One of the key accused in the Red Fort violence, Lakha Sidhana, who is wanted by the Delhi police, was seen on Tuesday (February 23) at a rally in Punjab’s Mehraj village.
The rally was called by Sidhana himself to support farmers protesting against the three farm laws and to demand the release of those arrested by the police.
“If the Delhi police comes to arrest anyone in Punjab, villagers will gherao (surround) them,” Sidhana said, reported NDTV. A reward of ₹1 lakh had been announced for information on Sidhana, who has at least 10 criminal cases, including land-grab and murder, against him.
During the tractor rally held by farmers in Delhi on Republic Day (January 26), Sidhana, alias Lakhbir Singh, had allegedly instigated protesters to turn violent, including at the Red Fort.
In a video posted on Facebook on Friday (February 19), Sidhana had asked people to turn up in large numbers at Mehraj village in Bathinda district on Tuesday to support the agitating farmers.
“We have been agitating for seven months. Now, this protest is at its peak… we are holding a big programme in village Mehraj in district Bathinda on February 23,” Sidhana said in the video.
Farmer union leaders have distanced themselves from both Sidhana and Deep Sidhu, the Punjabi actor also accused of inciting violence during the tractor rally.
Farmers held mahapanchayats on Tuesday in Sirsa and Fatehabad districts of Haryana.
It has been four months since farmers started protesting against the three farm laws at the borders areas near Delhi. The laws were passed in September 2020. Several rounds of talks between the farmers and the government have failed to break the deadlock.