Blamed for inciting Republic Day chaos, Deep Sidhu goes 'missing'
Actor-activist Deep Sidhu has gone missing, so to speak, since the chaos during the farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day (January 26). Sidhu has been blamed for inciting protesters who breached the Red Fort and hoisted 'Nishan Sahib,' a triangular saffron flag bearing the 'khanda' symbol sacred to Sikhs. Sidhu was last seen fleeing from Red Fort on a bike. Here are more details.
Farmers' R-Day tractor rally turned violent
On Tuesday, farmers protesting against the Centre's new agricultural laws launched a tractor rally as permitted by the Delhi Police. Violence ensued as the protesters broke barricades before the agreed time for the rally and also changed the agreed route. One farmer died during the violence, while over 300 cops were injured. Later, some protesters breached the Red Fort and unfurled the Sikh flag.
Protesters exercised democratic right: Sidhu
After the flag was hoisted, Sidhu did a live broadcast on Facebook saying the protesters exercised their democratic right. He said the protest was peaceful, adding that no one person could have mobilized people on such a big scale. In another video, farmers are seen chasing him away saying, "you've damaged the entire movement," The Tribune reported. Sidhu is seen fleeing on a bike.
Farmers accuse Sidhu of being a BJP stooge
Farmers have distanced themselves from Sidhu, along with gangster-turned-activist Lakhana Sidhana, blaming them for the violent turn of events on Tuesday. Some have even alleged that Sidhu has links to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, sharing his photos with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP MP Sunny Deol. It is alleged Sidhu was planted by the BJP to create chaos.
'Fringe elements' hijacked protest day before rally: Report
The call to defy the agreed-upon plan for the tractor rally had come on Monday, as some fringe elements hijacked the Samyukta Kisan Morcha stage at the Singhu border protest site, The Indian Express reported. Reportedly, they opposed the planned route, that the Delhi Police had agreed to, and their call was broadcasted live on some Punjabi web channels and individual social media accounts.
Sidhu named in police FIR; to be called for questioning
Sidhu has been named in a case filed by the Delhi Police in connection with the violence on Tuesday, sources told NDTV. The police will reportedly summon him for questioning soon. At least 25 cases have been registered by the police in connection with the violence since Tuesday evening, naming several farmer leaders, including Medha Patkar, Buta Singh, and Yogendra Yadav.