Opposition corners Bhagwant Mann after alleged audio clip of gangster Goldy Brar emerges online

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann announced at a press conference Friday that gangster Goldy Brar had been detained by authorities in California, US.

Opposition corners Bhagwant Mann after alleged audio clip of gangster Goldy Brar emerges online
Punjab Chief Minister Bhawant Mann (IE)

An audio clip of a purported interview of gangster Goldy Brar, the alleged mastermind behind the murder of singer-politician Sidhu Moosewala, with an independent Punjab journalist has put Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in the dock. In the audio clip of the interview with Ritesh Lekhi published on YouTube, Brar claims that he has not been detained or arrested and is a “free bird”. The interview only carries the audio, purportedly of Brar, and does not have any video footage to confirm that it is indeed the gangster’s voice.

Punjab CM Mann had claimed at a press conference on Friday that Goldy Brar had been detained by the FBI in California. He further went on to claim that the gangster would be deported to India and will be in the custody of Punjab Police soon.

“There is a confirmed piece of news this morning. Being the Head of the State I tell you that a big gangster sitting in Canada, Goldy Brar, has been detained in America,” Mann had claimed in an address to the media in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad on Friday.

Also Read | Goldy Brar, Sidhu Moose Wala murder accused, detained in California: CM Bhagwant Mann

Denying claims of any form of detention or arrest, Brar, whose real name is Satinderjit Singh, claimed in the interview that he had long left Canada and the US and was “currently in Europe”. Goldy Brar is a key member of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang and has claimed responsibility for the Moosewala’s murder.

Brar claims in the interview that he will “never be caught alive” and even if he lands in a situation where he could be arrested, he always carries a weapon and would “shoot himself dead”.

Also Read | Sidhu Moosewala killing: Interpol issues Red Corner Notice against gangster Goldy Brar

Latching on to the interview, the Opposition has come out all guns blazing against the Punjab CM over his claims of the gangster being apprehended by authorities in the US.

“This aptly describes AAP’s politics: Practise lies and deceit to befool people. CM Bhagwant Mann followed this template and even claimed credit for arrest of Goldy Brar in US on eve of Gujarat Elections. Now he must explain and apologise to Punjabis besides taking real-time steps to nab Goldy,” said SAD president Sukhbir Badal.

Another Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia said that the interview was damning and asked the CM to offer an explanation to the people of Punjab. “What can be more damming? Senior journalist Ritesh Lakhi interviews dreaded gangster Goldy Brar who CM Bhagwant Mann claims has been detained by US authorities. Goldy is not only roaming free but ordering murders at will. CM owes an explanation to Punjabis. Why did he lie to them?” he tweeted.

Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, Partap Singh Bajwa said in a statement that the Ministry of External Affairs or the Union Home ministry should issue a statement to clear the air on the matter.

“Although Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, while addressing a press conference in Gujarat, confirmed Goldy Brar’s arrest, we doubt his confirmation because Mann has previously been caught lying on various issues. Mann often issues statements or makes promises that later turn out to be misleading on hollow,” he said, citing the example of Mann’s announcement of BMW agreeing to set up an auto parts manufacturing unit in Punjab. The claim was later denied by the company.

The Aam Aadmi Party government, on its part, has advised leaders of the Opposition to stop paying heed to the claims being made by the gangster. “SAD is going by the claims of Goldy Brar on his detention but doubting the CM’s statement that he has been arrested,” said AAP’s chief spokesperson Malwinder Singh Kang.

“They are keen to get information about Goldy Brar because they want to see which way the investigation is progressing. The next step in the case has to be taken by the Centre as it is between two countries. The state government operates in its jurisdiction,” he added.

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First published on: 06-12-2022 at 05:25:02 pm