Soon after prominent Punjabi singer and Congress leader Sidhu Moose Wala was shot dead in Punjab's Mansa, scores of political leaders reacted to the killing, with several blaming the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
Many criticised the government's move on Friday, 28 May, to scale down official security cover of over 400 officials and political leaders and release the names of the officials as a part of its crackdown on VIP culture in the state.
Mann on Sunday, 29 May, condemned the killing and said that "nobody involved will be spared."
"I am shocked and deeply saddened by the gruesome murder of Siddhu Moosewala. Nobody involved will be spared. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his fans across the world. I appeal everyone to stay calm," Mann said in a tweet.
'Kejriwal, Bhagwant Mann Responsible for Brutal Murder of Sidhu'
Commenting on the killing, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa tweeted, "Law and order situation in Punjab is totally out of control now. Yesterday @AAPPunjab Govt removed security of social celebrities & today famous Punjabi singer and Congress leader Sidhu Moose Wala has been shot by unknown persons in Mansa."
He further said that Mann, along with Delhi CM and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, should be booked for murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
"We have been warning Punjab Govt to pay attention to Punjab’s situation. I demand an FIR against Bhagwant Mann for negligence of his Chief Ministerial duties which has cost the life of #sidhumoosewala. Bhagwant Mann along with @ArvindKejriwal should be booked under 302," he said.
Pointing out that the list of people whose security was removed by the Punjab government was leaked, he urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to order an enquiry to find "how and who" leaked the confidential list.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too tweeted saying: "Deeply shocked and saddened by the murder of promising Congress leader and talented artist, Sidhu Moosewala. My heartfelt condolences to his loved ones and fans from across the world."
Dubbing the singer's death as "very sad and shocking," Kejriwal said that the accused will be given harshest punishment.
"The murder of Sidhu Musewala is very sad and shocking. I just spoke to Punjab CM Mann Sahib. The culprits will be given the harshest punishment. I request everyone to keep calm and maintain peace. May God give peace to his soul," Kejriwal said in a tweet.
Opposition Demands Mann's Resignation
Condemning the law and order situation in Punjab, Leader of Opposition in the state, Partap Singh Bajwa called for the resignation of CM Mann.
Bajwa said in a tweet, "Murder of a promising youngster Sidhu Moosewala exposes law and order situation of Punjab. CM Bhagwant Mann should immediately resign as he holds charge of home department and an explanation is needed on what basis his security was withdrawn yesterday just one day before attack."
"AAP Govt should stop tinkering with security of individuals to gain cheap publicity on social media. What was the point of putting the list on social media after withdrawal of their security. If anything happens to any individual whose security has been withdrawn."
"It will be direct responsibility of Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann. Instead of giving 80 security officials to Kejriwal, 45 to Raghav Chadha, 20 to his sister and 15 to his mother. He should focus on managing the law and order of Punjab," he further said in a tweet.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said that the incident exhibits an abject breakdown of law and order in Punjab.
"Shocked to learn about the killing of young Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala. My sympathies with his family and friends. Those responsible must be arrested without delay," he tweeted.
"Murder of Siddhu Moose Wala has shocked the country. This should be considered a state-sponsored murder. Firstly, the security of 400 people was withdrawn and then their names were published on social media. It's criminal negligence. CM must resign," SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema said as per news agency ANI.
Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill, meanwhile, alleged a deterioration of the law and order situation in Punjab.
"Killing of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala in Broad daylight shows that law and order situation in Punjab under AAP government is crumbling like a pack of cards. Violent clashes in Patiala, attack on state police and rise in murder have become business as usual," he said.
Demanding an arrest of Punjab's Director General of Police (DGP), Congress leader and former deputy CM of Punjab, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said, "The central government must intervene immediately. Issue related to security comes under the Official Secrets Act and it shouldn't have been disclosed," reported ANI.
AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj told ANI that "stringent punishment will be given to the persons involved."
"We'll see if his friends are involved in murder case or not because they were the only ones aware of him moving without security. The police will investigate the case from every angle. But this needs to be thought upon as on whose advice he left without security," he added.
(With inputs from ANI.)
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