A Punjabi gangster rapper was killed by gunfire May 29 in India, the day after he lost police protection and two days after the Pacific National Exhibition postponed ticket sales for an upcoming Vancouver concert.
Sidhu Moosewala, 28, was born Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu. He moved to Brampton, Ont. in 2016 and is known for songs such as “Mafia Style” and “Homicide” and brandishing handguns and AK-47 assault rifles in his viral YouTube music videos. His latest video, “The Last Ride,” featured a hearse.
According to India Today, Moosewala was gunned down in a village in Punjab’s Mansa district. Video from the crime scene shows onlookers surrounding an SUV and Moosewala’s lifeless body in the driver seat. Just a day earlier, Punjab Police withdrew security protection for 424 current and former politicians and religious leaders. Moosewala had unsuccessfully run for the Punjab assembly.
Amarinder Singh, a former Indian army veteran and former chief minister of Punjab, tweeted condolences to Moosewala’s family. “Law and order has completely collapsed in Punjab. Criminals have no fear of law,” Singh wrote.
On May 27, the PNE delayed ticket sales for Moosewala’s July 23 Pacific Coliseum concert while it consulted the Vancouver Police Department. It was supposed to be the first stop of an eight-city Canada and U.S. "Back 2 Business" summer tour. The PNE’s TicketLeader sales website said the $75-$200 (plus service charge) tickets were scheduled to go on sale June 6. Other dates on the summer tour went on sale this weekend.
PNE spokeswoman Laura Ballance said it was very tight timing between the contract and pre-sale period, so the venue decided to conduct the risk assessment in parallel.
“As of this afternoon, we are not able to fully ascertain the full level of public safety risks with this particular event,” Ballance said on May 27. “So out of an abundance of caution, through our conversations that we've had today, with our public safety stakeholders, we are not going to go on sale tomorrow until we complete the public safety risk assessment.”
Three years ago, Moosewala’s slot on the 5X Block Party Festival in Surrey’s Central City Plaza was cancelled after the Surrey RCMP deemed him a security risk. In February 2019, a man was stabbed during Moosewala’s appearance at the Bollywood Banquet Halls and Convention Centre. In May of that year, shots were fired at a Calgary banquet hall where Moosewala was performing.
Ballance said the PNE is very proud of its events, including those involving the South Asian community, but needs to conduct due diligence regardless of whether it’s a family skating event or a concert.
Moosewala also has a well-publicized rivalry with another rapper, Karan Aujla, who is scheduled to play the Coliseum on Sept. 10.