Deep Sidhu was not there were farmers protest turned violent, no evidence against him, says lawyer
Punjabi actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu is not behind the violence that erupted in the Capital on January 26, his lawyer said as Sidhu's bail plea came up at a Delhi court on Thursday. Deep Sidhu only posted a video on social media, for which he has been named in media as a main accused of the Republic Day violence, his lawyer said, as reported by news agency ANI, adding that every mistake is not a crime. The court has adjourned the matter for April 12 and asked for the transcripts of Sidhu's speeches.
Claiming that he is no a member of any farmers' union, Deep Sidhu's lawyer said that the protest was called by the leaders of farmers' unions. Sidhu has not given an call to go to the Red Fort and he himself was not present when violence erupted. There is no evidence that he mobilised the crowd to breach the Red Fort, his lawyer said.
On February 9, Delhi Police arrested Deep Sidhu on charges of inciting violence near the Red Fort on Republic Day.
Farmers who have been protesting against the three laws passed in Parliament in September — Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 — took out a tractor march on Republic Day, after days of route negotiation with the Delhi Police.
The march will not enter the Capital, it was decided and a separate route map was prepared for the tractor march. But soon after the march began, the Capital turned into a battle field with groups of protesters clashing with police at several locations. One group of protesters clashed with police at ITO and then entered the Red Fort and unfurled religious flags from its ramparts.
As soon as his name cropped up in he case, Deep Sidhu was on the run. A cash reward was also announced for any information about him. Though he was in hiding, he was uploading videos on his Facebook, denying any links with what happened at the Red Fort on January 26.
At the time of his arrest, Sidhu was planning to travel to Bihar to meet his wife. As he was waiting for a car arranged by his friend near Karnal Bypass, he was arrested.
Police said Deep Sidhu congratulated the men who who hoisted flags at the Red Fort and also did a Facebook live from the complex. Police said he was seen entering the Red Fort with people carrying swords, sticks and flags and delivered speeches to incite people.