Punjab govt left red faced after Bishnoi’s TV interview from jail

Besides making major revelations on Sidhu Moosewala murder case, the dreaded gangster, who is presently lodged in Bathinda jail, also threatened actor Salman Khan to issue a public apology regarding the black buck killing case or he would be killed, writes Rajendra Khatry

Incidents of gangsters and criminals serving jail terms found in possession of mobile phones are commonplace in Indian prisons. Time and again the prisoners in many parts of the country have been caught using mobile phones while the prison rules do not allow these criminals the possession or usage of phones.

But a hardcore criminal giving a video interview to a television channel in a high security Punjab jail caught everyone by surprise recently. Dreaded criminal and gangster Lawrence Bishnoi is considered one of the prime suspects in the Sidhu Moose Wala murder case, and he admitted during his television interview with ABP News that his gang member, Goldy Brar was the one who was behind murdering the Punjabi singer.

Besides the major revelations on the Sidhu Moose Wala murder, the dreaded gangster Lawrence Bishnoi also issued a public threat again to Bollywood actor Salman Khan, urging him to issue a public apology regarding the black buck killing case or he would get killed.

Lawrence Bishnoi reportedly stated that killing Salman Khan was his only motto now.  “He (Salman) is arrogant like Sidhu Moose Wala. Salman’s ego is bigger than Ravana,” Bishnoi is reported to have said.

It was on March 13, when the ABP News aired a TV interview of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi who is currently lodged in Punjab’s Bathinda jail. Bishnoi is the prime accused of orchestrating the brutal murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala a year ago in May 2022. After Lawrence Bishnoi’s interview, reportedly from inside the jail, which was aired by the TV channel, the aghast Punjab government and its police force had some hard explaining to do.  

The Punjab government soon gave a clarification on the controversial issue. According to a government official spokesperson, “It has come to notice that a private TV news channel aired an interview of prisoner Lawrence Bishnoi purportedly from inside a jail. Rumours are that the interview was recorded from inside Bathinda Jail. This is to clarify that the rumours are baseless and that this video is not from either Bathinda Jail, where the prisoner is currently confined, or from any other jail in Punjab. It is further clarified that this prisoner is at present confined in the high security zone of Bathinda Jail where strict surveillance is kept over his activities 24×7. If anyone is caught spreading fake news maligning the image of Punjab Prisons administration, action as per law shall be initiated”.

Bathinda Jail Superintendent ND Negi also claimed that the video was neither from Bathinda jail nor any other jail of the state. He said jammers in place at Bathinda jail did not let phones work and hence there was no possibility of any interview from inside the jail.

Not just Negi, but Punjab Anti-Gangsters Task Force (AGTF) Assistant Inspector General Sandeep Goel also clarified that this was neither from Bathinda jail nor any Punjab jail or Punjab Police custody. He claimed that Bathinda jail, where he is lodged, is a high security dead phone zone”.

On March 13, ABP News aired a TV interview of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi who is currently lodged in Punjab’s Bathinda jail. Bishnoi is the prime accused of orchestrating the brutal murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala a year ago in May 2022. Bishnoi claimed that the murder was planned by his Canada-based associate Goldy Brar in collaboration with his cousin Sachin Bishnoi to avenge the deaths of Vicky Middukhera and Gurlal Brar who were close to Lawrence Bishnoi’s gang. The planning for the murder was going on for a year, he revealed.

In his 57-minute video interview, Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi spoke at length about the Sidhu Moose Wala murder case and other cases in which he was allegedly involved. Bishnoi accused the system of failing to act in the murders of Gurlal and Vicky.

Bishnoi also claimed that the Punjab Police was greatly influenced by Moose Wala and thus did not act in cases involving their murders. Bishnoi also accused Moose Wala of shielding the people who killed Vicky Middukhera. According to him, the late popular singer wanted to become a don and for that and to prove his point, he had allegedly got Middukhera murdered. Middukhera was allegedly close to Lawrence Bishnoi.

In his TV interview, Bishnoi also admitted that the money to finance the Sidhu Moosewala murder came from the liquor trade, ransom, and other illegal activities.

According to BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa, “Lawrence Bishnoi’s interview put a big question mark on the Police Administration in Punjab”. Lately, there was news of gang wars happening in Punjab’s jails. Gangsters are having fun in Punjab’s jail while Sidhu Moose Wala’s parents are on roads seeking justice, said Sirsa.

Punjab is said to be infested with around 70 gangs operating in the state. These gangs are said to be involved in crimes like kidnapping, robbery and even murders. The gangs play a big role in state elections as well. Not that the state government has been inactive in trying to control these gangs, but the government measures have not been very effective against the dreaded gangsters who operate without any fear of the law.

But there is also a fierce cut-throat competition between the gangs and time and again they clash among themselves to gain upper hand. No wonder the death of Sidhu Moosewala got linked to a turf war between the Lawrence Bishnoi and the Davinder Bambhia gang.

Meanwhile, superstar Salman Khan cancelled his concert in Kolkata on March 23 reportedly due to the death threats received by him. However, people close to Khan claimed that the Kolkata concert was not cancelled but only postponed and it was likely to be held at a later stage.

At the same time, security outside Salman Khan’s house was beefed up after the superstar received a threatening e-mail. Following the fresh threat to Salman Khan, the Bandra Police registered a case under sections 506 (2), 120(b) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code on March 19. Post the threat, Mumbai Police imposed restrictions on fans of the actor. Fans were not allowed to gather outside Salman’s house even as his father film writer Salim Khan was reportedly suffering from sleepless nights.