A Delhi court today sent actor-activist Deep Sidhu to 7-day police custody in connection with the Red Fort violence during farmers’ tractor parade in the national capital against the Centre’s controversial three new agri laws on the Republic Day.
Metropolitan magistrate Prigya Gupta sent Sidhu to the Delhi police custody after the police alleged he was one of the main instigators of the violent incidents at the Red Fort on 26 January.
Sidhu’s counsel, however, claimed he had nothing to do with the violence and was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The pol ice had announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to Sidhu’s arrest. Earlier in the day, Delhi Police announced the arrest of Sidhu. The arrest was made by a team of Delhi Police’s Special Cell, said deputy commissioner of police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav.
Yadav said that Sidhu was arrested from Karnal Bypass at 10.40 pm yesterday, adding that he was wanted in connection with the case of instigating the crowd at the Red Fort on Republic Day.
“The Crime Branch will investigate his role in detail,” the DCP said. Asked where he was hiding after the 26 January violence, Yadav said the investigation was at an initial stage.
“He was a prominent player behind the Republic Day violence. We have evidence about that how he had been instigating youngsters with his provocative speeches on 25 January and 26 January. Even he instigated youths when he was hiding from the police,” said Yadav.
After the Republic Day violence that had left over 500 security personnel injured and one protester dead, Sidhu was posting videos on social media.
“Sidhu was in contact with a woman friend who lives in California. He used to make videos and send it to her, and she used to upload them on his Facebook account,” police sources said. He kept changing his locations to evade arrest, they said.
On 26 January, thousands of protesting farmers who reached ITO f rom the Ghazipur border clashed with police. Many of them driving tractors reached the Red Fort and entered the monument, where a religious flag was also hoisted.
In the FIR registered in connection with the Red Fort violence, police alleged that two magazines with 20 live cartridges were snatched from two constables by protesters who also damaged vehicles and robbed anti-riot gear.
“The mob later hoisted different flags there. They also started creating nuisance on the rampart. The unruly mob was asked to come downstairs. They went to Meena Bazar area to enter the Red Fort. When the police tried to take them out of Lahore Gate, the mob became violent and attacked personnel. The mob thrashed the police personnel and threw them in the wells,” police had alleged in the FIR.