Punjabi actor-activist Deep Sidhu, accused of instigating the violence on Republic Day and was wanted in connection with the Red Fort incident, has been arrested by the Delhi Police.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) said Sidhu was arrested by a team of Delhi Police’s Special Cell. The police had earlier announced a reward of ₹1 lakh for information leading to arrest of the Punjabi actor.
Sources said Sidhu was arrested from Zirakpur area between Chandigarh and Ambala. He was in contact with a woman friend and actor who stays in California, they said. “He used to make videos and send it to her, and she used to upload them on his Facebook account.”
The farmers’ unions had blamed the 36-year-old Sidhu for the January 26 violence; that he had fuelled the chaos on that day. On January 26, thousands of protesting farmers who had reached ITO from Ghazipur border clashed with the cops and many of them driving tractors reached the Red Fort and entered the monument. A religious flag was also hoisted.
Sidhu, a controversial figure in the farmers’ protest, had been posting videos on Facebook to defend his acts. In one of the videos he posted, Sidhu was seen at the Red Fort during the religious flag raising incident. In another video, he responded to the charges against him levelled by farmers, saying if he’s a “gaddar (traitors)”, then “all farmers are gaddars”.
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Sidhu had been linked with BJP MP Sunny Deol though the actor-turned-politician recently distanced himself from him. Sidhu reportedly managed his election campaign during the 2019 Lok Sabha election. In widely shared photos, he was seen with top leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, besides Deol.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the Centre’s three new farm laws which they believe are in corporate’s interests and will lead to destruction of the MSP system and abolish APMC mandis in the long run.