Some of these gangs have recently begun interfering in college and university student elections, resulting in an increase in campus violence.

The vast majority of these gangsters come from the lower middle class, and nearly all have been unemployed for a long time. It’s an interesting coincidence that several of them have an athletic background. Even Gounder, a good discus thrower who earned the moniker Gounder because he spent so much time in playgrounds, was a good discus thrower.

In recent years, state police have been successful in apprehending a lot of offenders, but security services have been unable to prohibit them from using social media while in custody. Raid parties have uncovered mobile phones and other electronic goods in the cells on several occasions. Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora said that the police had formed an Organized Crime Control Unit that had detained around 180 offenders in the previous year and a half when announcing the encounter with Gounder and others. However, more action must be done to prevent the spread of these gangs.

The Gangs Which Operate In The State

1. Jaggu Bhagwanpuria gang

Jasdeep Singh, also known as gangster Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, is a well-known figure in Punjab. In Punjab, he is known as Supari King. Jaggu is well-known in Punjab for his criminal and anti-social actions, particularly in the Majha district.

2. Lawrence Bishnoi group

He is a notorious gangster in the state and Student Organization Punjab University (SOPU) leader. He has over 25 cases registered against him including cases of attempt to murder, extortion, snatching, carjacking, and under the Arms Act in Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana.And the

3. Gounder and Brother group

After all, Punjabi musician Mankirat Aulakh has been threatened by Gounder & Brothers over Moosewala’s death. He claimed in a Facebook post that everything was done for money and that Mankirat Aulakh was the only person responsible for the murder. He also inquired as to why Mankirat Aulakh’s protection was not removed. For money, Mankirat Aulakh, he claims, exchanges information about every singer with Lawrence Bishnoi. He accuses Aulakh of wrongdoing and threatens him. He stated that we will respond appropriately to Mankirat and Goldy.

4. Bambiha Group

Davinder Bambiha was regarded as one of Punjab’s most dangerous gangsters. Punjab Police apprehended Davinder Bambiha in 2016. In Punjab, his organization is still operating. In a Facebook post, the Davinder Bambiha group claimed credit for threatening Punjabi musician Mankirt Aulakh.

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