Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi is the mastermind behind the killing of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala, Delhi Police Special CP (Special Cell) HS Dhaliwal said on Wednesday, 8 June, adding that a close associate of one of the shooters had been arrested.
Siddhesh Hiraman Kamble, alias Mahakal, who is a close associate of the main shooter in the case, was arrested on Wednesday, Pune police said, adding that at least five people were involved in the killing.
"Maharashtra Police has been given Kamble's 14-day police custody remand. He is a close associate of one of the shooters, but he's not involved in the killing," Dhaliwal said.
Mahakal was arrested in MCOCA act registered at Manchar Police station of Pune district in connection with a 2021 murder case. He has been sent to police custody till 20 June by the special court, news agency ANI reported.
The police further added that five more suspects had been identified in connection with the singer's murder.
Moose Wala was shot dead on 29 May in Punjab's Mansa district, a day after the state government curtailed his security cover.
"Delhi Police Special Cell has been working on the Moose Wala case. Attempts are being made to arrest the accused persons as soon as possible. The case is registered in Punjab, but our effort has been to ensure the killers are arrested. Identification of killers is the first step. The special cell has been working against organised crime and gangs," Dhaliwal added.
‘Coordinating the Supply of Logistics & Finance’: Delhi Police
Late on Wednesday night, the Delhi Police released a statement, and said, "Massive efforts were initiated coupled with legacy interrogation reports recorded at the time of apprehension of shooters of Vicky Middukhera, Sandeep Nangal Ambia etc, credible profiling of at least five shooters was created."
The police added that the arrested accused Mahakal "is a key member of the larger Lawrence Bishnoi syndicate. Acting in concert with Lawrence Bishnoi syndicate, he was recently involved in an attempt to murder case registered at Kardani Police Station, District Jaipur, Rajasthan."
As per the preliminary interrogation, Mahakal was "closely connected with more than one shooter in the run-up to and after the killing of Sidhu Moose Wala and distinct from the established and exposed communication hub of fugitive Goldy Brar, was coordinating the supply of logistics, finance and characters involved in shooting to evade detection," as per the police statement.
On the other hand, Maharashtra Additional Director General (ADG) (Law and Order) said that two residents of Pune, Santosh Yadav and Saurabh Mahakal, were involved in the killing of Moose Wala, news agency ANI reported.
Officials from the Punjab Police also went to Pune to meet the Superintendent of Police (SP) following Kamble's arrest, the Maharashtra Police said.
Bishnoi was also questioned by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Sunday, 5 June, in connection to a threat letter sent to Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and his father, Salim Khan.
While Special CP Hargobind Dhaliwal did not elucidate on the threat letter to Salman Khan, he said that the Maharashtra Police is currently investigating the matter.
"It is very early to comment on who kept the letter for Salman Khan," he added.
The threat had come a few days after Sidhu Moose Wala was shot dead in his village in Punjab's Mansa district.
Statements of Salman Khan and his father were recorded by the Mumbai Police after they had received the threat letter. Khan has now denied receiving threat calls, threats from any person or having a dispute with anyone in the recent past.
Red Corner Notice Issued Against Goldy Brar
Meanwhile, the Punjab Police has sought a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar, who had claimed responsibility for the murder of Moose Wala. Brar aka Satinder Singh is a close associate of Bishnoi, who is currently lodged in Delhi's Tihar jail.
On 7 June, the Punjab Police arrested at least eight people for providing logistical support, conducting recce, and harbouring the shooters who killed Moose Wala.
(With inputs from ANI.)