New Delhi: Actor-activist Deep Sidhu, accused in the violence at the Red Fort complex in Delhi on Republic Day during a farmers’ tractor rally has been arrested, the police said today.
The police had announced a ₹ 1 lakh reward for leads on Deep Sidhu and three other accused.
He was caught in Haryana’s Karnal, about 100 km from Delhi. Reports said he kept changing his location to evade arrest.
Deep Sidhu was accused of fueling chaos and clashes when a tractor rally by farmers protesting the centre’s three agricultural laws went rogue on January 26, with protesters defying agreed routes and schedules and forcing their way into the Red Fort.
Protesters were seen climbing the historic ramparts and placing a Sikh religious flag, besides clashing with the police in the widely condemned violence.
Police, who repeatedly appealed for calm and urged protesting farmers to stand down and return to the agreed routes, resorted to tear gas and lathi-charges to regain control.
Deep Sidhu, 36, had been posting videos on Facebook defending himself even as teams of the Delhi police’s crime branch hunted for him. The videos were uploaded by his friend in California, police sources said.
A controversial figure in the farmer protests, Deep Sidhu has been accused by farmer groups of attempting to derail their movement and leading a “conspiracy” against them.
The actor had hit back at the farmers saying, “If I’m being labeled a gaddar (traitor), then all farmer leaders are gaddars.” In one of his videos, he also accused farmer leaders of backtracking on their protests.
Delhi Police filed 44 cases and have arrested 122 people before this. Several farmer union leaders have been named in the police cases.