Canadian Punjabi rapper Shubhneet Singh has been targeted by right wing politicians after sharing a cryptic post on his Instagram stories, leading to allegations that he supported the notion of setting up a separate state for Sikhs in India. On Thursday, ticketing platform Book My Show announced on X (formerly Twitter) that they had cancelled bookings for the Punjabi rapper’s shows in cities like Delhi and Kolkata, refunded money to the customers.
“Singer Shubhneet Singh’s Still Rollin Tour for India stands cancelled. To that end, BookMyShow has initiated a complete refund of the ticket amount for all consumers who had purchased tickets for the show. The refund will be reflected within 7-10 working days in the customer’s source account of the original transaction.”
This development came after members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM)- the youth wing of the right wing party BJP, launched protests against Shubhneet. On March 23, the rapper had shared a map of India on his Instagram stories, which didn’t show Punjab or occupied Jammu and Kashmir as part of the country, along with the hashtag #prayforpunjab.
Members of the BJYM wrote to the Mumbai Police, calling for an FIR to be registered against Shubhneet “for waging war against Government of India and posting anti-government posts”.
“Shubh is openly a Khalistani supporter,” the complaint read. “And if he is allowed to hold a concert here, he will be influencing a lot of youth in Mumbai and our country to support his agenda…He has evidently proven that he is a pro-Khalistani activist and openly supports their agenda and [he] is also influencing the youth of the country to do the same and wage a war against the Government of India by posting such absurd and derogatory post about Government of India.”
The tensions arrive after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a strongly worded statement about the murder of Canadian Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Monday, stating that there was credible evidence of the connection between the murderers and the Indian government.
“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” said Trudeau.
“In the strongest possible terms, I continue to urge the government of India to cooperate with Canada to get to the bottom of this matter.”
Nijjar was a vocal supporter of the creation of Khalistan- a separate state for Sikhs living in India. He was branded as a terrorist by the Indian government, which maintained that he was wanted by the state for his active involvement with the Khalistan Tiger Force (KLF) an organisation declared as a terrorist group by the country. Nijjar was shot outside a Sikh temple on June 18 in Surrey, which was deemed as a targeted attack by the police.