Punjab Police has claimed that gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, Goldy Brar, and their associates are involved in the killing.
Speaking to the media hours after Moose Wala's murder, Punjab DGP VK Bhawra said, "The Lawrence Bishnoi gang is involved in this murder. Lucky, a member of the gang, has taken responsibility from Canada".
Meanwhile, two Facebook posts are doing the rounds in which Bishnoi and Brar are claimed to be taking responsibility for Moose Wala's killing.
The posts, claimed to have been on behalf of Bishnoi, say:
"I, along with my brother Goldy Brar, take responsibility of killing Sidhu Moose Wala. People may say whatever they want to, but we have avenged the death of our brother Vicky Middukhera. Sidhu Moose Wala had helped to get him killed."
"I had called him from Jaipur and told him that what he did was wrong. He told me he didn't care for anyone and he challenged me saying that he too kept his weapon loaded. So now we have avenged our brother's death. But this is just the beginning. Whoever was involved in the killing of our brother, they should be alert."
The Quint could not verify the authenticity of these posts. We reached out to Punjab Police for further clarity on the matter.
"We are examining these Facebook posts. Lawrence Bishnoi's associate has already said that the gang is responsible (for Moose Wala's killing)," a Punjab Police official told The Quint.
The allegation made on Facebook is still unsubstantiated, that Sidhu Moose Wala was involved in the killing of Vicky Middukhera.
There were some media reports that the role of Moose Wala's manager Shaganpreet Singh was being probed in connection with Middukhera's murder. However, the police haven't found anything decisive so far to link Moose Wala to Middukhera's murder.
So who are Lawrence Bishnoi, Goldy Brar, Vicky Middukhera, and Shaganpreet Singh whose names are coming up after Moose Wala's murder?
31-year-old Lawrence Bishnoi was arrested in 2017, and was previously lodged in Bharatpur jail in Rajasthan. He was recently brought to Delhi's Tihar jail by the Delhi Police in connection to a MCOCA case. He is in jail no.8 of the Tihar Jail, as confirmed by DG Prisons Sandeep Goel. Lawrence is accused of crimes under IPC sections pertaining to attempt to murder, trespassing, robbery, and assault, among others.
The "gangster" who belongs to the Bishnoi community that believes blackbucks to be sacred, rose to notoriety when one of his aides was arrested in 2018 and had revealed plans of eliminating Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, allegedly after being asked to do by Lawrence.
It is pertinent to note that Khan was convicted in the blackbuck poaching case of 1998, and Lawrence' aides claimed that Lawrence wanted to "avenge the killing of blackbucks by Khan," reported The Indian Express in 2020.
Lawrence was born in Dhattaranwali in Punjab's Ferozpur district (now in Fazilka district) in a well-off family, and studied at DAV College, Chandigarh. He was also the president of Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) over a decade ago.
Lawrence's close aides include Sampat Nehra, who had disclosed the alleged Salman Khan plot to the police, Kala Jathedi, who has been booked under the MCOCA Act by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police and is currently lodged in the Tihar jail in Delhi, and Goldy Brar, who purportedly posted on Facebook about his involvement in the killing of Sidhu Moose Wala. Earlier this month, three close aides of Lawrence and Goldy were arrested from Bathinda by the Punjab Police.
Goldy Brar, whose real name is Satinder Singh, is known to be a close aide of Lawrence Bishnoi. Based in Canada, Brar is wanted in several criminal cases in India such as the killing of Faridkot District Youth Congress president Gurlal Singh Pehlwan in 2021.
Delhi Police had arrested a relative of Brar in connection with Pehlwan's murder. At that time, media reports quoting police sources had claimed that Pehlwan was murdered in retaliation for the killing of Gurlal Brar, a former SOPU chief, in 2020. Gurlal Brar also happened to be a cousin of Goldy Brar.
In connection to Moose Wala's murder, the Facebook post attributed to Brar says, "I, along with Sachin Bishnoi Dhattaranwali, Lawrence Bishnoi group, take responsibility for the killing of Sidhu Moose Wala. His name came up in connection with the murder of Vicky Middukhera and Gurlal Brar and despite this, the police did nothing."
The post further claims that associates of Lawrence Bishnoi's rival in Haryana – Kaushal – took the name of Moose Wala.
However, these claims are unsubstantiated and Punjab Police hasn't found anything to link Moose Wala to the killings of Brar and Middukhera.
Vicky Middukhera alias Vikramjit Singh Middukhera, was a Youth Akali Dal leader who was shot dead in Sector 71, Mohali, in August 2021. According to reports, the crime was carried out at the behest of gangsters Amit Dagar and Bhuppi Rana.
Middukhera's family hails from Malout in Sri Muktsar Sahib district and is said to have a good equation with the Badals who are also from the same district.
He studied at Shiwalik Public School in Mohali and then did his graduation from DAV College, Chandigarh, after which he enrolled in the department of defence studies at Panjab University.
Middukhera became president of SOPU in 2009.
He then joined the SAD's student wing Student Organisation of India (SOI). Middukhera is said to be the mastermind of the SOI's win in the Panjab University Students' Union elections of 2015.
His brother Ajay Middukhera is also in politics and had contested municipal elections in Mohali.
Another name that is coming up in the controversy is that of Shaganpreet Singh. He was Sidhu Moose Wala's manager and is wanted by the Punjab police in connection to the killing of Vicky Middukhera.
He is said to have escaped to Australia.