Punjab police say they have arrested eight people in connection with the murder of rapper Sidhu Moose Wala, who rose to fame in Brampton, Ont.
The suspects have been taken into custody “for providing logistic support, conducting [reconnaissance] and harboring the shooters,” police said in a news release Tuesday.
Police also said they have identified four shooters involved, who remain at large.
Moose Wala, 28, was shot dead on May 29 in Mansa, Punjab while driving with two other people. Police at the time said the murder was likely the result of an “inter-gang rivalry.”
Police said one of the people arrested kept tabs on the rapper by pretending to be a fan and took selfies with Moose Wala minutes before his murder.
The suspect also allegedly relayed information that Moose Wala was not accompanied by his security personnel, and was traveling in a non-bullet proof vehicle, the police said.
The others arrested are accused of conducting surveillance on Moose Wala, assembling the team of shooters, supplying the shooters with a vehicle and providing them with a hideout.
“Cohesive efforts are being made to arrest the identified shooters and other suspected persons involved in the crime,” police said in the news release.
Rappers rose to fame in Canada
Moose Wala was born in Moosa, a village in the Mansa district of Punjab, India, in 1993. After receiving an electrical engineering degree in 2016, he moved to Brampton, Ont.
Moose Wala found much success in the Punjabi-language rap scene after moving to Canada. He has performed to sold-out crowds in Winnipeg and Toronto, and was also an iconic figure in Surrey, BC — home to Canada’s second-largest South Asian population. Several hundred people gathered in Surrey for a vigil following the star’s death.
The rapper, who also had an acting career, had joined the Indian National Congress party last year after returning to his home country.
He had contested the Punjab state elections in 2022, losing to Dr. Vijay Singla of the Aam Aadmi Party, which is the ruling party in the state of Punjab and in Delhi.