Wanted for Republic Day violence, Sidhana attends farmers' rally
Gangster-turned-activist Lakha Sidhana, wanted in connection with the Republic Day violence in Delhi, openly addressed a farmers' rally in Bathinda on Tuesday, warning the Punjab Police against cooperating with the Delhi Police. In a video that appeared on social media on Saturday, Sidhana had appealed to people to take part in the program in large numbers. After addressing the gathering, Sidhana left the venue.
This is why the police didn't arrest him
Punjab Police personnel were deployed near the rally site in Mehraj village, which is the ancestral village of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. When asked why the Punjab Police did not arrest him, Inspector General (Bathinda Range) Jaskaran Singh said their job was to maintain law and order. "As per law, we cannot do that as we have not registered a case," he said.
Centre is trying to create fear by arresting youths: Sidhana
The Congress Government in Punjab has been backing the agitation against the Centre's three farm laws. Sidhana had given the call for the public meeting last week, to show his support to the same. He accused the Centre of trying to "create fear" in the minds of people with the arrest of youths with an intention of forcing them to withdraw from the agitation.
Sidhana instigated people to act against Delhi Police
"If Delhi Police personnel come to arrest anyone in Punjab, then make announcements in villages, gather crowds and gherao them," he said, apparently referring to the Republic Day violence. Sidhana further said if the Punjab Police cooperates with the Delhi Police in arresting youths or farmers in the state, then CM Singh will be held responsible for this.
Join protest sites in large numbers, Sidhana told youngsters
Sidhana also thanked people for coming in large numbers for the rally on very short notice. He asked farmer leaders to hold a program at the Delhi borders in the coming days and exhorted the youth to join the protest sites in large numbers.
BJP slammed Sidhana's participation in the program
He asked people to stay united, saying this struggle can only be won with unity. Sidhana also appealed to the Dalits to join the farmers' agitation. "This agitation is not of any religion or caste. It is a fight of everyone," he said. Meanwhile, the BJP criticized Sidhana's participation in the program.
It is unfortunate that he is roaming freely: Anil Sarin
Punjab BJP leader Harjit Singh Grewal said Sidhana attending a rally is the most unfortunate incident and it should not have happened. Slamming the Congress-led Punjab Government over this issue, BJP leader Anil Sarin said, "A person who is wanted in the Red Fort incident is roaming freely in Punjab. I think there cannot be an unfortunate thing than this."
Several cases were registered against him in Punjab
The former gangster had several cases registered against him in Punjab and was jailed many times, reports say. He had also contested the 2012 state assembly polls but lost the election.